Help from Everywhere
First off — if you were in a Katrina-damaged area, are employed by BellSouth or the Berry Company and haven’t checked in, or if you’re close family to someone employed by them and haven’t checked in — please call 1-877-BLS-I-M-OK. Folks are worried about you. Even if the building you work in has been destroyed, your job is still there. Even if you have to come up and visit us in Ohio. (We don’t bite.)
Second off, if you’re really jonesing to go volunteer, the Red Cross has apparently loosened its training requirements:
The Red Cross has been overwhelmed by people wanting to volunteer to go to the Gulf Coast states to assist in hurricane relief.
Volunteers, who must be at least 21, should expect no electricity, high humidity, temperatures of 100 or more, limited communications and exposure to reptiles while staying in “shelter accommodations, at best.”
They must attend one four-hour training and then leave within 24 hours for an assignment of at least three weeks’ duration.
You’re in the army now, so eat your puppy chow….
20 other countries have been offering the US aid.
Russia offered us search and rescue help — two big transport planes full.
Germany is either being rather snitty about the whole thing, or displaying touching faith in our abilities:
Many believe, however, that the scope of the disaster is such that the US government, which has one of the most sophisticated crisis management systems in the world at its disposal, should be able to respond to it adequately.
Fortunately for sanity’s sake, many other Germans think this is pretty rude.
The Latin-American Cruz Roja (Red Cross) site has links to help with Katrina. Interestingly, this is not true of many of the national Red Cross organizations’ sites. (This may not be apathy so much as infrequent updating of the website; or they may feel that the international and continental website is a better place to put the links.) However, the Costa Rican Red Cross is linking by popular demand, and the Spanish Red Cross links to our Red Cross, too.
The Tahlequah Daily Press from Tahlequah, Oklahoma, reports that the Cherokee Firedancers, a unit of forest fire firefighters which operate under the auspices of the US Forest Service, headed for New Orleans Monday. They also published a little recruiting plug:
Want to travel to exotic locations, breathe lots of smoke, and carry heavy equipment around all day? Maybe you should be a Cherokee Nation Firedancer!
There’s going to be a Katrina telethon Friday night on NBC. And MSNBC. And CNBC, too.
I don’t know where to put this, but in other news, this 1984 Ohio State Disaster Center study claims that looting is sparse in disasters, and homeowners are imagining their losses.