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Communication about the relief efforts here in town is still confused. Conflicting reports come out of the various relief organizations: donations are needed; donations are overwhelming but volunteers are needed; all volunteer shifts have been filled and people are being sent home; come to Reliant Center to volunteer; don't come to Reliant to volunteer; donations are needed at the Astrodome; don't bring donations to the Astrodome. It's hard to know how best to help, and the last thing I want to do is contribute to a traffic jam in the area where they're trying to get evacuees into shelters.

Estimates are that Texas is currently hosting around a quarter of a million evacuees, and the governor is beginning to send them to other states:

Aid centers will be set up at airports in Houston and Dallas where incoming refugees can be given food, water and medical care before they are flown out. The governor's office said some of those flights could begin today...

Since Thursday, Perry's office has been in contact with several states, including Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Iowa, New York, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, about providing shelter for Louisiana evacuees. West Virginia is sending three C-130 planes to Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio to help move refugees.

On Friday I went to Target and bought a shopping cart full of supplies--boxes of single-serving snack foods, juice, bottled water, diapers, baby wipes, and tampons--which I dropped off at an area food pantry. Then Saturday I went back to Target and did the same, this time concentrating on clothing--underwear, t-shirts, socks, flip flops, pillows, more diapers and tampons--and dropped them off at a collection point for the Star of Hope Mission.

I found a notice today on what seems to be one of the few web sites for the relief effort that's actually updated with any regularity, saying that volunteers with wireless laptops are needed at Reliant Center to help locate missing people. So Mr. Sus and I have arranged to leave the munchkin with my dad tomorrow and will be heading downtown with our laptops in the hopes being of some assistance.

In the midst of all the horror stories about New Orleans, here is a lovely requiem for this great city, focusing on its glorious culinary heritage:

The first great meal of my life unspooled in sharp relief, under the high faded ceilings of Antoine's in the French Quarter...

ETA: Anne Rice in the NYT -- "Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans?" (I'm not a fan of her in general, but she is eloquent in her love of her hometown.)



Sep. 5th, 2005 01:27 am (UTC)
The craziness in communications is the same thing that happened in the Oakland shelters after the big S.F. earthquake in the 90's. It's good you are trying to help.

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