I won't duplicate the efforts of smashsc, who has compiled a list of Web sites for news and relief efforts.
In addition to the list provided by smashsc:
Second Harvest, the food bank network, not only had ten of its food banks and hundreds of related agencies wrecked by the hurricane, they are also coordinating efforts to bring critical food and water supplies to the region. If you feel more comfortable paying directly for critical food and water for the survivors and evacuees, rather than tossing money into the Red Cross's more general needs fund for Katrina, go here.
Any help you can give I'm sure will be appreciated.
Also via hernewshoes, Making Light is tracking news about the aftermath of Katrina here
Also via the_red_shows, cmpriest points out some very salient points about what went wrong with the evacuation order and what continues to be wrong news coverage in the aftermath. People are forgetting: New Orleans, Biloxi, and other large cities in the southeast are among the poorest in the nation. You can call evacuation all you want, but if you don't have the means to find shelter, let alone the means to leave, you really have no choice but to stay. And I'm sorry: but if something catastrophic like Katrina blew through Boston tomorrow and flattened my area and I was trapped with no way to leave, you can bet your ass I'd be tooling up and going "shopping" at my local grocery story and pharmacy. Survival comes first, and that means preserved food, bottled water, and medical supplies.
harmfulguy may be himself out of harm's way, and his family managed to evacuate before the worst, but they are now living with relatives and unsure about the status of property and belongings. He's blogging about the experience in his LJ.
insomnia is continuing his blogging about the aftermath of Katrina as well as some important information on why things spiraled so quickly out of control and continue to descent into chaos. His blog is a must-read. I'll just simply point in his direction and say: "Waht he said." I'm too pissed to trust my language to do anything more.
ETA: Of all things, Editor & Publisher is maybe doing the best job I've seen in the newsmedia of covering Katrina from all angles. Coverage includes:
- on-the-ground blogging of rescue efforts
- how the local news media is adapting and cooperating to provide coverage, considering that some newspapers don't have offices right now (hell, the Times-Picayune can only publish on the Web; the newspaper is not publishing an actual newspaper right now)
- summary of Times-Picayune articles dating from 2004 warning about the long-term affect of cuts to the Army Corps of Engineers and the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project (SELA). These cuts, btw, were used to fund Bush's tax cuts and the Iraqi boondoggle. (It should also be noted that I've seen reports that 35% to 40% of the Louisianna National Guard are currently now fighting in Iraq and are not available to do the jobs they actually signed up for, namely, keeping peace in their home states during emergencies.)
Addional ETA: Wikipedia already has the most comprehenshive and well-researched overview on Katrina I've seen yet. Click and be awed!