Yup. Now I remember why I left newspapers for a relatively sane writing occupation.
The American Red Cross relief efforts. Choose "Hurricane 2005" relief on the donations page.
Second Harvest, the food bank network, relief efforts. To donate funds, go here.
First, something that'll be useful to everyone:
There are several sites that track gas prices in cities across the U.S. It's a good way to help you find cheap(ish) gas. I know I use Gas Buddy. Another site you can check is Gas Watch. Both sites take reports "from the field," i.e., motorists, on gas prices. While you might not see all gas stations listed, you'll soon find out who matches the cheap gas prices within a reasonable distance of where you live.
Massachusetts colleges and universities will take in college and university students from the Gulf States. Maine is doing the same thing. While I can't find a link specifically for this, the grapevine has it that Boston University will be opening its doors to Tulane Students and giving them a space at the school (the two universities have a long-standing relationship). Tulane students will be able to transfer to BU and back to Tulane with no penalty in credit hours.
Sovereign Bank in New England is collecting Red Cross donations and will match funds for the first $50,000 collected. I know Sovereign Bank has other branches outside of New England, so check with your local branch if you have any.
via smashsc: I was remiss earlier by not pointing out that BET is running a Katrina telethon. The page they've got devoted to the relief efforts is kickass, so check it out.
via airawyn: Kung Fu Monkey is also offering matching funds for the Red Cross. He's apparantly offering proof that he plans to do this. Since I trust airawyn, I'm posting it here.
via ginmar: the Parrotheads are mobilizing nationwide to bring relief to Katrina refugees.
katrinarelief is tracking relief efforts and grassroots efforts to bring aid to the hardest hit areas.
Now this is something you don't see every day. Jack Cafferty on CNN completely lost his shit on-air over the sluggish federal response to the tragedy unfolding in NOLA. CNN's Anderson Cooper also lost his shit. Cooper probably has the better excuse. He's been on the ground in NOLA since the whole thing began. Warning: High traffic at the site means that you might have a hard time getting the videos to play. Trust me. Both are jaw-droppingly impressive to see.
FEMA is taking the 'blame the victims' approach. With all due respect, most of the people who stayed in NOLA were dirt poor with no means to get out of the city or were people who couldn't leave because they had dependent family members. Yes, you had some people who wanted to "dance with Katrina," but I'd lay good money that three quarters of those people would've been gone if they had the means. Witness the number of people who descended on the Superdome or tried the "vertical evacuation" option. I've been in NOLA. Walk one or two blocks outside of the tourist areas (any tourist area) and you walk right into scary poverty. It's a city where you have money, or you don't. And for a city the size of NOLA, there weren't a whole lot of cars (by comparison with, say, NYC, Boston, or LA). The entire city was networked with mass transportation because that's how the vast majority of people got around. So, yeah. Shut-up and do your job instead of making excuses.
Furthermore, not all evacuees are equal in the eyes of rescue efforts. Just ask interdictor.
Fats Domino has been found and has been evacuated from the city. His condition is reportedly "good."
Offers of help from the international community are coming in. Given the article about Jamaica's offer of help being turned away, this needs to be repeated over and over. Maybe it'll put pressure on the administration to accept.
God bless, Houston. The first refugees have arrived at the Astrodome where conditions are controlled and much safer than the situation was in the Superdome, which turned very quickly into a real life disaster movie. To show my appreciation, I will refrain from making any jokes about Texas for a month. Maybe even two.
ETA: I spoke too soon. CNN is reporting that the Astrodome is now turning away NOLA refugees.
dawnmipb has more links about other states and cities stepping up to help.
The Senate has approved $10.5 billion in aid to the hurricane ravaged areas.
National Geographic has a 1994 article about NOLA's vulnerabilities in the face of a killer storm. The opening paragraphs, written last year, are an eerie repeat of today's news.
The Guardian has an excellent overview article about what went wrong with relief efforts. Worth the read.
via hernewshoes: matociquala is blogging news and information links about the Gulf States and Katrina in particular. Her sources are slightly less conventional than mine. While I am a loud and proud member of the People's Republic of Massachusetts, I've been fairly careful about finding links from mainstream news organizations and using those whenever possible. Her sources fall more on the left-wing side of the divide.
speaking of matociquala: she linkes to an article that explains, in excruciating detail the logistical nightmare Gulf Coast cities were faced with. The article also points out that we lost 9 major cities in Louisianna and Mississippi. The math is hard to read because it makes your head and heart hurt.
The Times-Picayune reporters and editors deserve medals for operating under fire and for using technology to continue reporting from NOLA. I've worked as a reporter during in much, much smaller natural disasters (one tornado, one hurricane, several nor'easters) and those were unbelievably hard to work. I can't imagine the hell these reporters and editors are going through as they watch their city crumble around them. And you know the paper's taking a huge financial hit to do its job. This is what a newspaper should be.