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'Confusion reigned in Katrina's aftermath. A state-of-the-art mobile hospital developed with Homeland Security grants to respond to disasters and staffed by 100 doctors and paramedics was left stranded in Mississippi because Louisiana officials would not let it deploy to New Orleans.
Red Cross officials say the organization was well positioned to provide food, water and hygiene products to the thousands stranded in New Orleans. But the state refused to let them deliver the aid. '


'Incredibly, we now know that even though the Red Cross was ready to bring food and water to the Superdome the day after the storm, Governor Blanco actually barred them from doing so! She didn’t want to encourage the survivors to stay at the Superdome due to such relief, but somehow thought they should disperse back into the flooded city once the hurricane passed.

President Bush pleaded with Governor Blanco that same day after the storm to get the National Guard into New Orleans. Not much happened. Seeing this, he asked her to give him Federal authority over the state’s Guard. She refused. As a result, the Guard didn’t show up in force in the city until near the end of the week.'




( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 10th, 2005 01:10 pm (UTC)
the red cross
Last night I spoke w my sister, who spoke w niece Mae. Mae is in Waveland, MS which is halfway between Gulfport and Slidell, LA. She is officially with the Red Cross, not w Americorps. Mae reports that the area is devastated beyond recognition ("houses are in trees"). She is in a sleeping bag on a gym floor of an elementary school and her task is to hand out food and water.

She seems to be more distressed at the lack of leadership within the Red Cross than at the physical devastation from the storm. Her caravan of provisions were given incorrect directions on how to get from Biloxi to Waveland resulting in hours lost and the need to call in an escort. After arriving they were given a partner, a truck and supplies and told "go forth and distribute" but not told where... resulting in many of the teams double feeding some populations and missing others. They show up with food and water, but someone else from the Red Cross was there 30 minutes before. She reported that many people have the attitude of "f*ck the Red Cross, I want my $2000 FEMA promised me" which they aren't going to get. Fighting bad information seems to be priority one.

They have a curfew since attacks on the RC volunteers are growing more frequent in the area and the RC is not proactive regarding their safety. On the plus side, her partner is "a very large football player" and Mae feels safe with him. Also on the plus side is a strong military presence. Mae feels that if, for some reason, they are caught out after curfew, the National Guard would be right on it and escort them back to the school. The final plus is that the school has electricity so cell phones can stay charged.

Mae wants to take it upon herself to make up maps and divide the area for organized distribution. Go Mae! The good thing about leadership vacuums is that great people step up.

And Bx, if you do get called to go down... the RC told Mae after she was down there that she should have gotten vaccinations before. You're probably not into vaccinations, but diseases are starting to spread, including Hep C.
Sep. 12th, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC)
It is about good info.
They are able to get $$$ from FEMA, just not in the form of a debit card. FEMA has more than 3000 people handling calls 24 hours a day. They'll send checks or can do direct deposits, or will send your check to a gov. location near you where you can go show ID and sign for it.

Sep. 12th, 2005 11:26 pm (UTC)
Re: It is about good info.
Good info getting to those that really need it. You'd think the Red Cross wouldn't be so chaotic, and that they'd have all the #s for people. There is unprecedented aid avail. thru the Labor Dept as well that many folks are missing signing up for, so far. I hope the RC problems are localized to the particular group in Waveland.

Good for Mae, she is a very cool young woman. I hope she gets that Hep A and C vac. soon! They shouldn't be letting people start work down there without those and a Tetnus shot.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Bjamexza Q. Pyndejo / James O. Payne, Jr.
Bxiie Q. Pyndejo

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