Katrina: First Things First

In regards to New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina, there is plenty of blame to go around. There are many of things that could have been done differently, that should have been done differently, that the city and the nation would have done differently if only they had known, but no one wins the woulda-shoulda-coulda game.

Later, after everyone has been safely evacuated from New Orleans and other affected areas, after the survivors have been reunited with their loved ones, after the dead have been removed from the streets, then we can more fully examine the situation, determine why such a disaster happened as it did, figure out the best way to prevent it from happening again, analyze the allocation of resources, and review the actions, or lack thereof, of the political leaders involved, but right now there are still thousands of people stranded in New Orleans, thousands more who are refugees, homeless, in critical need of basic supplies, and thousands who need information about their friends and families.

Now is the time for action. Not second-guessing.

Right now, New Orleans needs the rest of the nation. Right now, everyone needs to focus their attention on what needs to be done, using the resources they have available. Right now, everyone needs to save the Monday morning quarterbacking for later.

What you can do to help:

  1. Contact local chapters of the Red Cross, Salvation Army, as well as local churches and temples and donate whatever is needed most.
  2. Donate your time to the above organizations.
  3. In some areas, universities and other organizations are arranging for temporary housing for refugees. If you have a spare room, consider opening it. (As a caution, if you do this, go through a reputable charity or organization. Do not just make the arrangements on your own.)
  4. Donate blood or your time to a blood drive.

If anyone knows of any other ways to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina, please add to this list.


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