Friday, September 02, 2005

Hurricane efforts

My mom forwarded an email this morning from my cousin Kimberly who lives in Mobile, AL. While not hit as hard as New Orleans, it's been rough. They have been out of power for five days and while they have a back-up generator they can't buy gas to power it. She's been able to make it to work, but won't be able to go once the car's gas tank is empty. She said the devastation has been horrible, but realizes that it was much, much worse elsewhere.

There's a new grad assistant who is originally from Mississippi and said he's been impressed with the way Texans have responded to the emergency. The Astrodome in Houston is now so full with refugees that they are turning people away. Austin is taking it's share, but since we don't have a big center, we can't take as much. Now San Antonio has started taking refugees. Our schools are opening up to victims -- even the president of Texas State has said that we need to allow students who want to attend classes into our classes, despite the fact that we have been in session for two weeks now. I'm on some dog email lists and they are talking about finding shelter for displaced animals as well. People have brought their pets with them but the Austin hurricane shelter won't take them so an animal shelter has been set up outside the human shelter to take care of everyone's pets. You can't turn on a local radio station without hearing some sort of plea for donations to help the victims. Companies seem to be very generous.

The only thing that has bothered me about the situation is the way some folks are trying to politicized the devastation. Over the past few days on my commute to school I have been surfing the AM radio channels, listening to both the right- and left-wing talk shows. The liberals have been complaining about how the President has been slow to respond and trying to say that if this had been a biological terrorist attack that we would have been SOL. But on the conservative side I was actually hearing one guy yesterday talking about the racial and economic makeup of the folks left in New Orleans (i.e. poor and blacks). I'll admit I didn't hear what he was talking about because I had to change the channel.

These people have lost everything. I wish these pundents would do more than talk about this or that and actually do something to help in the relief efforts.

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