September 6th, 2005


Taking the night off, mostly

We've made contact with uncle Al -- he really, truly is okay and now in CA with his son, Scott. There are, apparently, still some Caserta cousins missing, but we do think they evacuated.

In process of working with Poynter and southern journalist assns to identify a family for our home.

Now the PSAs:

Please consider donating to direct-help organizations and shelters in states taking care of the displaced citizens of MS, LA, and AL -- I'm becoming nearly as disillusioned with Red Cross management as with FEMA. I liked the sound of the Clinton/Bush Sr. org meant to provide the state governor's with funding, but then I get scared as hell of Blanco getting her hands on money.

Finally, if you don't have money or objects to give, please *please* consider giving of your time and talent. Call the local school and see if they have evacuees that need help acculturating, maybe a ride around town to take care of business. Call a church or synagogue or your local Boy Scout troop. Offer to assist in their drive. If they tell you they aren't having one, offer to organize one. Gas stations will donate fuel, if asked. Truckers and movers will provide transport, if asked. Businesses will donate goods, if asked. But all that asking takes time. Get involved in the Wiki project at

ETA (copied from a wonderful comment by fenchurche below):
Even if you don't live anywhere near the area, that doesn't mean there's nothing locally you can do. I've been pleasantly surprised by all of the options available to us, even as far away as Seattle is from Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

We're already expecting around 500 evacuees in the Seattle area. The Red Cross is currently taking and training volunteers to help in the call centers and organizing information about survivors, plus to help with the evacuees when they arrive.

While I was away last week, my church got together and assembled personal hygiene kits with donated items from local businesses (deodorant, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, that sort of thing) that were then sent directly down to Alabama on donated transport. And this is from all the way across the country in Seattle.

There's a local group (Seattle) here gathering new and gently used stuffed toys and blankets, as well as crayons and coloring books to ship off to the various evacuation centers.

Donating blood is something you can do anywhere, and most likely your local blood bank has already shifted some of their resources to the affected area and will need help replenishing their own supply.

(end edit)

Roger, over and out.