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Archive for November, 2010

Hurricane Katrina Recovery – How You Can Help

20 Nov

The USA has not seen a natural disaster as bad as Hurricane Katrina in over 100 years and, although it has been many years now since it happened, are still recovering from the effects that it has had on the land, animals, people and resources of the area. Many people all over the world have been finding different ways in which they are able to reach out and help the victims of Katrina to recover and get back to their lives more quickly and easily. Here are some examples of ways in which you can help.

Finances – Of course, the most obvious thing that people can do is to donate money to the cause. This can be done through a number of different channels which can be found on the internet, local newspapers or media establishments.

Food and Water – Any donations of food and water are always helpful for the displaced people after the hurricane. The industry has been hit hard as the water has become contaminated and the agriculture destroyed. Food and water are a vital necessity for all the residents and any donations are very much appreciated.

Eye Glasses and Medical Supplies- Many people lost their glasses, hearing aids and disability aids in the hurricane and these are not easy to come by a lot of people. Any old or surplus equipment that anyone has is being sent over to the victims so that they can try to establish a safer and more secure environment for themselves.

Shelter – Although people are generally not in a position to offer shelter to people for long periods of time, people who have campervans or tents that they are not using have been asked to offer these facilities as make shift shelters for displaced families. It can offer them some comfort and protection which they have lost in the storm.

There are so many ways in which people can reach out and help the victims of Katrina, even after all this time, there are many people without homes, security or finances that are in need of help to survive. Not everyone is in a position to help in a major way, but any small donation that you can offer, of any kind of service, object or thought, will be much appreciated by the victims and their families. For any information about how you can help, contact the local media or church services for advice.

 
 

Hurricane Katrina and Disaster Preparedness

19 Nov

The terrible images that came out of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina have undoubtedly gotten many people thinking about disaster preparedness. Many people would like to know how they and their families can avoid the kind of suffering New Orleans residents experienced after the hurricane.

It is impossible to prepare for all disasters but there are a few simple things that people can do to be prepared. A little sensible disaster preparedness can help your family get through.

Disaster Supplies: Every household should have a few basic disaster supplies stored up. These include canned or dried food that you can eat without cooking. Flashlights and batteries, a battery powered radio, a first aid kit and a cook stove or heater that doesn’t require electricity to operate. Other items could include sleeping bags, fishing poles and tackle and a generator. If your family camps your camping equipment can suffice. If you live in a colder area keep warm clothing available. Residents of colder areas should also have a supply of wood or some other heating fuel available if gas or electricity goes out.

Disaster Plan: Create a basic plan of what to do if a disaster occurs. For example have a place for your family to meet if something goes wrong. If you think your area will have to be evacuated have an evacuation plan. Figure out what road you would take if you drive or if you can’t drive what alternate means are available. This could be a bus or a train. Also make sure that you have a plan for elderly or handicapped relatives or friends who live buy. For example plan to pick up elderly relatives and take them with you. Decide where to go beforehand. Have some additional gasoline available as well.

Money: Something most people forget to think about is money. Even after a disaster you will still need it. After Katrina many people with good jobs weren’t able to buy essentials because credit cards didn’t work. This means you should have some cash available. A few hundred dollars will be all you need. Don’t keep a lot of cash in your home and don’t show it to others. Instead go and get cash from the bank if you think a disaster is coming. It might also be a good idea to keep $100 or $200 in cash in your home. Another good thing to would be one or two emergency credit cards to take with you.

 
 

Have an Evacuation Plan

19 Nov

The most vivid images most of us have of Hurricane Katrina are those of all the people who were trapped in New Orleans after the hurricane. These people and their families got trapped because they didn’t have an evacuation plan.

An evacuation plan is a plan to get out of your area fast if there is some sort of disaster.

If you live in a place prone to hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes or other catastrophes you should definitely have an evacuation plan for yourself and your family.

The first step in creating an evacuation plan is to take a look at the maps of your area and plan ways out. Take a look at the roads and highways that lead out of your areas and find the best way out. Something to remember is that major highways such as interstates often get blocked by traffic jams during disasters. This means it is a good idea to look for other routes out of your community.

You should also plan where to go for example to a relative’s home. Decide if you want to drive straight there or to drive to an airport or a train station in another community. Something to consider is that such facilities are often jammed in disasters.

As part of your plan you should decide what you plan to take with you. Definitely plan to bring copies of important documents such as birth certificates and insurance policies. Also have some sort of record of your all your banking and investment accounts and how to access them with you. To save space you can save all of this data as digital images and put it on a flash drive or a laptop computer.

Two items you should definitely bring with you are a laptop and a cell phone. Before you go should definitely call somebody at your destination and tell them when you’re coming. Make sure that a person there has your cell phone number so they can check on you.

You should also make plans for elderly, handicapped and other friends, relatives or neighbors who can’t get out. If possible you should plan to pick elderly relatives and bring them along.

Finally you should make sure that you have a dependable vehicle available and enough gasoline. Therefore it might be a good idea to have one or two gas cans available before you leave.