Editor’s Note: This is a commentary on my impressions of initial relief efforts and response by FEMA, the Red Cross, and National Guard. I wrote it about Saturday, September 17, 2005, but did not publish it at the time. It appears here on-line for the first time.
Some commentary on the response time by emergency crews after the storm passed.
I have online access again today, so I can catch up on real news and do some posts! Many people have asked how to help (in comments to my previous posts) I have spent some of my time these past few days researching relief efforts here.
The week went by in a blur. It seemed that every day we worked all day without stopping, and still it seemed like we had not accomplished anything. We had no electricity and tap water was unsafe for drinking although we did have enough pressure to get wash and flushing water. We didn’t bother to lock our house when we left for the evenings – most anything we could salvage was already outside drying out, so locking the door was pointless. I didn’t even carry my wallet this first week. All I was wearing each day was a pair of shorts or swim trunks, T-shirt, and sneakers without socks. The week was hot, with temperatures in the high 90’s, and I remember coming close to getting dehydrated several times.