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Katrina Help

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Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:46 pm    Post subject: Katrina Help Reply with quote

Pesto Man mentioned that there still so much to be done for recovery from Katrina. I thought I'd insert a separate post here so as not to hijack CB's interesting thread. But I really wanted to follow up on Pesto Man's post.

Here are some facts I picked up from the Comic Relief site:

• Amount committed to Katrina relief by the federal government: $85 billion
• Amount spent by FEMA to date specifically on housing assistance for hurricane victims: $3.31 billion
• Percentage of homes in New Orleans still lacking electricity: approximately 50
• Amount of debris yet to be picked up: 1/3
• Percentage of bus routes now operational: 49
• Amount given to Louisiana by the U.S. Dpet. of Education for charter schools since Katrina: $44.8 million
• Amount given for traditional public schools damaged by the storm: $0
• Number of destroyed miles on U.S. Highway 90 running along Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Pascagoula, MS: 100
• Amount of federal funding requested by the Army Corp of Engineers for Louisiana hurricane/flood protection programs in 2004: $105million
• Amount of money they actually received: $40million
• Amount of federal funding recently sent to Alaska that was requested to build a brige to an unihabited island: $231million
• Area covered by federal disaster declarations (in square miles): approximately 90,000
• Size of the United Kingdom (in square miles): approximately 93,000
• Number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) worldwide: 25million
• Number of persons displaced by Katrina from Louisiana: 645,000 to 1.1million
• Percentage of physicians who have left the city: 50
• Number of nurses gone: approximately 1,000
• Number of hospitals in Orleans Parish before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: 22
• Number operating as of August 2006: 11
• Percentage of mental health professionals who have left the city: 89
• Aproximate percent increase in New Orleans' suicide rate since Katrina: 300
• Total federal funds dispersed so far to rebuild homes: $0
• Number of homeowners in Louisiana on a waiting list for billions in federal rebuilding assistance through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program: 100,000
• Percentage of money that has been distributed: 0
• Percentage of homeowner Small Business Association disaster loans that have been fully paid after approval: 6.9
• Percentage of New Orleans public housing still closed: 80
• Number of jobs eliminated in the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina: 230,000
• Permanent employment loss in Louisiana: 100,000
• Percentage of businesses damaged or destroyed in Louisiana due to Katrina: 40
• Percentage of New Orleans small businesses destroyed by Katrina: 60
• By May 2006, number of loans the SBA had approved from Louisiana: 11,400
• Number of businesses that had actually received checks: 4,200

Horrific, but this sounds like what Steve told me when he came back from New Orleans several months ago. He said for every pic of recovery you could take, you could turn around 90 degrees through 270 degrees and take pix of continuing nightmare. He says New Orleans now consists of a narrow band of less-hard-hit and first repaired businesses and homes now called The Sliver on the River. You can read more info here:

Clearly, we've got to do better. I'm not sure how to. Perhaps Pesto Man can tell us what programs are making a difference and would be the most effective ways to deliver donations to relief for people living in the distressed area. Meanwhile, that link comes from Comic Relief who will be kicking off aid targeted for Katrina on Sept. 6.

I couldn't get any independent analysis of how effective Comic Relief's efforts are, tho I could see that their administrative costs are written off by corporate donors so all the money individuals contribute goes to relief programs. Perhaps someone can find how they delivered on previous efforts for homeless.

For those of us celebrating Thanksgiving, it seems like an appropriate time to express our gratitude in help for less fortunate folks. ...'cause our government seems to continue NOT to put Americans in distress first and if I were one of those people I don't know how long I could hang on. It's already been a year.
God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
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