CommunityPam's House Blend

Hurricanes by numbers

My friends at Facing South, the blog of the Institute for Southern Studies and Southern Exposure magazine has its index of interesting factoids up, this time a revealing comparison of the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons.

INSTITUTE INDEX – A Tale of Two Hurricane Seasons

* Amount of aid President Bush immediately requested after hurricanes hit Florida in September 2004: $12 billion

* Number of hours after Hurricane Charley made landfall in Florida that Bush authorized federal assistance: 1

* Date in September that a FEMA consultant wrote a memo suggesting steps to ensure the Florida hurricanes not become a “liability” for the president’s re-election: 2

* Days after the memo that FEMA announced the pre-storm deployment of “a powerful list of disaster response personnel, equipment and supplies” in Florida for Hurricane Frances, including 100 truckloads of ice and water: 2

* Amount of Florida hurricane aid that government investigators later concluded was “questionable,” including housing disbursements to families that had not asked for it: $31 million

* Number of hours after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast that FEMA authorized dispatching employees to the region: 5
* Number of days they were allowed to take before arriving there:2

* Number of days after Hurricane Katrina struck that administration was “still assessing” amount of aid to request: 4

* Amount that the administration requested for Hurricane Katrina, the worst in history, after four days: $10 billion

All sources on file at the Institute.

***

Also the newsletter includes information on organizations you can give to that are on the ground in the affected areas that are doing good work:

Here at the Institute, we’ve received many emails and calls from people wanting to know what groups are doing good work at the grassroots level to support those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

We asked some of our friends and allies for suggestions, and they gave us some great ideas. Here are some resources for contributing to community/labor/progressive groups that have close ties to the region and are making a real difference. We’ll expand on the list in future issues. Please be as generous as you can — they need all the help they can get!

Baton Rouge Area Foundation
http://www.braf.org/

Louisiana Environmental Action Network
http://www.leanweb.org

Moore Community House (Biloxi, MS)
c/o Children’s Defense Fund
P. O. Box 11437
Jackson, MS 39236-1437

People’s Hurricane Fund/Community Labor United (Louisiana/Mississippi)
http://www.qecr.org./index.html

National Organizers Alliance
http://www.noacentral.org

Southern Empowerment Project
http://www.southernempowerment.org/

Sparkplug Foundation
http://www.sparkplugfoundation.org/katrinarelief.html

Again, a plug for ISS and Southern Exposure…the organization will be sponsoring investigative reporters in Louisiana and Mississippi to cover the real stories about people affected by Katrina, and get the inside scoop on the political and economic decisions being made in the aftermath of this national story.

You can help support the effort by going to www.southernstudies.org.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding