Showing posts with label Hurricane Gustav. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hurricane Gustav. Show all posts

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Red Cross Disaster Relief Down $100 Million

Red Cross Disaster Relief Down $100 Million
Local chapter committed to $100,000 for national relief fund

By Chuck Hagee, Gazette Packet
Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wall Street and Main Street aren't the only financial victims of the economic downturn. Add to the list the Disaster Relief Fund of the American Red Cross. It is in the hole $100 million due to one of the most active disaster years in its history.

Although the fund is actually $200 million in the hole, Congress supplied $100 million. It is now up to the American Red Cross, through its local chapters, to raise the additional $100 million, according to Lissette S. Bishins, executive director, Alexandria Chapter, American Red Cross.

"I expect this to be another rough fund raising year due to the national economic situation. We are committed to raising $100,000 for the national Disaster Relief Fund," she said during a media briefing October 16 at the local headquarters office.

"We also didn't do very well this year at our largest fund raising event, the annual Waterfront Festival. We only netted $15,000 due to the bad weather and lack of attendance," Bishins said.

Bishins took over the reins of the local chapter last November after a series of personnel turnovers. Upon her arrival she found the chapter $200,000 in debt, but was able to reduce that to $30,000 by the beginning of the new fiscal year, July 1, 2008. The local annual budget is $900,000, according to Bishins.

"We have more engaged volunteers today than we have had in a long time and we are much more involved in the community. That will increase in the year ahead," Bishins said.

Some of the events planned are a volunteer celebration October 29 at the local headquarters, a "Restaurant Night" brunch fund raiser at Tempo Restaurant November 2, a Breakfast of Champions November 18, accelerated blood drives to strengthen their ability to provide 50 percent of the city's blood supply, and a new military hospital outreach program in which the local chapter will be collecting new items for the Fort Belvoir Wounded Warrior Military Transition Unit.

Presently, the local chapter has a roster of 500 active volunteers. Seventeen of those were deployed to the Gulf Coast region during 2008 for hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike, according to Bishins. Several are still there providing relief services.

In addition, the local chapter has provided upwards of 10 volunteers to staff the Red Cross Disaster Relief Call Center located in Ashburn. It receives calls from evacuees and residents in a disaster zone and directs assistance to them.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gustav taking a mental toll on some residents

Gustav taking a mental toll on some residents

Posted: Sep 9, 2008 06:29 AM EDT

By Caroline Moses

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Recovery from Gustav can be traumatic, and with another storm looming just outside the gulf, the pressure is on. Many of us are feeling worn out and nervous. Some of it is left over from Gustav, but also because Ike is approaching the Gulf of Mexico. Mental health experts say these feelings are normal and even common for south Louisianians.

Latonia Dunbar's house was severely damaged by Hurricane Gustav. So now, she questions the stability of Louisiana's weather and her safety. "It keeps you on edge," she says. She also says her questions have taken a serious toll on her mental well-being. "When sky cloud and rain down, never thought would have flashback or PSTD thing going on."

"Feeling despondent, angry, rageful, depressed, isolated. Those are normal reactions." Dr. Daphne Cain teaches and studies post traumatic stress disorder at LSU. She says high anxiety is particularly common for those who have already experienced large storms, and for children. She says there are actions you can take to minimize those feelings. "Try to push yourself to be social with people, with family and friends, to reach out and connect ‘cause that can be helpful in lowering anxiety."
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ohio National Guard deploy to Louisiana

1,500 Ohio guardsmen to deploy for cleanup

The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday Sep 3, 2008 8:39:04 EDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio National Guard is sending 1,500 troops to Louisiana to help with the cleanup following Hurricane Gustav.

Guard spokesman James Sims said the deployment could begin Thursday or Friday. Units from Columbus, Newark and Coshocton will be among those sending troops.

Last week, the Guard sent a CH-47 Chinook helicopter and five crew members from a battalion based in Akron at the request of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. The crew went to help the state prepare for Gustav, which hit the Gulf Coast on Monday.


Army, Air Force pounce into action on Gustav

By Kris Osborn - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Sep 3, 2008 8:35:04 EDT

Army medium tactical trucks are hauling food, water and supplies to Gustav-damaged areas. Black Hawk and Kiowa Warrior helicopters are patrolling from the skies on search-and-rescue missions looking for victims. And Air Force planes have evacuated up to 16,000 residents — all as the U.S. military draws upon its home-stationed assets to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency respond to Hurricane Gustav, a Category 2 storm that rocked the Gulf coast of Louisiana on Monday.

The Army National Guard has been called upon by the governors of four states, sending more than 10,000 troops to Gustav-impacted areas. Deployments include 3,400 troops in Louisiana, up to 5,000 in Texas, and 3,000 in Alabama.

Overall, the National Guard has twice as much of the needed equipment to respond to hurricanes along the Gulf Coast compared with three years ago, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, said Maj. Gen. William Etter, the director of domestic operations for the National Guard Bureau, at a FEMA briefing Friday.
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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pets part of the deal this time for Gustav

Sylvania Moore is all smiles as she's assured that she and pet dog Buddy will get out of New Orleans safely as Hurricane Gustav threatens the city Saturday, August 30, 2008. State employee Rena Smith, right, is there to help. (UPI Photo/A.J. Sisco) Slideshow

Louisiana delegation torn between family, duty

updated 10 minutes ago

Louisiana delegation torn between family, duty
Story Highlights
Some Louisiana Republican delegates have already returned home
McCain campaign chartered a flight for delegates to return home
Louisiana state party chairman says McCain has been "extremely helpful"
Louisiana will cast all 47 votes during roll call vote, chairman vows

By Scott J. Anderson Senior Political Producer

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) -- With Hurricane Gustav bearing down on their state, Louisiana delegates to the Republican National Convention on Sunday were torn between party duty and concern for family back home.

With the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina still fresh in their minds, many delegates returned home to help their families or, as elected officials, their communities evacuate, said Louisiana state party chairman Roger F. Villere, Jr.

But the delegates also knew they had a responsibility to Louisiana's Republican voters to cast the state's 47 votes to make sure the party's presumptive nominee, Sen. John McCain, is on the ballot in Louisiana in November.

"We've got a job to do. We're caught in the crossfire," said alternative delegate Donald Moriatry, II of Alexandria, Louisiana, said.

As the delegation was briefed by representatives from the McCain campaign at its hotel in east Minneapolis, Minnesota, delegates called home to talk with family members about evacuation plans and watched as the big, red center of Gustav headed towards New Orleans on cable news channels.

All conversation ceased when Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal appeared on the screen to discuss the state's emergency preparations.
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Michael Moore's letter to God about Gustav

Michael, I know your heart is in the right place and you were thinking about James Dobson asking his flock to pray for rain on the Democrats gathered outside for Obama's speech, but Michael and all my Democratic friends out there, this is not something to make light of nor is it an opportunity to challenge God. It was wrong of Dobson to ask God for something bad to happen to other people. What can we expect from a man who indulges in appearing as a pastor when he isn't trained or ordained as one? He has his own interpretation of God and very little knowledge of the love of Christ. Forget about him, let's get back to you.

We all need to pray for the people who are in the path of Gustav.

Pray for the first responders who are waiting to rush in to help anyone in need. They are ready to help people, not political party members, not people based on financial means, not based on religious beliefs, but all of God's children in harms way.

Pray for the National Guards and the Police officers as they try to keep people calm and evacuate them as easily as possible while they leave everything they own behind once more.

Pray all that was promised waiting to help the people in the states watching the sky for Gustav will have that help as promised.

Pray for the elderly who have chosen not to leave.

Pray the Republicans do what they say they will do and turn their convention into a helpful time instead of a time to celebrate.

Pray for this nation to once more become a nation of one out of many where we are all Americans again and in this together.

Michael, use the goodness and talent God blessed you with for good.

Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

Michael Moore's letter to God

Two days after saying that the fact that Hurricane Gustav could hit New Orleans on the same day the Republicans open their national convention was "proof that there is a God in heaven," filmmaker Michael Moore today sought to clarify his remarks with "An Open Letter to God, from Michael Moore," on his Web site.
The text includes:
Now, heavenly Father, we all know You have a great sense of humor and impeccable timing. To send a hurricane on the third anniversary of the Katrina disaster AND right at the beginning of the Republican Convention was, at first blush, a stroke of divine irony. I don't blame You, I know You're angry that the Republicans tried to blame YOU for Katrina by calling it an "Act of God" -- when the truth was that the hurricane itself caused few casualties in New Orleans. Over a thousand people died because of the mistakes and neglect caused by humans, not You. Continue reading "Filmmaker Michael Moore expands on Gustav comments" »

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Orleans evacuating people and pets this time

Gulf Coast residents flee 'extremely dangerous' Gustav
Story Highlights
NEW: New Orleans mayor "strongly, strongly encouraging everyone in this city to evacuate"
Gustav's winds were nearly 145 mph as it gets ready to slam Cuba
Hurricane center calls Gustav "extremely dangerous"
Thousands flee Gulf Coast; Gustav could hit Monday or Tuesday

BELLE CHASE, Louisiana (CNN) -- As Hurricane Gustav's winds reached up to 145 mph on its predicted path to the U.S. Gulf Coast -- ravaged in 2005 by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita -- residents headed inland in droves.

"This makes Gustav an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale," the National Hurricane Center said.

In New Orleans, still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, anxiety was high.

"I am strongly, strongly encouraging everyone in this city to evacuate," New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said at a news conference Saturday. "Start the process now."

"I'm not sure where I'm going," Margie Hawkins of New Orleans told CNN as she stood outside Union Passenger Terminal, where people were waiting to be transported out of New Orleans.

However, she was not fazed.

"I am confident and positive that the city will arrange a good place," she said, her small dog Bubbles yipping at her feet. Unlike the runup to Katrina, officials are allowing people to take their pets with them.

"My last 24 hours have been somewhat worrisome and very, very prayerful, because this is a very serious threat, and it's a lot of people to get to safe ground or be safe where they are," Hawkins said.
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Louisiana National Guard gets ready for Gustav

La. Guard braces for Gustav

Posted : Friday Aug 29, 2008 10:59:44 EDT

About 3,000 members of the Louisiana National Guard have been put on notice as part of the state’s preparations for a possible Gustav landfall next week.

The soldiers will be pre-staged at several armories so they can be quickly deployed, said Gen. Bennett Landreneau, commander of the Guard. That number could increase to 5,000, if needed, he said.

“Right now, with a storm a possible threat to Louisiana, we have called all of our soldiers in the Army and Air National Guard to be prepared for a possible alert,” said Cpt. Taysha Deaton-Gibbs, Department of Public Affairs Officer. “They know they need to be ready at a moment’s notice.”

No units had been activated as of Wednesday morning, but that could change quickly.

“We are prepping our response vehicles and equipment, so we’ll be able to take immediate action,” Deaton-Gibbs said. “We are being prepared in case further development occurs. Right now, we’re looking at ‘H’ hours. If the storm is to hit Tuesday, that could start tomorrow.”

“H” hours signify when the hurricane would hit and the Guard would be in action.

The Guard will be included in a meeting set today with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
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Gulf coast residents flee Gustav with memories of Katrina

Gulf Coast residents flee deadly Gustav
Thousands of residents hit the road this morning as deadly Hurricane Gustav threatened Cuba and stayed on track to slam into the Gulf Coast sometime late Monday or early Tuesday. The powerful Category 3 storm is raising memories of catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans almost exactly three years ago. full story