Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Accounting for Katrina's Dead


How do we fully account for the people killed by Hurricane Katrina? Should we count the kidney dialysis patient who died when treatment was interrupted? What about a despondent evacuee who committed suicide months after leaving New Orleans? Or the suspected looter shot in the street?

More importantly, what happens to our understanding of the storm's impact on society if these and other uncounted are added to the list of those who drowned?

These are the questions John Mutter, deputy director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, hopes to answer through a new project that seeks to compile an online list of all Gulf Coast residents who died as a result of direct and indirect effects of the storm, and as a result of the victims' social standing or decisions made by policy makers.

The list is now freely available on the Internet.

Monday, February 20, 2006


This is a free space for Gulf Coast artists in the tri-state area affected by Hurricane Katrina to post information about their work, to let customers know where they are now and to sell their work online. If you would like to feature your work here, e-mail katrinaartists AT at@gmail.comfor more information.

Though much attention is focused on rebuilding efforts after the hurricane, many don't realize the full extent to which local artists depended on a thriving local economy to survive. Art vendors often sold work to tourists who flocked to the areas for wonderful food, beach getaways, quaint shopping areas and gambling.

Many artists do not have the time (or the money) to wait for the area to rebuild. They need our support now. This site is not asking for donations - we are simply asking you to support Gulf Coast artists by buying their work...and working to make that easier for you to do.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

New Orleans Today: It's Worse Than You Think (Time)

Neighborhoods are still dark, garbage piles up on the street, and bodies are still being found. The city's pain is a nation's shame


On Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, the neon lights are flashing, the booze is flowing, and the demon demolition men of Hurricane Katrina are ogling a showgirl performing in a thong. The Bourbon House is shucking local oysters again, Daiquiri's is churning out its signature alcoholic slushies, and Mardi Gras masks are once again on sale. But drive north toward the hurricane-ravaged housing subdivisions off Lake Pontchartrain and the masks you see aren't made for Carnival. They are industrial-strength respirators, stark and white, the only things capable of stopping a stench that turns the stomach and dredges up bad memories of a night nearly three months ago. Most disasters come and go in a neat arc of calamity, followed by anger at the slow response, then cleanup. But Katrina cut a historic deadly swath across the South, and rebuilding can't start until the cleanup is done. In much of New Orleans, the leafy coverage of live oaks is gone. Lingering in the sky instead is a fine grit that tastes metallic to the tongue. Everyone's life story is out on the curb, soaked and stinky—furniture and clothing, dishes and rotting drywall, even formerly fabulous antiques. Dump trucks come periodically to remove the piles, taking some to a former city park, now a heap of rubbish several football fields long, towering above the head. The smell is sweet, horrific.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Confessions and Advice, After the Storm (Wired Campus Blog)

By Chronicle of Higher Education

John D. Lawson, the chief information officer at Tulane University, garnered a standing ovation from a crowd at the Higher Education Leadership Forum, a two-day event sponsored by The Chronicle and Gartner. His talk covered in detail Tulane's preparation for Hurricane Katrina and the issues the university dealt with in the aftermath.

Mr. Lawson opened with a picture of the projected path of Hurricane Wilma, and then he started in. His talk was peppered with advice for CIO's and presidents, and also contained a good deal of true confessions. "We didn't really understand the scope of the disaster that could hit us," he said. He also admitted that Tulane's communications plan was not as robust as it should have been. He advised the audience to have a plan to rely on multiple cellphone vendors (he carries three phones) since the lines will likely be clogged. He also told the crowd to have an old-fashioned radio-communications system available, as that would be more reliable than telephones. Tulane had backed up its systems and arranged for the evacuation of those back-up tapes. But, he confessed, the tapes were stored in a downtown building that was locked before the pickup could occur.

He said that Tulane reacted to the disaster by establishing central control. Deans of schools within the university can't worry about their individual needs, he said, and egos need to come second to the survival of the institution. Mission-critical operations need to be preserved first -– keep public-relations staff close, re-establish e-mail for critical staff, and know how to handle payroll and billing. Take control of your destiny, he said –- don't wait for the government or insurance companies to come to the rescue. He told presidents to watch out for wild rumors, and he told CIO's to relay information accurately, no matter how dire. "Have a thick skin and a soft heart," he told his peers. "You are going to be the hero and the goat –- and often the hero and the goat at the same time."

He also said a college needs to show concern for its people. A disaster is as taxing mentally and emotionally as it is financially. And he ended on a tearjerker, saying that colleges hit by disasters should keep in mind the suffering of the people around them. He showed a news clip of an interview with a man whose wife was torn from his arms when Katrina floodwaters ripped their house apart. Before she disappeared into the water, she told him to take care of the kids.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Free Medical Journal Articles on Impact of Katrina (BeSpacific)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Relief Resources: LawHelp

This page provides links to both general relief resources as well as legal resources and information on nonprofit legal services providers in states affected by Hurricane Katrina. You may also wish to visit

Katrina spawned plague of misinformation (USA Today)

One thing can be said for certain about what it was like in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina roared through:

Much of what was reported as fact by government officials and the media during the chaotic first week afterward turned out to be fiction.

Myths and misinformation multiplied, from how many people died to what conditions were really like inside the Louisiana Superdome.

"If you don't have accurate information ... you could be making bad decisions and just creating the next disaster," says Ken Murphy, director of Oregon's Office of Emergency Management and a director at the National Emergency Management Association. ( more...)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Site helps bring legal aid to Katrina victims

Working to facilitate the fair distribution of disaster benefits to New Orleans victims of Hurricane Katrina is the goal of The New Orleans Coalition for Legal Aid and Disaster Relief . The coalition, developed through the efforts of Tulane Law School faculty, students and alumni, seeks to bring together resources from all parts of the legal community. Membership and participation is open to anyone -- especially lawyers and law students -- who want to help with relief efforts.

The coalition's Web site provides forms for those in need of legal help to request it and for lawyers to volunteer their assistance. It also provides information on sources of legal and benefits assistance. Eventually it will include a blog.

Beyond providing legal help, the coalition plans to serve as a watchdog and oversight group to ensure that public and private resources are distributed on an equitable basis. It also will conduct research on topics relevant to the relief effort, such as benefit programs, insurance and bankruptcy.
Grace Lee

Thursday, October 06, 2005

American Diaspora - Katrina

Fleeing Katrina

To map the mass exodus from the Gulf Coast, ePodunk analyzed more than 40,000 messages posted on the Internet by survivors of the storm.
"Family is safe! House is lost! Kids are in Indiana with grandparents."

We looked at Web "safe lists," including those maintained by CNN, craig's list and MSNBC, and recorded data from every message in which the poster included his hometown and a city and state where he had found refuge.

An advantage of compiling data this way, rather than through official reports from agencies such as FEMA, is that these reports include not only people who were in shelters, but also those who were able to leave on their own, before and after the hurricane.

In our analysis, people reported moving to 724 cities in 46 states. Many expressed an intention to move on from their temporary quarters, so the map would likely to change with time.

Our sample, while sizeable, is not a complete picture, nor is it intended to reflect the numbers of people moving to a city. Houston, for example, experienced a much greater influx than Seattle.

However, the map does provide a graphic representation of the nationwide impact of such a huge migration. Indeed, repercussions will be felt beyond national borders. Eventual destinations mentioned in postings included Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and the UK.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Photos of Damage in Mississippi (LISNews)

The Council of State Historical Records Coordinators has posted Photos of Damage in Mississippi from Hurricane Katrina . These photos were taken September 18-20, 2005, during a visit by a team from the archival community. They include visits to the Biloxi Public Library, City of Bay St. Louis, Hancock County Historical Society, and Waveland. A preliminary report on a trip by Miss. Archivists is also online.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Roundup of Immigrants in Shelter Reveals Rising Tensions (Wall Street Journal)

October 3, 2005; Page B1


LONG BEACH, Miss. -- Last Wednesday, police and the U.S. Marshals Service swept into a Red Cross shelter for hurricane refugees here. They blocked the parking lot and exits and demanded identification from about 60 people who looked Hispanic, including some pulled out of the shower and bathroom, according to witnesses. The shelter residents were told to leave within two days or else they would be deported.

"They asked me where I wanted to go: to Houston, Atlanta or back to Mexico," said Jose Luis Rivera, 39 years old and an undocumented construction worker from Veracruz, Mexico. Mr. Rivera said he had been sleeping in a tent outside the large shelter building since Hurricane Katrina struck just over a month ago, flooding his second-story apartment in nearby Pass Christian and destroying all his belongings, including a pickup truck. "I lost everything I own in the storm. But they said they didn't care. They told us that if we didn't leave they would return on Friday with buses to take us away," he said.

Fearful they would be forced to leave the country, Mr. Rivera and most of the other Hispanic men left the Red Cross shelter the next morning. Local contractors agreed to house workers they are hiring for cleanup work and other jobs in tents at worksites. Mr. Rivera set up his tent at a Baptist church that told him it had room for Hispanics from the shelter. ( MORE...)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Shelter/Housing Needed for Evacuee in Minden, LA

Evacuee from Baton Rouge, currently at a shelter in Minden, LA which
will be shutting down needs a place to stay in Miden. 1st preference
of permanent or temporary shelter/housing is Minden. Evacuee and her
family needs financial assistance but first priority is somewhere to
stay at. If you are located in Minden, LA and are in a position to
help out, please contact Brenda Pool at +13183779310. Address of the
shelter at which she is currently at is: 216 Camps Smokehouse Rd,
Minden, LA 71055

If you can't get through to Brenda, please email the KatrinaHelp team
on with subject line as 'Help-Minden,LA' or
call us on +15042081564 and we will get your offer of kind assistance
in to her.


The KatrinaHelp Team

+15042081564 -- local to Tulane, LA
24hrs/day & International

Friday, September 30, 2005

Operation Eden blog

A personal chronicle of what hurricane Katrina has done to my poor proud people. Scroll all the way to the bottom, and travel with me through this.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

St B Middle School / Mansion 2 eyewitness accounts

These 2 people have no internet access to send these accounts and asked to do it for them-but these are their words with nothing omitted or added-and i am just replaying their accounts- please do not brush this off and let it be forgotten by the happy fluffy stories. Local police corruption and calusness should be known by the St. Bernard Parish residents and taxpayers whos money will be used to rebuild their parish.

2) Please Help please call Frank, 504-701-3233. He needs advice and if anyone want to go with him to gather the evidence and document/video tape evidence. Please help.The day of hurrican Katrina, 6 dogs were put into Sebastien Roy School on Bayou Rd. in St. Bernard Parish. This was the only safe place to put the dogs. These were full bred pit bulls, well trained, my brother has bred them for fifteen years. Poncho, the head male was eight years old and superbly trained. Cheyenne was pregnant and near the birth. The others were three females, three years, five months, and seven months and a male who was five months. Yesterday my brother was able to enter the parish and go see for his dogs. This is what he found: The head male and and the three females were shot dead, shell casings litter the area. They appear to have been dead for at least two weeks. The young male, a five month puppy, was locked in a room and found dead. This dog was left to starve, which he did. The mother had given birth to three puppies, all were found locked in a stairwell with no water or food. The puppies were well, but the mother was near death, never has he seen a dog as skinny as she was. My brother is furious at the murder of his animals and intends to return tomorrow to photograph the evidence and take any legal action that he can. He was told by a first hand witness that the St. Bernard Sheriff dept. did the shooting. This was not necessary. We can understand that the head male might have to be put down because he would defend his family, but the others were puppies, they would not hurt anyone. Please call Frank, 504-701-3233. He needs advice and if anyone want to go with him to gather the evidence. Please help.

1) I found all of the dogs that were in that huge mansion Beauregard Middle School in St Bernard parish. dead. Most chained with curtain cords. Some appeared to have been shot. Mother dog laying dead on her dead pup. Pure horror..There were people staying in there for a long time too. It looks like about a 20 foot wall of water came through there. I found desperate scribblings on the wall about peoples pets. Angel was one of them. I didn't find any beagles (Hunter) but I found a brown collar with tags that had been chewed off and the dog was gone. There were fresh dog tracks in the mud in the newer part of the school in the back but when we went in there there was a lot of water, it hurt our lungs to breathe, so we walked the murky halls calling and no dogs came. I think a couple of mini schnauzers and a dachsund were rescued for I saw a note scribbled on the wall by Nat. guard saying they took those dogs to baton rough. I photographed everything including the pleas written on the walls....The people held up there lived in squallor, it was a scene from hell."

Marilyn McGee, animal rescuer

Animal Rescue Efforts at Fever Pitch - National Guard to Assist

Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada), a licensed veterinarian, announced today that the National Guard will begin escorting animal rescue crews in Louisiana. This report was greeted with relief by internet animal rescuers. The posts are flying at nearly one a minute at's pet rescue forum following reports of wholesale animal slaughter in St. Bernard's parish. A $5,000 reward (
is being offered for information leading to the conviction of anyone
The KatrinaHelp Team

+15042081564 -- local to Tulane, LA
24hrs/day & International