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Katrina Aftermath

By Remy Benoit

I suppose that those of you who have never been through something like Katrina may find it difficult to understand that those who have will never be quite the same. It has been over two months now, and things are quite far from normal here.

All through this, we have been told "help is on the way," but in so very many situations, there are many, many still waiting. "Domestic tranquility" has yet to be achieved.

One expects when chaos reigns that you need to be able to tend to your immediate needs if that is at all possible. That is what we did here, but what if your home is under 11 feet of water for three weeks, and there is nothing to go back to, to rebuild? What if your home just isn't there anymore at all?

What if you are ordered to evacuate and have no car, no money? In this kind of situation, there is no cash available at banks; no electric, often no phones, no cells, no "communications" like your PC; there is no gas available very quickly to run cars or generators and that means no water if you have a well. You hear on the radio, for those who have city water, "boil your water." On what?

I have seen the horrors of the tornadoes ripping through parts of this country and my heart goes out to those who have suffered through this.

There is something that isn't working. There is a lack of coordination; a huge gap in response time and efficacy. It is something we all need to think about because you just never know when the next event will occur, when the next victim will be you.

The same is true with our care for the Veterans. Parades are fine, but they don't pay for medication, wheelchairs, kidney machines, food, rent, mortgages, child raising.

We need to reassess some of our priorities.

From the AP and MSNBC Rent snafus plague hurricane evacuees FEMA says help is coming, but many in region angrily express their doubts. I can't help but wonder how many people still around know the origins of the second word in this headline. Perhaps they described the situation more aptly than intended!

From the Washington Post The Gulf Coast in Katrina's Wake.

Katrina's Aftermath. These pictures are heart rending, but seeing them you can't hear the pain pouring from the hearts of the people who used to live in them.

One of them is a very dear friend of mine. To you, Happy Birthday! It is going to get better. Remember, we are "can do" people. Your words, my dear!

From French Quarter Fiction The New Orleans Literary Institute KARES: Katrina Arts Relief and Emergency Support. and :French Quarter Fiction: Newest Stories of America's Oldest Bohemia.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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