Since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, I have been absolutely shocked by the magnitude of destruction left in her wake. In California, we’ve experienced our share of natural disasters, including the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. While the damage from that earthquake was extensive, it did not force the evacuation of a major American city or disperse countless families into neighboring states away from their homes, possessions and careers. The manpower, resources and infrastructure needed to handle such a mass migration is unfathomable.
Hurricane Katrina also demonstrated the limitations of our current technologies. Once the power shuts down, the cellular phones go down as well. And, without a communication system in place, the process of contacting family members or coordinating relief efforts proves to be exponentially more challenging.
Fortunately, many Web sites have emerged in the past few days to help survivors reconnect with their family members. Let me share with you some Web sites that I’ve visited to keep up with Hurricane Katrina news.
- American Red Cross. The American Red Cross is one of the organizations leading relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina victims. You can make an online donation from their web site. The Red Cross also features an RSS Feed of current news and press releases.
- Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund. Established by former Presidents Bush and Clinton to provide relief and rebuilding resources to help the victims of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
- GuideStar.org. Provides a database of nonprofit organizations, including program descriptions and income tax returns. Free registration required.
- Habitat for Humanity. Raising funds to help low-income families recover and rebuild.
- The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is providing services to storm survivors and first responders in the Gulf Coast states and is also accepting online donations online.
- Second Harvest. Distributes food and grocery products. Online donation available.
- Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund. Serves as the state’s central clearinghouse for corporations, organizations, and individuals to donate money, equipment, goods, services, volunteers, and time to Mississippians recovering and rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina.
- craigslist – New Orleans. Special section on missing people. See also craigslist for other locations: Austin, TX, Baton Rouge, LA, Houston, TX, Jackson, MS, Mobile, AL, Montgomery, AL, Pensacola, FL and Shreveport, LA.
- Family News Network. Provides a contact list of those searching for missing family members due to Hurricane Katrina. In English, French and Spanish. From the International Committee of the Red Cross.
- Katrina Safe. Locate a missing person or report your own status.
- Missing Person Database. Create a missing person page or search the database. From NOLA.com.
- Missing Persons Forum. From al.com.
- Searching For Forum. From WWLTV.com
- CNN – Hurricane Katrina. Special coverage section.
- Google News – Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina news search. Also, as an RSS feed.
- Hurricane Katrina Full Coverage on Yahoo! News. Features news, message boards, and more.
- The New York Times – Hurricane Katrina. Special coverage section.
- NPR. Katrina web resources. Also includes Hurricane Katrina RSS feed.
- Wikipedia – Hurricane Katrina. In-depth article from the free encyclopedia.
- 2theadvocate.com. Baton Rouge news. Powered by The Advocate and WBRZ News 2.
- ABC26.com – WGNO-TV. New Orleans news. Includes live video news from ABC26 and ABC2.
- al.com. Features Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile news.
- Fox 8 Live WVUE-TV. New Orleans news.
- HoustonChronicle.com – Hurricane Katrina RSS Feed.
- NOLA.com. New Orleans news.
- Shreveport Times. Includes Hurricane Katrina evacuee list.
- Sun Herald. Local news for South Mississippi, Biloxi and Gulfport.
- WDSU.com New Orleans news. Features live coverage.
- WWLTV.com. New Orleans news. Includes live news broadcast and low-bandwith audio.
Maps and Aerial / Satellite Photos
- Google Maps – New Orleans. Includes pre= and post-Katrina photos.
- Hurricane Katrina Impact Studies. Includes pre- and post-Katrina aerial photos. From the U.S. Geological Survey.
- Hurricane Levee Maps. From the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District.
- NASA – Hurricane Katrina. Features satellite photos, microwave imagery and more.
- NASA – New Orleans and Gulf Coast Flooding in the Aftermath of Katrina. Features satellite photos.
- NASA – New Orleans Topography. Includes simulated view of the potential effects of storm surge flooding on Lake Pontchartrain and the New Orleans area.
- NOAA – Hurricane Katrina Images. Imagery of the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama after Hurricane Katrina made landfall.
- Power Outage Maps. From the U.S. Department of Energy.
- The White House – Hurricane Relief. Includes speeches and news releases on Hurricane Katrina.
- CDC – Hurricanes. Features hurricane recovery resources, including information about infectious diseases, mental health, food safety and more. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Register for assistance.
- National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Features storm watches and warnings, RSS feeds from the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service.
- National Hurricane Center / Tropic Prediction Center. Includes RSS feeds for individual hurricanes and tropical storms.
- Hurricane Katrina Recovery. Includes numerous friend and family contact listings. From FirstGov.gov.
- U.S. Department of Energy. Features daily situation reports and updates. Includes gas price hotline to report price gouging.
- Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
- Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability. Features situation reports, power outage maps and more.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) – Hurricane Katrina. Includes health and safety information, as well as links to state government agencies in the region.
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Provides information on the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Provides advisories and information on chemical and bacterial contamination in floodwaters.
- U.S. House of Representatives
- Jo Bonner (R-Mobile, AL)
- Terry Everett (R-Rehobeth, AL)
- Mike Rogers (R-Anniston, AL)
- Robert B. Aderholt (R-Haleyville, AL)
- Robert E. (Bud) Cramer Jr. (D-Huntsville, AL)
- Spencer Bachus (R-Vestavia Hills, AL)
- Artur Davis (D-Birmingham, AL)
- Bobby Jindal (R-Kenner, LA)
- William J. Jefferson (D-New Orleans, LA)
- Charlie Melacon (D-Napoleonville, LA)
- Jim McCrery (R-Shreveport, LA)
- Rodney Alexander (R-Quitman, LA)
- Richard H. Baker (R-Baton Rouge, LA)
- Charles W. Boustany Jr. (R-Lafayette, LA)
- Roger F. Wicker (R-Tupelo, MS)
- Bennie G. Thompson (D-Bolton, MS)
- Charles W. “Chip” Pickering (R-Hebron, MS)
- Gene Taylor (D-Bay St. Louis, MS)
- U.S. Senate
State and Local Government
- Louisiana.gov – Hurricane Katrina. State of Louisiana’s official website for dissemination of information concerning Hurricane Katrina.
- Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.
- Louisiana State Legislature.
- Louisiana Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness.
- Louisiana Works – Department of Labor. Offers information on filing for unemployment insurance and disaster unemployment assistance.
- City of New Orleans.
- Mississippi.gov. Official State Web Site of Mississippi.
- Alabama.gov. Official website of the State of Alabama.
- U.S. Courts – Federal Judiciary Court Links. Links to Fifth Circuit and U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts in Louisiana.
- Louisiana Supreme Court.
- American Bar Association – Hurricane Katrina Disaster Recovery Resources. Information for legal assistance volunteers, lawyers needing disaster help and more.
- Alabama State Bar Association.
- Louisiana State Bar Association.
- Mississippi Bar Association.
- Alabama Unemployment Compensation: Benefit Rights and Responsibilities. From the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.
- Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness. Provides a step-by-step approach to disaster preparedness, including a section on natural hazards, such as floods and hurricanes.
- Catastrophe Risk: U.S. and European Approaches to Insure Natural Catastrophe and Terrorism Risks. From the General Accounting Office. (February 28, 2005).
- Daily Report on Hurricane Katrina’s Impact on U.S. Energy. From the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration.
- Disaster Assistance: Information On Federal Costs and Approaches to Reducing Them. [PDF] Discusses several approaches for
lowering the costs of federal disaster assistance. From the General Accounting Office. (March 26, 1998).
- Disaster Management: Improving the Nation’s Response to Catastrophic Disasters. [PDF] The government’s response to Hurricane Andrew, in particular, raised doubts about whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency was capable of responding to such catastrophes and whether it had learned any lessons from Hurricane Hugo and the Loma Prieta earthquake. This report summarizes GAO’s analyses, conclusions, and recommendations. From the General Accounting Office. (July 23, 1993).
- Emergency Disaster Training Manual for Louisiana Lawyers. From the Louisiana State Bar Association.
- Hurricane Evacuation Guide. From the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
- Improved Planning Needed by the Corps of Engineers to Resolve Environmental, Technical, and Financial Issues on the Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection Project. [PDF] GAO reviewed the status of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection Project which is intended to provide hurricane protection to the Greater New Orleans metropolitan area. Because of environmental and other issues, the Project, which was to be completed in 1978, is only half finished. From the General Accounting Office. (August 17, 1982).
- In Case of Emergency. Article on tabletop exercise to develop a recovery plan for the 13 parishes in the New Orleans area in the event of a catastrophic hurricane. From the Louisiana Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness.
- Hurricane Pam Exercise Concludes. From FEMA.
- Louisiana Citizen Awareness & Disaster Evacuation Guide. From the Louisiana Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness.
- National Flood Insurance Program: Oversight of Policy Issuance and Claims. [PDF] As a result of policy limits, restrictions, and exclusions, insurance payments to claimants for flood damage may not cover all of the costs of repairing or replacing damaged property. From the General Accounting Office. (April 14, 2005).
- Strategic Petroleum Reserve. [PDF] CRS Issue Brief for Congress. From the Federation of American Scientists.
- Surviving the Storm: A Guide to Hurricane Preparedness. Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- Unemployment Insurance Benefit Rights Handbook. From Louisiana Works, Department of Labor.
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Includes hurricane relief information.
- Best Friends Animal Society. Features animal rescue news.
- Humane Society
- Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Coordinator of animal-rescue efforts in New Orleans.
- Petfinder.com Animal Emergency Response Network. Features database for finding, fostering and reporting lost pets.
. Features animal rescue photos, videos and stories. Online donation available.
- craigslist – New Orleans. Special section on relief resources, missing people, temporary housing, temporary employment, missing pets and more. Also, see craigslist for Austin, TX, Baton Rouge, LA, Houston, TX, Jackson, MS, Mobile, AL, Montgomery, AL, Pensacola, FL and Shreveport, LA.
- Find Your Insurance Company. Provides claim contact phone numbers for many insurance companies. From the Insurance Information Institute’s Hurricane Insurance Information Center.
- HurricaneHousing.org. Find housing or offer free housing to hurricane evacuees. A project of MoveOn.org.