Generally I am overwhelmed by the hopelessness of what is going on there. However, it seems to me that there must be something more we can be doing. Yes, there are tens of thousands of people there. There are also millions of people literally watching in horror. The blogosphere is making the donation push and I've put money in and I expect I'll put more in. I am not sure that the money helps. I can't seem to find a number to spend that will get people moving towards food and water.
Do we need people to spend Labor Day weekend in a human chain passing bottles of water into NO and grabbing people as they near the boundary line? Will anything less work? It has degraded to this chaos in 3 days. Surely in 3 days, when most of us have nothing else to do, there's something.
I watch the news reports for as long as I am home. I find that I am home more and sleeping less to watch as much as I can. The reporters talk to people. What are you doing? Where are you going? One man led a person to dry land and hauled them up and turned to go when the reporter stopped him. He had been pulling people through the flooded street like that all night he said. He guessed that he had pulled 50 people out. Then he turned and went back.
Is that what it takes? If 2000 of us go down there and start pulling people out, do we get them all out?
I clicked on the Red Cross site. I've already given money. I looked at volunteers. I have to contact my local Red Cross and sign up for training. I suppose I could. For the next time we lose an entire city. I suspect I will just add a whole new volunteer bureaucracy to my life. I have volunteered all my life. The volunteer opportunities I keep are those that say "here's a job. Can you do it?" and then let me do it. A few too many rules, a few too many signin sheets, a few too many meetings, and that's it for me.
There's a lot of talk of coordinating help while people die on the side of the road. I think of the man pulling 50 people through the water. Please don't coordinate him.