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Katrina’s Waves: Disaster and Recovery Briefs

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Hey, animals are people too. Well, no, actually, but they can be friends, even best friends, and in a time of crisis they deserve our attention too. Thousands of animals were left behind when their humans evacuated. Best Friends Animal Society is doing its best to coordinate the efforts of various animal rescue groups, and serve as a clearinghouse for information, news, funds, and a little reassurance.

Petfinder.com is offering similar services, including a messageboard.

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Though dozens throughout the Gulf Coast may have been destroyed by Katrina and its aftermath, the first two book store casualties have been confirmed, according to Publisher’s Weekly.

Bookends Bookstore in Bay St. Louis, Miss., and Pass Christian Books in Pass Christian, Miss “were completely flattened,” said Wanda Jewell, executive director of the Southeast Bookseller’s Association. “I’m told that there’s not even debris around. The place where both bookstores used to be now looks as if nothing were ever there.”

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Broadcast industry software provider Marketron announced today that it will provide free recovery services to radio and television stations hit by Hurricane Katrina. Marketron’s “Project Recovery” will help stations get their sales, traffic and billing operations functional and provide hosting services while stations rebuild.

“People rely on radio and television during a crisis, and broadcasters are well known for pulling out all stops to help their local communities in times of need. Marketron wants to do its part to help our Radio and TV colleagues in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama get back up and running as soon as possible,” said Mike Jackson, CEO of Marketron International. “Marketron’s hosting platform enables us to provide stations with a working Sales and Traffic system very quickly.”

Station personnel will be able to work from any computer with an Internet connection.

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Similarly, Tugboat Enterprises, maker of data rescue product Lifeboat, is offering complimentary Lifeboat Data Rescue programs and technical support for the program to individuals and companies whose computers were hit by Hurricane Katrina. Operation Data Recovery — which runs from August 30, 2005 until Friday, September 16th at 6 p.m. ET — is valid for anyone living in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee or South Carolina.

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Chrysler Financial, Chrysler’s financing arm, will offer customers in affected areas of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi special assistance, including “Special Circumstance” extensions and payment deferrals of up to 90 days.

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The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization offers the following tips to a worried nation:

-Talk to your children and honestly answer questions they have. Their
questions will let you know how the disaster has affected them and
what fears they may have.
– Reassure children and let them know their parents and guardians are
there to protect them and keep them safe.
– Recognize that intense emotional responses often have physical
manifestations, for example headaches and fatigue may be common.
– Offer a compassionate ear to friends and coworkers who may need to

share their feelings.
– Work to identify resources in your community such as the Red Cross,
Salvation Army, or community hospices that offer information and may
need assistance.
– Making a donation towards relief efforts or giving blood in your
community can be a valuable contribution.
– Turn off the television and give you and your family a break from the
ongoing disaster coverage.

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The American Pyschological Association offers the following advice on “steps you can take to help restore emotional well being and a sense of control following a natural disaster”:

– Give yourself time to heal. Anticipate that this will be a difficult time in your life. Allow yourself to mourn the losses you have experienced. Try to be patient with changes in your emotional state.

– Ask for support from people who care about you and who will listen and empathize with your situation. But keep in mind that your typical support system may be weakened if those who are close to you also have experienced or witnessed the trauma.

– Communicate your experience in whatever ways feel comfortable to you – such as by talking with family or close friends, or keeping a diary.

– Find out about local support groups that often are available such as for those who have suffered from natural disasters. These can be especially helpful for people with limited personal support systems.

– Try to find groups led by appropriately trained and experienced professionals such as psychologists. Group discussion can help people realize that other individuals in the same circumstances often have similar reactions and emotions.

– Engage in healthy behaviors to enhance your ability to cope with excessive stress. Eat well-balanced meals and get plenty of rest. If you experience ongoing difficulties with sleep, you may be able to find some relief through relaxation techniques. Avoid alcohol and drugs.

– Establish or reestablish routines such as eating meals at regular times and following an exercise program. This can be especially important when the normal routines of daily life are disrupted. Even if you are in a shelter and unable to return home, establish routines that can bring comfort. Take some time off from the demands of daily life by pursuing hobbies or other enjoyable activities.

– Avoid major life decisions such as switching careers or jobs if possible because these activities tend to be highly stressful.

– Spend more time with children and let them be more dependent on you during the months following the trauma – for example, allowing your child to cling to you more often than usual. Physical affection is very comforting to children who have experienced trauma.

– Provide play experiences to help relieve tension. Younger children in particular may find it easier to share their ideas and feelings about the event through non-verbal activities such as drawing.

– Be available and encourage older children to ask questions they may have, as well as sharing their thoughts and feelings with you and with one another. This helps reduce their confusion and anxiety related to the trauma. Respond to questions in terms they can comprehend. Reassure them repeatedly that you care about them and that you understand their fears and concerns.

– Keep regular schedules for activities such as eating, playing and going to bed to help restore a sense of security and normalcy, even if your family has been relocated to a shelter or other temporary housing.

– Reduce the number of times children see the trauma on the news. Repeatedly watching broadcasts of the disaster can re-traumatize children.

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About Eric Olsen

  • Nancy

    Thanks for posting this. People will always have someone worrying about them, but most people view animals as expendible.

  • Eric Olsen

    you’re welcome Nancy, and thank you

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Great stories about a horrific tragedy.

    And a fantastic header if I’ve ever seen one.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks EB

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Get a room, funboys :)

    Just kidding. This was good stuff.

    It’s too bad almost none of the people who are affected down South will get to read this anytime soon due to lack of electricity or housing, much less Internet access. Many of the evacuated are sleeping in the basements of community centers in Mississippi and Texas or even on the turf at the Astrodome in Houston. Those who found hotel rooms in Florida are now being evicted due to college football partygoers, which is a real shame. The latest stories indicate that New Orleans may remain a ghost town for months while they try to drain water out of the city, which due to its sunken level has become like a bowl filled with water almost to the brim, and try to rebuild electrical grids and sanitation.

    Voodoo Music Festival is off for Halloween, I’d imagine :) I was thinking of going to that too. Oh well.

    If New Orleans is back and kicking for Mardi Gras, I may go this year just to support the economy down there.

    That is all.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks BAB, you’re right about those who needit most, of course. And that’s a damn good idea about Mardi Gras, although that may be wishful thinking on our part.

  • http://copygodd.blogspot.com copygodd

    EARS (the Emergency Animal Rescue Service) has mobilized and is sending volunteers to help with the animals.

    If you’re interested in reading more about it, I’ve written a post back at the stem. If you’d rather just make a donation, here’s a link for that.