But I do worry sometimes.
Down But Not Counted Out
I hadn't planned on being All Katrina All The Time -- there are so many websites, TV shows and blogs which are doing so -- but here I am again.
Whether merely determined, choosing not to be blinded by the naysayers or simply being idiots, there are people in and around New Orleans putting things back together in some areas much faster than the news stories of last week would have you believe. While I've no doubt that the still submerged areas are damaged and contaminated, some of the others are in better shape and people are returning to work on cleanup and repair, whether wanted or not by Those In Charge.
There May Yet Be Hotels
"Every hotel window in the main business/convention districts is broken," was how I'd heard it described. But maybe they aren't in such bad shape. Right now hotels are opening up some rooms in order to house FEMA and other personnel who need a place to sleep and live, in between their duties. The American Library Association (ALA) has a conference scheduled in New Orleans for Summer 2006. Word passed around that there was still a chance the ALA conference might still happen in New Orleans. They were waiting on more definitive word on what state the hotels and restaurants will be in by then.
But ALA doesn't want to cancel yet, in case they really can throw their millions in convention and conventioner dollars to support and help out New Orleans. (Relief and aid are one thing, jobs and income and a viable economic future are quite another.)
Pie-in-the-sky? Wishful whistling whilst the disease-infested waters still float by in some areas? Who can say? I suspect the damage is both less and worse than we know at this point. But you know, if they really end up having to bail out of New Orleans after all, I do wish ALA would consider trying to get convention space in Toronto. Poor Toronto hosted an ALA mid-summer conference a few years ago and the SARS scare dropped the attendance way down. My wife "bravely" faced down the specter of SARS and went anyway. (Oh I know when it was -- people were bringing back to the States their brand new copies of Harry Potter 5.)
And Then I Got Really Mad
So I was going to post the above as an upbeat kind of thing and move on, but in surfing around, I somehow got linked to a much darker and murkier sidestory. The Web is full of politics and misinformation, and I do so not want to get caught up in other people's agendas. So I'll just provide the next couple of links with a few side commentaries and leave it at that. If these be urban legends or hoaxes, then they're damn good ones.
Why didn't people just leave? Some people did try to leave and the governmental units kept saying NO and taking their stuff. Much of the commentary deals with (a) worrying the original postings were available on...(whisper the Dark Words) sfsocialists and (b) trying to independently verify some of the details.
The people in the above are apparently connected with the San Francisco EMT community and were attending a conference in New Orleans. The comments here include quite a few rounds of Very Old Disagreements Amongst The Regulars, but even that is telling in its own way.
This from a conspiracy theory site about what was happening to an Oklahoma church camp, which rings too true to ignore out of hand -- recall the WW II Japanese-American internment camps in remote locations.
I read these things and want to scream... "I want out of this sci fi dystopia movie!"
Finally, It's Irony Time:
Apparently, September is National Preparedness Month. The Department of Homeland Security says so.
9/13 Tip Of The Day - Food for thought, or think food
Hey, Honey! I think maybe we should gather up some water and non-salty food (salt could dehydrate you, after all) just in case. Where would we put it? I dunno. How about in the basement? Never has flooded there...
Managing a disaster, natural or manmade, is not fun. And one man's organization is another man's foul cry of Stalin! Nazis! Bastards! And communication is always key to these things.
But if I give any of these stories any credence at all, it is because media people, even Geraldo for gosh sakes (!!), managed to keep finding case after case and asking why after why? This has been the most public of disaster disasters -- and the fallout is going to be intense.
Perhaps I'll bunker down and gather my supplies of preparedness foods with me.