Sunday, August 28, 2005
I don't really think there are many people left with access to information who do not know that a major, potentially catastrophic hurricane is heading towards the Gulf coast of the US, and specifically seems to be taking aim at New Orleans. The potential for devastation from this storm is huge. It was characterized by one news commentator as a 500 to 1 odds storm, meaning that its size, intensity, and track are extremely rare and line up almost perfectly with the most feared hurricane scenario the US has ever contemplated.
New Orleans is a special city to and for me. My husband and I have spent some of our best times there. It's a place for music and culture lovers to wander and soak up the surroundings. My husband is a non-drinker - yet there's plenty to see, endless combinations of side-alleys to dip down, and countless small corners of culture and personality to explore. I am frankly upset thinking about the possibility that that could be washed away.
I am a daily participant over at Daily Kos. When I woke up this morning and checked the blog I saw that its prominent front page story was an open thread about the hurricane. It consisted of news and information, updated as necessary to the front page. It has, from what I understand, been a great resource for those who are having trouble (due to high site traffic) getting information from any of the "major" news services online. More than that, though, there is a link to a thread about Daily Kos users offering shelter to other users. Users in Memphis... St. Petersburg... Houston... etc. and so forth are opening up their homes and offering it to other users who need to evacuate and have nowhere to go. THAT is the essence of the community to which I belong. This isn't the first time I've seen Daily Kos bloggers willing to help other bloggers - there are a host of examples of Kossacks (our name for dKos users) helping other Kossacks simple because help is needed. It's a good feeling and what "community" really embodies. It also illustrates what I consider one of my key values - that communities reach out and care for and about community members. I'm honored to be associated with it.
I'm too far from New Orleans to offer much help in terms of space but I can help by buying someone a room for the night and I have offered to do so if needed. If you're interested, please see the following links:
posted by RenaRF at 2:50 PM