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post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
Maybe some others here need to just get this stuff off their chests too. If so, please post here.

I was watching Fox News today at lunch. Shepard Smith has been in New Orleans (Phil Keating too) since before the hurricane actually struck. He was on the I-10 in front of the Superdome, talking to a few of the thousands who are wandering around the highway system because it's the only place above water. He talked to some people coming out of the Projects. The first guy he talked to was carrying a small girl, maybe 6 or 7 years old, out of the water to the highway. The man said he had been working all night bringing people out - probably 50-60 people just today. And as if to punctuate it, among those coming their way was an older woman with a shopping cart trying to get to the highway. The man ran back into the water to help her get out. He interviewed more people and the story was nearly all the same. "We just need help! We haven't eaten or had anything to drink in two days. We haven't slept since the hurricane hit. And we don't know where to go. No one is telling us where to get help." God it was heartbreaking.

Then I get home tonight and check my emails. There's one from the ASPCA asking for donations to their emergency relief fund. I've gotten them from the HSUS and Alley Cat Allies (I'm on all of their mailing lists), but this one said something that hit home. I hadn't even thought about it before.

Funds raised will go directly to the ASPCA Disaster Relief Fund, and will be used to help shelters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama rebuild facilities and assist in their disaster recovery efforts.
OK, I mean, of course those buildings were wiped out with the rest of the area...but I hadn't thought about it before. There are so many animals who were abandoned and there is no place that can help them. No place. And how many animals were trapped in cages and runs that had no chance at all at surviving? The horror they had to be in not understanding what was happening...

Since I saw that today, I've just been so sad. Not just because it's really starting to hit me the catastrophe that actually happened, but a few other reasons too. First, I feel so damn helpless! I'm not very well off financially. We're barely getting by, and right now are just trying to catch up after some stuff this summer. I mean, I'm going to donate something, but it almost seems futile with the small amount I can give. And then where do I give? Red Cross? ASPCA? The people need help so badly, but there are also so many animals that need help as well - and they aren't getting nearly the publicity.

And then there's the attitudes of some people. I'm mainly talking about idiots I hear calling in on the radio talk shows. People who said that "Those people knew there were risks living there. They shouldn't get any federal assistance." And the "Why does the US need or even deserve aid from anywhere else? Look what we've done to the world!" And of course, the reports that some places are actually rejoicing at this tragedy. How can they be so freakin' callous? I mean, I didn't hear anyone rejoicing here when the earthquake hit Iran. Are human lives that meaningless to some people?

I'm just so sad. I'm crying just thinking about all of it. And I know I can't comprehend what happened. I've never even been to the Gulf Coast. I've never seen or experienced this kind of devastation. I can't imagine it - and it's so devastating to me right now. How must those people who have lost everything feel?

If you've made it this far...thank you for reading and peering into my psyche. If you want to add to it, and express your own feelings, please do.
post #2 of 69
I've been watching the same coverage, and I feel helpless. We just do not have funds right now to make contributions to any rescue group - for humans or pets, but both are very much on my mind.

I am doing what I can via my business, it is helping me since this is my "baby" and I want it to mean something, do something worthwhile for others and their pets.

I lived in New Orleans or Covington (and Hammond) for about a year, and used to commute over the bridge across Lake Ponchartrain...I can only imagine what has been destroyed and lost. New Orleans was so full of history, and I find it hard to watch the people so lost and needing so much, from so far away.
post #3 of 69
We do not watch TV, we don't have cable or satellite, and we don't take a paper. We get our info from the 'net and some of it is limited, although I have found that cbsnews.com has a plethora of free videos, and there's where I have "been" today.

I've been to the coast, many times. The sands are white, they call them sugar white beaches, although when you get to Biloxi they are more sand colored I guess. And the water is so pretty, blue almost like I imagine it must be in the islands. Ah! To stand on the sand and look out to sea in the early morning, with the gulls riding the waves of the air, and the breezes blowing your hair.

New Orleans --- I haven't been to New Orleans proper since I was very young. But I remember getting one of the beignets in the French Quarter Cafe. I was only 6 or so, more than 40 years ago, but I remember. I remember the corn fence and the balconies, the wonderfully ornate ironwork on the houses. The statue of Lafayette in the park. The crepe myrtles blooming on the streets. I remember. Only 6 but it made an impression on me even then.

We can't afford it either, but I'm putting it on the card in the morning. So little in the scheme of things. We were so lucky. So many weren't .

post #4 of 69
I feel so helpless every time I look at the news and see New Orleans. This is my favourite place in the world, I was there just a month ago and I just get so heartbroken when I see it, I feel about to cry and I just have to cover my face. If Iwas still in the states, I would be looking for a way to help out, be it monetary or something! But I am stuck over here so it is hard for me to see this. The city is so full of life and thats why I love it so much. I feel such an affinity with it. I want to go back and live there. One day. Or just dreaming.
I shudder to think about all those poor animals. It scares me.
Everybody in New Orleans and Mississippi and all the other places where they were struck are definitely in my thoughts every day.
BUT - I know the spirit of the people that live there and I know they will rise above it. They are too full of life to let it get them down. Bless them all!
post #5 of 69
Heidi...thanks for starting this thread....I was thinking about it on the way home from work today, that I've been to a small extent in the shoes of these people....there is no way to explain the total sense of helplessness, of being totally lost, displaced....bereft even, when something like this happens. And the losses...of human life, history, animals...both pets and otherwise, even the total changing of the landscape....just the thought of all of this today, I'm like you said, it makes me feel so sad, and so unworthy too, knowing that all we recieved here was some wind and rain....yet we complain!

Oh, and speaking of the rain and wind....we were at the bakery yesterday morning, in the dark but for candles, and had the doors open...listening to that wind roar, even at only Tropical Storm levels....the noise, the horrible, screaming, roaring noise was terrible! Charlie and I were talking, could you imagine being trapped in a dark, maybe leaking house, listening to Cat 4 winds roar for hours on end? Am convinced that it would be enough to drive one crazy, my friends!
post #6 of 69
I just posted in the Hurricane thread itself about something called OpenYourHome.org - an idea I had with some friends down there. But I will send a check and be part of whatever TCS would like to do.
post #7 of 69
Its very sad...i was just there a week ago for my cruise...i have felt this deep sadness over me since monday...and i feel like crying when i even think about it. I CANNOT imagine losing everything like that. I went to www.redcross.org and donated some money. It wasnt very much but i know that every dollar can go far and is needed/appreicated. (The minimum you can donate is 5.00) It just really tears me up to think about it all....
post #8 of 69
How you can help the victims-

Donate to reputable groups only- The Red Cross, The Salvation Army-
Organize a blanket drive in your neighborhood and give the blankets over to the Salvation Army or the Red Cross
Donate blood- it is needed to free up the stored blood that then can be sent to the flood victims
Talk to the local merchants in your town and ask them to donate to the The Red Cross, The Salvation Army or other reputable rescue groups.
Donate to the ASPCA directly every little bit helps and they have a donation button on their website
post #9 of 69
Has anyone heard about the Aquarium in New Orleans?
post #10 of 69
Coming from an area (Asia) hit regularly by natural disasters, I understand the feeling of helplessness and despair.
I am sorry the US has been victim of such a catastrophe. I've visited the Gulf coast area twice and looking at the news I'm sad to see all that has been destroyed.
post #11 of 69
i'm becoming...distraught i guess. My dad was telling me people are starting to think that God doesn't want to protect us as much anymore. Like with 9/11 and the hurricane and stuff, because originaly this country was founded on the belife of God... but now people are trying to rule Him out...like with the pleadge, and with the money... i just dont know what to think. But i do know that when i think of america i dont get the "cleen, crisp, and clear" immage in my head that i used to now it is "dirty, dark, and thick" Sure there are things that make me think its not so bad But in retrospect... I think i want to move to Canada...heh. (sorry i didnt mean to stray from the topic)
post #12 of 69
The whole situation is just completely heartbreaking. I have trouble watching anything about it. My heart goes out to every single one of those people who lost every last thing they had...it's a hard feeling to even imagine.
post #13 of 69
I've found it very hard to watch the news coverage, yet I'm drawn to it...I can't imagine what the people who live there are going through.

Our national professional meeting (of at least 15,000 people) was supposed to be held in New Orleans this December. Selfishly I regret that I won't be able to see the city as it was. Ideally, I know our meeting could bring a lot of money to the city, and this money could greatly help the city in it's recovery. But realistically this isn't going to happen, and that hurts my heart.
post #14 of 69
It just really started hitting me today too. This morning, when I watched The View, actually. They were talking about how the people who are stuck there don't even know that help is on the way, and I had never thought about that. They don't have any electricity, so unless they see the helicopters, they have no idea they're trying to help them. Then I saw the news and people were holding signs that read "HELP ME" on them, and it just broke my heart.

I saw children and imagined how scared they must be, losing all routine and stability that made them feel safe & secure in the past. I thought about the animals and how scared they must have been. I remembered seeing a picture of a dolphin that ended up in a pool at a hotel. I wondered who to give to in order to make sure wild animals such as that, were taken care of. I thought of all the people who died alone, and people who had to leave loved ones to save others.

I couldn't get the images out of my head of people who had everything except their existance completely destroyed. I felt helpless knowing that no amount I could give would take away their misery.

Then after bawling for about an hour, I just felt so extremely lucky. I'll be sad for them, but my life will go on as usual, and their lives won't be the same for a very long time.
post #15 of 69
New Orleans has got to be my very favorite place that I have visited. It breaks my heart to know that all of the mystery and beauty that I fell in love with has been destroyed. The looters are making me physically ill. That people would take advantage during a time of such devastation is thoroughly disgusting to me. I realize that some reports show people taking things that they need, and understand the desperation that must be present to force people into these situations. But, the people who are doing it merely for personal gain are deplorable. I hope that this beautiful city can rebuild. It is going to take so much time and effort, it's difficult to predict the future from where we are right now. I believe that the residents and the history of New Orleans have the strength and power to be more than a ghost of the city I remember so well. My thoughts and prayers are with New Orleans and all the victims of this terrible tragedy.
post #16 of 69
I don't really know much about it but I sure have read a lot from here at TCS especially from Kellye who is always raving about it

It's just devestating. First the londom bombings and then this, these have hit me so hard.
post #17 of 69
It's a case of putting our selves in their shoes

I'll post some $$ to a link that MA put up in her thread, and i'll try and get an address for the Red Cross as well
post #18 of 69
I think what is happening is awful. In fact, it can be hard to go about daily routine when just a little while away someone has had their world destroyed. I can't even begin to fathom such a thing. Although doubtful, I hope that some of the people I know who take so much for granted will begin to see how lucky they are. I must add, I am saddened that it takes such a traumatic event for people to realize this.
post #19 of 69
After the Bam earthquake 2 yrs ago and the tsunami we have always had fundrasing drives (in SA) to raise money. You could donate food / clothing at the local supermarket, donate money via sms/ bank deposits etc.... this time NOTHING.

It angers me , it's as if the powers that be over here pick and choose which disaster to respond to, based on politics.

Last time I checked disasters aren't selective of political boundries.
post #20 of 69
I just watched CNN for the first time since this disaster struck. It infuriated me, the reporter was interviewing the governor of Mississippi, and all he (the reporter) wanted to do was to bash the Federal government for not responding more quickly, or warning that this was going to happen. I do understand the need to look at emergengy preparedness, but honestly, is right now the time to do that? I think the effort should be on how help is reaching the victims, not on what wasn't done.

And I am disheartened by the comparison to the tsunami. This is a horrible natural disaster, the worst in US history, but if the media keeps comparing this to the tsunami, they will quickly lose credibility in my eyes at least, if not others around the world. There is massive property loss, and devestated lives, but not the massive and instant death toll. And surely the US has financial resources that the hard hit countries in SE Asia don't have.

I think that the story should just be told as it is, without hyperbole, and without finger pointing. It's bad enough, don't try to make it worse.

I'll be sending a donation to the Red Cross. As a friend of mine said, the USA is always the first to offer help somewhere else in the world, it's the least we can do to repay their generosity. And I'll stop watching CNN.
post #21 of 69
I can't watch the news, I was born in Louisiana, and new Orleans held a special place in my heart for all my life.. Most of my family is safe, and still have homes, but one aunt was luckily away from Louisiana when the hurricane struck... She lives in Kenner, which is basically DT New Orleans, the area worst hit. She probably doesn't have a home to come back to- except to stay at my aunts house in Alexandria.
post #22 of 69
"There, but for the grace of God, go I."

I agree about the feeling of hopelessness. At times like this I wish there really were superheroes like those in comic books who could rush in and save everyone. But that is contrary to how real life operates. There will be disasters and no way to stop them. There will be loss of life and property. You just have to learn to live with it and do what you can. And most important, learn from mistakes.

Right now all I can do is simply pray for the survivors and rescuers and see what I can afford to donate.
post #23 of 69
My two cents: As many know I live in the Green Bay WI area. They have been interviewing many of the GB Packer players as many come from the south. Two of the players have been unable to contact family. But what really impressed me is Brett Farve. He is a homegrown Louisiane boy and his family has their home there. On Sunday or Monday he chartered a plane from Milwaukee filled with supplies and sent to down to Mississippi. Last night he said there are now 50 people living at his house up from 19 a couple of days ago. His wife Deanna who is recovering from breast cancer drove 3 hours to find food(she couldn't find any) He owns a restaurant in town and is asking for donations of work gloves/cleaning supplies/tarps and similar items and is chartering another plane on Sunday to send to Mississippi . They Packer organization is sending supplies to TN as that is where they play tonite. I think that is why this area loves him so and he is accepting donations to is foundation to help in cleanup.

But I feel as others do-I'd go today and help where ever is needed. But I'm donating $$ for now.
post #24 of 69
I am heartbroken and feel helpless, too. It seems to me to be just as tragic as the Tsunami victims but at least they had some warning. I do have a hard time with the people that were able to get out and chose not to. I have a cousin that chose to stay in Biloxi and not seek shelter upstate with her parents. I have no idea about either of them (her or her parents) because my family has been unable to reach them.

I am very much ashamed about the way some Americans are acting in New Orleans - shooting at buses, each other, looting, but not surprised
post #25 of 69
I've never been to the Gulf Coast, nor do I know anyone directly impacted by Katrina, but watching the news over the past coupled of days has become increasingly difficult. I feel so helpless seeing so much suffering and despair. I can't imagine what those poor people must be going through. I feel so strongly that I need to do something, but am not sure what. I'm definitely going to keep praying.
post #26 of 69
It is just horrible down here. I'm in Lafayette where several shelters have been set up and beginning yesterday we started enrolling children into our school systems. I can't afford to donate too much and I can not donate blood either. I have given $10 to the Red Cross - I know it's not much BUT it is $10 more than they had. Also, the Red Cross is able to buy items in BULK for cheaper rates than individuals can so it goes a little further.

The children will be in need of school uniforms & supplies. If any of you have any that your children have out grown and would like to send them I'll be more than happy to make sure they get to the schools or Red Cross here. Just PM me.
post #27 of 69
I have just read this from start to finish and I just typed out a really long reply but I don't know what to say or how to say it, except I am sorry

I shall be donating what I can to any relief funds and thinking of every living being stranded, stuck or those who have lost loved ones...
post #28 of 69
wasnt there someone who posts regulary and is from new orelans?
post #29 of 69
Originally Posted by fwan
wasnt there someone who posts regulary and is from new orelans?
...last night I was wondering that.... ....
I hope that members would be OK....
post #30 of 69
From the sounds of it...the people are going to end up killing eachother...all the rage and Kaos....they stopped evacuation due to someone shooting at a resue military helicopter...thats just crazy. I saw a tourist on there crying saying they took her money....its just heartbreaking and i know its nuts down there...i dont think it'll ever be the same.

Saw an article on CNN to where gas is going to average about 3.50 a gallon for 4-6 months....but will reach the 4.00 mark. ugh
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