2005/09/01

Do what you can

Like many Memphians, the wife and I have people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Number One Son, his wife and her parents are from Gulfport/Biloxi. Then there are our friends (extended family) Mike and Barb. In addition, we cannot leave out those we’ve met during frequent trips to the coast.

NOS et al are fine, though displaced. When the evacuation order was given, they had the means to get out. Right now, they’re in Grayson Louisiana with his wife’s grandparents. Grayson is near Monroe.

They’re safe, but of course, they can’t stay there forever. It may be weeks (or months) before they can get home and even if they could, their jobs are gone. They all worked for casinos. The last we heard of Beau Rivage, the wife’s casino, its first level was under 7-8 feet of water. Treasure Bay, her mom’s is beached several miles from where it was supposed to be. Her dad’s, The Imperial Palace hasn’t been mentioned at all. The Palace, NOS’s old place of employment is just plain missing. Last night was to be his first night at the Hard Rock Casino. It could be up to 2 years before it is rebuilt. When NOS saw what was left of it, he joked that the giant guitar was still there but the back-up band was missing. That’s probably the only humor that I’ve heard from this catastrophe.

Then there’s Mike and Barb. They’re also fine. And hopefully they are soon to be displaced, or relocated. You see, they didn’t evacuate when the order was given. They (Mike) figured they could ride it out. No power, no running water, no phones. Apartment’s first floor flooded. All the furniture and appliances on that level lost. Pick-up is not running. That’s the bad news.

The good news. First things first; they are alive and unhurt. Seems that many of those in their apartment complex didn’t bugout when the order was given. So, they’re pooling their resources and looking out for each other. Somebody has a couple of cases of bottled water. Somebody else has a propane and a charcoal grill. Others have propane, charcoal, flashlights and batteries. Food from freezers is being shared. Cellphones are being passed around. Someone has a vehicle that still runs, though there’s no place to go. There are even a couple of nurses in the complex. They’ll make it. They’re watching each other’s backs. That’s the way it should be.

And, the owners of the complex know they are there. So does the Salvation Army. The cavalry’s arrival has been promised for sometime today, no later than tomorrow.

What can we do? Don’t say you can do nothing, or that you’re helpless. I began this post with a feeling of complete and utter helplessness. We all wish (me included) that we could saddle-up and head South to help, but we all can’t. Tennessee Task Force One is there and others like it are headed there including what’s left of the National Guard. So again, what can we do? Donate money and supplies. Open your homes to the refugees. Who you gonna call? There are plenty of postings on the web telling you what’s available. Watch TV, read the Commercial Appeal. They aren’t hard to find.

And pray for the survivors. Pray to whatever Gods you have.

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