This is all cool and I love seeing people helping each other.
Having said that…
What the hell do you people think you’re doing? How do you know if that person contacting you is a true refuge or someone wanting to rob you blind? And are you ready to take a person in for possibly weeks? Months?
Come to think of it, we know what you own, how many kids you got, and that you at least have a computer since you’re weblogging. What a great way to do one’s early Christmas shopping if one was of a mind in this direction.
And for those of you who are thinking of getting caravans of stuff together to take down, what the hell do you think the well trained, and highly prepared Red Cross, not to mention FEMA, is for?
You want to open your home to a weblogger? Great. Make sure it’s someone you know and can live with for some time.
Trying to arrange a ride in New Orleans? It’s too damn late. Get to one of the ten shelters.
Going to stick it out and blog it, like a good little journalist soldier? Don’t want to miss the adventure? Not worried about it because your kitty cats are sitting calmly in the window and everyone knows animals can predict weather? Thanks for adding to the burden on the infrastructure put into place to provide support for those who have no option but to ride it out.
It’s frustrating to see people suffer, and we want to help, and that’s a goodness, and you should be admired for that. If you truly want to help, then donate to the Red Cross. They’ll need money, and not your old clothes and expired cans of food. They are the first line of a civilian help force, and should be the focus for early contributions. You might also consider donating to the Salvation Army, because they’re also experienced at giving help in times like this. Later, there will be other, sanctioned organizations that will provide effective, and targeted help, to which you can donate time, money, and goods. You might also consider donating blood. Even if it’s not needed for Katrina, it’s still needed.
As for those who have no choice but to ride it out, you’re in my heart, and that’s about all I can do for you right now.
There’s a fine line between providing effective help, and being a busybody nuisance. If you want to insert your butts into the emergency process, fine. Just make sure you don’t make more of a mess of it than it already is.