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Katrina: Breaking News from the Times Picayune August 31, 2005

Posted by Leita in Hurricane, News.



Hurricane Katrina Missing Person’s Database August 31, 2005

Posted by Leita in Hurricane, Southern Living.
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Info for Evacuees in Panama City or Walton County August 31, 2005

Posted by Leita in Florida, Hurricane.

By Christopher Mitchell (cmitchell@wmbb.com) News 13 On Your Side Wednesday, August 31, 2005 If you’ve evacuated from the hurricane and are now in Walton County, here is some critical information (provided by the Walton County American Red Cross) you’ll need to get you through the coming weeks: Free Emergency Shelter: The American Red Cross in Walton County (850-892-6297) has opened a host shelter in DeFuniak Springs for up to 300 evacuees. It’s located on Highway 83 in Defuniak Springs. To get there, take Highway 331 north (from either I-10 or from Highway 98 or Highway 20) until it dead-ends into Highway 90 in DeFuniak Springs. Turn right on Highway 90 towards downtown. Take left onto highway 83, and go a few hundred yards. You will see the National Guard Armory on your left, behind the county’s health department. Food, cots, showers provided. Medical Help on a Budget: The DeFuniak Springs (DFS) Walk-In Clinic (9 West Orange Avenue, Defuniak Springs – 850-951-1800) is offering inexpensive ($20.00) office visits for evacuees that need medical help. They are open Monday through Friday, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Missing Family Members: Call the National Missing Persons Hotline at 866-438-4636. The hotline operators may be of help in locating missing relatives in the hurricane-afflicted areas. Missing Military Personnel: Call 800-448-1294 if you have a missing loved-one in the military working in the hurricane-afflicted areas. FEMA: 800-621-3362 Other Needs (ie: space for RV’s, tents, etc.): A radio station called “County Station 98.7” is working to gather information from panhandle residents on what they can offer you in the way of places to park your recreational vehicle, ect. Call them at 850-969-9300 to see what someone can do for you when there’s no where else to turn. Donations Hotline: 800-495-7663 Please know that our hearts are with you during this very difficult time, and WMBB-TV is “on your side.” We will do everything possible to provide you with important information on our nightly broadcasts at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00. We also have a morning show which begins at 5:00 a.m. and lasts until 7:00 a.m. Please stay tuned to WMBB-TV (ABC) during these times. Our newsroom hotline number is 850-763-6000. -Christopher Mitchell, Walton County Bureau Reporter for WMBB Local Relief Points

  • Pocket Change in the Panama City Mall is opening their Balloon Room for Free to children who have evacuated here from the storm. Local residents can admit their children for a donation.-
  • To donate to the American Red Cross, call 1-800 HELP NOW or drop off donations at 430 E 15th St. Panama City 32405
  • Salvation Army is taking cash donations and canned goods drop off at 1824 W 15th St. Panama City or mail to P.O. Box 540, Panama City, 32402
  • American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Washington Co. Ag Center – 1424 Jackson Ave. (Hwy 90 West) in Chipley
  • BankTrust is collecting cash donations and bedding. Drop off at 2315 Hwy 77 in Lynn Haven, next to the Post Office.
  • Free meals for evacuees, tomorrow 5:30 – 7:30pm, Grace Episcopal Church, Back Beach Rd.
  • Bay & Mosley High Schools collecting cash donations – bring to Bay/Mosley football game, Friday 7:00pm, Tommy Oliver Stadium
  • Free meals for evacuees, Thurs – Sat, Woodlawn Methodist, 219 Alf Coleman Rd. (bring ID)
  • Free picnic lunch for evacuees with children – Thursday, 11:00am – 2:00pm, Junior Museum of Bay County, 1731 Jenks Avenue, Panama City

Live Updates from New Orleans – Katrina August 30, 2005

Posted by Leita in Hurricane, Southern Living.
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From http://www.wwltv.com/: ****ALL RESIDENTS ON THE EAST BANK OF ORLEANS AND JEFFERSON REMAINING IN THE METRO AREA ARE BEING TOLD TO EVACUATE AS EFFORTS TO SANDBAG THE LEVEE BREAK HAVE ENDED. THE PUMPS IN THAT AREA ARE EXPECTED TO FAIL SOON AND 9 FEET OF WATER IS EXPECTED IN THE ENTIRE EAST BANK. WITHIN THE NEXT 12-15 HOURS**** Jeff Parish President. Residents will probably be allowed back in town in a week, with identification only, but only to get essentials and clothing. You will then be asked to leave and not come back for one month. ———– Source: live news feed at http://www.wwltv.com Small boats and jetskis needed to help with the rescue. Unconfirmed riot at the N.O. prison with a possible hostage. 6:41 P.M. – Efforts to stop the levee break at the 17th Street Canal have ended unsuccessfully and the water is expected to soon overwhelm the pumps in that area, allowing water to pour into the east bank of Metairie and Orleans to an expected height of 12-15 feet. Residents have brought out their own boats to help with the rescue. Bodies are being tied to poles.. “there is no place to put these people.?

Katrina – New Orleans, hurricane blog updates constantly August 30, 2005

Posted by Leita in Hurricane, Southern Living.
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http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html This blog from a New Orleans tv station updates almost every minute.

Hurricane Katrina photos on Flickr August 30, 2005

Posted by Leita in Hurricane, Southern Living.
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Link to photos tagged “Hurricane Katrina? on Flickr

Can’t contact a loved one after Hurricane Katrina? Check here for link to SATURN August 30, 2005

Posted by Leita in Hurricane.
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I haven’t heard from my father yet who lives a few miles east of Biloxi, MS. He’s no fool when it comes to hurricanes, though, so I know he wouldn’t have stayed but I don’t know how far he would’ve traveled. At 76 years old, I cannot imagine him driving very far. Like a lot of people, he has pets he dearly loves which is a problem during hurricanes since the shelters won’t allow them. Late last night I watched news footage of an elderly woman and her dog get rescued. She didn’t live far from the Superdome but chose to ride out the storm at home. I have to wonder whether her little doggy was the reason why. Hurricane Katrina blew hard, even way over here on the Florida panhandle. Dryer than most storms, the wind felt more like a hot blast from an overheated city bus than a sea breeze thanks to the 90-degree Gulf. It’s hot down here and I cannot imagine the suffering felt by all the lost souls waiting for rescue. Should you think they’re waiting it out in decent weather, think again. It’s soupy and hot outside, the kind of weather that turns an inhale into a physical chore. Looking for more news, I browsed http://wlox.com and found a link to the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATURN) Health and Welfare Information Request form. It takes a while to load due to high traffic, but it’s a comforting tool for finding a lost loved one.

NWS’s “grim forecast of devastation” August 28, 2005

Posted by Leita in Flotsam/Jetsam, Government, Hurricane, News.
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The National Weather Service has issued a special statement outlining the damage that might be caused if Hurricane Katrina makes landfall as a strong Category 4 or Category 5 storm. “Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer,? says the statement. “At least one-half of well-constructed homes will have roof and wall failure. All gabled roofs will fail, leaving those homes severely damaged or destroyed. The statement says the majority of industrial buildings will become “non-functional,? with partial or complete wall and roof failure. “All wood-framed low-rising apartments will sustain major damage, including some wall and roof failure,? the statement said. “Concrete block low-rise apartments will sustain major damage, including some wall and roof failure. ?The statement says high-rise office and apartment buildings will sway dangerously, “a few to the point of total collapse.? And all their windows will blow out. Airborne debris will be widespread, and may include heavy items — household appliances and light cars and trucks —and even sport utility vehicles and trucks will be moved. “The blown debris will create additional destruction,? the statement said. “Persons, pets and livestock exposed to the winds will face certain death if struck.? Power outages will last for weeks because most power poles will be down and transformers will be destroyed. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and even the heartiest, if they survive, will be stripped of all leaves.

Hurricane Katrina – “Death and Destruction” August 28, 2005

Posted by Leita in Flotsam/Jetsam, Hurricane, News, Southern Living.

Please pray for the people of Louisiana and Mississippi. Say a prayer for the elderly, poor and plain old crazies that live in New Orleans. Having lived there, I can’t figure out how over a million people can evacuate the bowl-like terrain. Luckily, New Orleans has back roads galore, unlike the Florida panhandle. But there’s a big difference between well over a million people vs. a scant tens of thousands trying to get out of town. I’ve rode out my share of storms, once even in the back of my parent’s old Impala, but there hasn’t been a storm like this since the 60s. This one scares me and I’m a good five hours away. So pray. Even if it’s not something you normally do, pray for these people. These are not the rich ones with houses practically tipping over into the Gulf who whine about the color of the sand their counties use to replace the dunes. These are not the people who believe the beachfront is their private backyard. Not this time. The Louisiana and Mississippi coastlines are not conducive to vacations unless one enjoys spending the day in a casino. The few beachfront homes that still exist in Mississippi are mostly the old family kind with graceful oaktrees in the front yard. So pray. Many will not be able to leave. Some won’t have transportation and even those who do won’t be able to get fuel. (Hundreds of miles away, the gas stations here started running out two days ago.) These people will be lucky to get to the Superdome where they’ll sit in the dark while hundreds of babies wail and adults bicker. With no ventilation, they’ll be hot, afraid and so very tired, wondering if they’ll have a home to go back to. Their pets won’t be allowed in the shelters; many will be locked inside houses, others will roam streets lost. So pray. Just because they knew it was coming doesn’t mean they could do anything about it.

Google Talks — kind of August 25, 2005

Posted by Leita in Flotsam/Jetsam.
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Anytime one of the big boys comes up with a new gadget, I tend to be a little forgiving, especially with Google. Compared to AOL, Yahoo and others, the big G keeps its list of toys on the light side but the ones they do have work pretty well. Not everyone agrees, (Blogger is one that gets plenty of negative attention) but it’s usually due to personal preferences. I like what I like, you like what you like and we both use what works best, right?I just downloaded Google Talk and it looks like Skype Lite. Wait, it IS Skype Lite so why change? Well, there are a few reasons to consider it. The most important one is audio clarity and as soon as I get a pal to help me test it and Skype side-by-side I’ll let you know which one works best for me. Until someone comes up with a better short name, I’ll be calling it Gtalk, too.

What I did like about Google Talk was the auto-inclusion of my Gmail contact list. I can click and remove the erroneous entries, which is a whole lot faster than adding each name manually (i.e. AIM–but even it is easier than it used to be thanks to savable “buddy lists?).I also liked the absence of advertising. I don’t really mind ads if they’re not flashing me into epileptic fits. That irritating feature drove me to using AIM’s web-based interface, “AIM Express? instead of the normal software. So while I cannot forcibly subject friends to my favorite Buddy Icon, I can chat in visual peace. I call that a fair trade.

With Gtalk, you can select how you want to contact someone. Click the phone icon, M email icon or click on the name and start an IM. That’s easy enough and handy.

My “Don’t Like? list reads more like a wish list. Pending audio quality, most everything about Gtalk is acceptable. A real big wish is for my mac pals. There is no mac version but since Gtalk supports the Jabber/XMPP protocol, mac users can choose between Adium, GAIM, iChat or Psi for IMs but—if I read it correctly–not for voice calls by adding Gtalk’s server and port to their preferred client. Bummer. That’s a big one and something Skype already does.

As mentioned two paragraphs up, users have the choice of IM/phone/email. What they don’t have is file swapping. Another feature Skype users have that Gtalk’s do not.

Nutshelling: At this time, Gtalk’s clean, easy-to-use interface makes it worth keeping an eye on but until those missing features are included it won’t be my preferred method of contacting a pal online.