First of all I was deployed up to the
The Headquarters by-the-way was in an old Sam’s Club building and then we moved into the building that had housed a Wal*Mart next door that was slightly more pleasant. Both buildings had the charm of a warehouses with bulk tables and chairs scattered about and phone and power lines drooping across the ceiling. The picture below shows our little motorhome camped up against the side of the out-or-business Sam's Club with a variety of Emergency Response Vehicles in the foreground. The ERVs are used to deliver food and supplies to neighborhoods.
After Hurricane Ike there are small towns on the
Sheltering has been a scramble too. We had enough space for the evacuation of almost a million people. Fortunately only 10% had no other place to go. They drove and were bussed hundreds of miles away to places like
FEMA has been hopeless and in fact a real blockade to what we are attempting, but that will have to come later.
It is really humbling to know that there are so many people in desperate need and we can't help them fast enough. Still over two weeks after the hurricane there are over a 145,000 people without electricity. We were one of them for eleven days. We had the motorhome rumbling away outside with an extension cord coming into the house. John would wait for me to get off the computer so he could plug in the microwave and heat last night's leftovers. At least we have the motorhome. It is getting hot at night and harder to sleep without air conditioning. Much hotter and we will move back into the motorhome. Like I said we are lucky. Our neighbors to the left were not at home. If they had been they would have been killed by the tree that fell onto their bed. They still have power but the neighbors to the right and across the street had no electricity like us.
Enormous grandfather trees are lying around our neighborhood here in
I took the day off today. It is Sunday and I would not have made much headway with the business people I need to contact for sheltering space. I slept in, went for a hair cut, took a nap and went for a walk. After dinner we plan to play scrabble.
John has been so good, getting dinner when I crawl home after twelve hour days and stringing lights all over the place. Great clusters of extension cords to step over. Love him. I can’t grumble about my hours as there are Red Cross nurses who are working long shifts in shelters and then stay on call all night in a shelter. While I was working at the Red Cross HQ in the Sam’s Club in
Hard to live without power at home though. I walk into the bedroom and tell myself not to put my hand on the light switch but then reach out to turn the fan on. It has become so automatic.
There are still almost four hundred people missing. They are men women and children. Most did not evacuate when they were told to and now are simply listed as missing. The occasional body is found among the debris but who knows how many people were swept out to sea in the storm.