Katrina’s impact today and ways to help

By Caleb Sanders

The beaming heart of the city of New Orleans is still broken from the catastrophic effects left by Hurricane Katrina. A once proud city was brought to its knees and time has still not healed everything.

Only 50 percent of the residents who lived there before the storm have returned. Many were forced to relocate to various locations including Houston, Baton Rouge and over 6,000 people moved as far north as Chicago.

Some small businesses have returned and many casinos are up and running. New Orleans is not struggling in the tourism department, but many of the city’s other functions are still crippled.

Only 29 percent of the city’s schools are fully functional, and only 50 percent of the hospitals are ready to take patients.

Approximately $81.2 billion dollars in damage made Hurricane Katrina the costliest natural disaster ever to happen on American soil. The Bush administration has approved $105 billion to be spent to help rebuild the Gulf Coast.

However, due to disputes over where the money should be spent, it has not yet materialized adequately.

According to the U.K.’s Times Online, some $2 billion dollars of this money has disappeared in what some are calling fraud or waste.

The aftermath of Katrina will be felt for many years but like 9/11, it has shown that our nation can rise up and come together to help people. The road will be long and will not be easy but as long as people work together they can accomplish great things.

sources: NPR, www..wikipedia.com, MSNBC, CNN

————————————————-By Trevor Pursel

One year has passed since Hurricane Katrina destroyed Louisiana.

It ripped apart not only homes and businesses, but also the hearts of the some four million people who once called the Pelican State their haven.

With the aid these parishes are receiving, it is easy to think that there are enough helping hands.

There are not.

There is no end to the number of hands needed to heal these broken hearts.

The main focus of the Mennonite Disaster Services is on cleaning and repairing/rebuilding homes that are devastated by disaster. There are long term (at least one month), and short term (under three weeks) projects.

“There are a number of sites to accommodate and the sooner people volunteer, the better,” Andi Dube of the MDS said.

Students can also participate through The United Way. The United Way offers a hurricane response and recovery fund, which in Southeastern Pennsylvania has so far raised $2.8 million.

The United Way’s Katrina Fund will support the entire cost of temporary relocation and permanent renovation of the United Community Health Center in Louisiana.

It will also support the community health center and a $50,000 check is being given each month to the Recovery Unmet Needs Fund of United Way of South Louisiana, Emergency Needs Fund at the Tenant Union Representative Network, and The Recovery Counseling Program at Project Thrive.

Emergency Communities also allows students to give their time in order to aid victims.

“Anything from raising money, to spreading awareness is a big help,” Katherine Pangaro, a coordinator of Emergency Communities said

So the next time you are online doing the Facebook perusing, try looking into resources to assist victims of this natural disaster.

For the poll, 257 students answered these two questions:1. Is Katrina still a national problem? 2. Over the past year, has the government responded accordingly to the disaster?

Here are the results:Q1: Men Women 81 = YES 127 = YES 23 = NO 26 = NO

Q2: Men Women 40 = YES 34 = YES 56 = NO 110 = NO Poll was conducted by Nick Agazarian and Kate Savo.

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