URGENT ASSISTANCE NEEDED.
First of all, many thanks to the kind and courageous folks currently staffing Outpost Crystal. Their compassion and honesty are unparalleled.
I am writing this to describe a horrific situation in NOLA that few are aware of, and those who are aware are doing little or nothing. As many of you have likely observed, the national media outlets are suggesting that hurricane relief is finally leading to vast improvements with each hour that passes. Food and water are being delivered, power restored, levees repaired, water drainage plans developed, and those still living successfully evacuated. Many are reporting that the final areas are being checked for survivors, as well as those who have passed at the hands of Katrina (and more often, neglect).
Unfortunately, this is not the case. As demonstrated on nola.com's blog section, many individuals know the exact locations and WORKING telephone numbers of family members, most of whom are elderly, sickly, starving, and in serious need of medical attention. When able to get through on emergency telephone numbers, a feat not to be taken lightly, they are dismissed or told that dispatch would be sent immediately, yet no one has come, even though calls have been placed for days. Many do not require full evacuation, but basic medical attention and/or supplies. Many are completely immobile, and unable to access the limited relief sites or food drops.
I spoke to one such individual, Ms. Lee Livermore, who was still trapped in her home earlier this evening (around 6:00pm EST). Her nephew, living in Michigan, explained to me that she is diabetic, has difficulty moving, and he has been in contact with the coast guard, emergency services, and even the governor's office, yet nothing is being done. Stranded on a 3rd floor apartment, with little food, no sweets, and low blood sugar, her outlook is not promising.
This is just one case out of hundreds, probably thousands. Incredibly, much of this information is available through nola.com, a resource many of the media are utilizing, yet remains unreported. The television broadcasts refer to none of this, simply stressing the importance of financial contributions, encouraging National Guard membership for potential volunteers, and emphasizing the positive direction the situation is headed.
For more information on these people who arestranded and requiring immediate assistance, please visit THIS LINK.
Note: specific contact information and locations ARE provided.
Some of these people, primarily those in high profile areas, such as universities and hospitals, have since been rescued. Others, however, are being ignored, even though their situation and status is easily
discernable and their telephone contacts are reliable and consistent. Addresses are always provided, as is contact information for family and
friends. After speaking with stranded individuals and their family members, the severity of the situation is obvious, yet rescue workers are overwhelmed or dismissive, often a combination of the two, with
each call placed. We are being bombarded with images of the care and rescue of healthy, able-bodied people, yet so many of those who need our attention most are completely helpless.
After having little success using the emergencynumbers provided by a variety of organizations and websites, I called CNN to explain the distress that these individuals are in. I was told that they have a department compiling information of those who need assistance, and that the office would be open on TUESDAY, after the Labor Day holiday, so the best course of action is to leave a voicemail. Understandably outraged, I called MSNBC, where the woman I spoke with was also
shocked. She told me they have a voicemail box that was checked every 15 minutes, and my information could be left there. It was, not surprisingly, full, and I was disconnected, as has occurred on every subsequent call.
I encourage anyone in a position to help to do everything they can to assure that those whose locations are known, especially those requiring
medical attention, be assisted IMMEDIATELY, with other search and rescue operations taking a lesser priority. Just because these people are less visible and indoors, some perhaps in dry areas, should not exempt them from the care and attention being relegated to others.
I also ask that those who are able complain about the policies of the major media networks, both in collecting information on those in need, as well as the reporting of improvements, when many are STILL ALIVE, but will starve and die of their conditions in the very near future.
I understand that the extremely limited resources need to be conserved and delivered where most needed. As it is easy to ascertain the condition and whereabouts of many of these people, through a mere phone call, something that rescue agencies and certainly the media have access to, it seems beyond remiss that their perilous situations be ignored.
If anyone has additional questions, information, or advice, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Emergency numbers are available to any who need them by visiting www.ltv.com
Best of luck to all of you still in the area, doing your best to report accurate and timely information.