Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hurricane Resources

Hurricane Katrina and her friends have clearly devastated a huge area of the gulf coast and beyond. I felt like maybe the best thing I could do (at least from a blog perspective) was collect places people can go to find or give assistance. There are plenty of places you can go for news on the tragedy (and please do).
This is certainly not a comprehensive list, and I expect to update it as I discover more.
How to help:
If you would like to help victims of the hurricane, I suggest donating money. If you already belong to an organization that assists in disaster relief, you may contact them to see what their plans are. However, at this time organizations are requesting donations money rather than items, so that they do not have to figure out how to transport items and so they can make sure items available are exactly what is most needed. I recommend donating to America's Second Harvest, who provides food to families in need. Instapundit also has a list of other charities you may choose to donate to.
There is also a Katrina Help page on the Wiki Portal - http://katrinahelp.info/wiki/index.php/Main_Page. It includes ways to help as well as numbers for assistance for hurricane victims.
Finding People:
This website has is available for people to contact relatives. There are safe, found and missing lists. http://survivedkatrina.proboards54.com/index.cgi
The Times-Picayune's NOLA.com site also has many resources for help, people offering to volunteer, people connecting with relative, etc.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is helping families who have been separated from their children (and vice versa). Their website is: www.missingkids.com and their number is: 1-800-THE-LOST.

For those affected by the hurricane:
Housing:
Roommate Click - a free roommate search service - has added a section to assist displaced people in finding temporary housing. http://www.rc-katrina.com/
MoveOn.org has also set up a website for hurricane victims to fond housing - hurricanehousing.org.
There is also ShelterForKatrina.org.
Schools:
Many school districts are treating displaced families in accordance with their rules for homeless children, which often include waiving the need to birth certificates and/or proof of vaccination and quick enrollment for school and meal programs.
The American Council on Education has together a website to help displaced college students find alternate education and to get information about the status of their university. It is campusrelief.org.
The National Association for College Admission Counseling has added a Katrina forum for colleges and displaced students and faculty to connect with one another.
The federal government will make it easier for displaced students to receive federal aid.
Many universities are offering streamlined enrollment, reduced tuition, and assistance finding housing to displaced students. Please check with the university in your area.
Jobs:
If you worked for a chain, please contact them. Many chains are trying to find work for employees in alternate locations.
A website to find jobs for displaced workers has been set up here - www.katrinajobrelief.com.
Network for Good's Hireability.com is offering free job postings for managers looking to hire displaced people and - as always - free searches for job seekers.
They have also set up SOSHotels for displaced hotel workers.
Financial: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are making decisions about delayed or temporarily reduced mortgage payments on a case by case basis. Mercedes Benz is offering deferred or delayed payments on a case by case basis to their loan recipients. Hurricane victims concerned about tax matters can contact the IRS hotline at 1-866-562-5227.
Last Updated - 10/19/2005

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