Monday, September 12, 2005

What still isn't happening

A friend forwards this list of needs still unmet by those agencies, organizations and others that are supposed to be providing assistance post-Katrina: --- Most people that were not directly affected by the Katrina disaster don't seem to understand what the situation is of those who were/are. Some suggestions: 1. We are constantly asked for contact information. Unlike storms in other states, many of us in the New Orleans area, including a major part of N.O. that the media still does not seem to know even exists is still full of water. Many do not know where they will spend the night much less where they can be contacted. People of staying in parking lots and pastures. Muncipal addresses are hard to find. Most Internet website that I have tried to access require information that make it impossible to use the websites. 2. Telling us to just go here and there is not always feasible. In some places those with vehicles have limited access to fuel. Many don't have vehicles. Public transportation is weak at best. 3. If you are a government agency or business where you know you will have an usual amount of people waiting long periods of time, if you don't want them to use your bathroom, rent a port-a-let. 4. If you refer someone to an agency give details. Phone numbers, website addresses and physical locations. Everyone does not have regular access to means of communications much less computers. Try to picture a person drowning, details are unimportant; help is important. Try doing a bit more to assist people than you normally do in your daily jobs. 5. The radio talk folks seem to forget that something as simple as getting a piece of paper to write down a phone number is difficult. For example, I wanted to call in to correct some information on WWL-AM radio yesterday. It was almost 4 hours before an announcer came on the air who would talk slow enough, repeat it often enough and articulate enough to even give the station contact number. Instead of joking around to fill dead air, talk a bit slower and announce phone numbers often and do your best to articulate important information. Access to radios is problematic. You may have announced vital information on time the last hour. It doesn't mean that the people who need it were able to tune in at that specific moment. 6. Government bureaucrats and those businesses that are in business for which we are customers are going to have to find a way to assist in non-traditional ways. About all information most people have is their social security numbers. If you can assist them in filling out forms please do. Most are suffering from mental trauma (like shell-shock) and while they may look normal, they aren't. BOTTOM-LINE: Many of us are us butts in alligators (many literally). Start finding new ways to assist your constituents and customers. Stop using he traditional list of questions that have no relevance and only serve to waste our time. Bend over the little farther to help than you ever have in your life. Finally, of all those trying to help, the only real help is coming from the private sector. If government can't get its act together quickly (It's been two weeks today) please don't continue to [obstruct] those in the private sector who can and will help.