Peter Hentges (jbru) wrote,
Peter Hentges

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What can I do?

I look at all the coverage of Katrina's wrath and the fallout from it and I wonder, "What can I do?" Sure, donations to the Red Cross or other agencies are a place to start. Right now, as relief efforts seem to just barely be getting started, I'm not sure how much good pumping money into the system will be. In a week, I think it may be more helpful. Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know.

What I do know, is that I will write letters to my mayor, city council person and state government representatives and ask them what plans my city and state has in place for when our natural disaster hits. Sure, we're not likely to get a big flood in the Twin Cities proper (even with the Mississippi flowing through them), but the Minnesota river floods pretty regularly and the Red River floods are a nearly annual occurrence. A tornado, or series of tornadoes, could strike anywhere in our state or those neighboring at any time. Horrific winter storms are certainly possible. As many have pointed out, there's not a place in this country that's completely safe from some sort of natural disaster.

I want to know that the poor, homeless and otherwise disenfranchised in my city will not suffer the way those in New Orleans have. I want to know that there are people who are trained to respond to emergencies and that they have plans in place just waiting for that disaster to happen. I want there to be disaster geeks who get off on thinking up all the interesting ways Mother Nature or other humans can sock it to us and coming up with plans to deal with it. And if those things don't exist, I want to know why.
Tags: activism, disaster, weather

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