Disaster Relief and Recovery–Ike and Gustov; HELP WANTED and NEEDED AMERICA

As I sit here reflecting upon the past week; I find myself a combination of depressed, angry and confused. Three years ago, a week post Katrina, the country was glued to their television sets watching images of destruction never before seen in this country. They were also beginning to organize drives to raise funds, supplies and volunteers to go help. There was energy in the air that reflected the country’s “can do” attitude about helping their neighbor in need.

This year, there was NO energy manifested after hurricane Gustov and what energy was reflected after Ike quickly faded in light of the economic shenanigans going on in Washington and New York all week. Hurricane Ike is a distant memory to most people. The tolerance level for most Americans toward seeing images of destruction and suffering people standing in line for water is almost zero. The country got burned out seeing and hearing about New Orleans after two years of constant stories about the situation there. They are still burned out toward disasters as a whole.

There is simply no energy to speak of manifested toward wanting to help those devastated by Gustov and Ike. There are pockets of interest, but very little organized help to speak of. There is this eerie sense that the leaders of this country, the presidential candidates and the citizens in general simply want the situation to be handled by someone else and to go away. It is quite remarkable that no politician has tried to gain exposure by showing up to distribute water or other custom made photo ops.

Could it be that those who take the pulse of the American people have told the candidates that there is little interest in the country concerning Ike? Could it be that since the leaders of this land are up to their ears in economic woes and re-election hoopla that they do not want to be distracted by Ike? Could it be that this country no longer has either the means or the heart to give any more?

I do not know what the answers are, but I know we have a problem. Katrina hit more than three years ago and there are still massive rebuilding and recovery efforts going on in New Orleans and Mississippi. It takes incredible amounts of time, money, resources and volunteers to recover from a big hurricane. The unfortunate reality is that the amount of all these things has dropped off dramatically since 2005.

Does America still have the will to roll up her sleeves and help Galveston, Houston, the Texas coast and Louisiana recover from Gustov and Ike? We will find out in the next few weeks. Does America still have the means to provide equipment, materials and supplies to help areas clean up, fix up and rebuild? We will see in the next few months. Does America still have the “heart” to stick with these areas in the long run, to work with people for as long as it takes to get them on their feet again? We will find out in the next few years.

Disaster relief and recovery is a painstakingly slow process. It will be Thanksgiving before there is any real progress made in the hardest hit areas. Debris removal must be done slowly and correctly lest there be any bodies buried in the rubble. There is so much debris after a major hurricane it is unbelievable. There is trash, torn up buildings, trees and chunks of asphalt and stones. There is no quick fix possible, it just takes time.

Any house damaged by the hurricanes must be inspected and determinations made by insurance and FEMA as to financial retribution for to get repairs done. People must wait for insurance checks and the whole process gets bogged down in the meantime. Any building damaged by water (either from above or storm surge) must rip out the damaged drywall to prevent mold growth. Many times the carpets and even the floors must be replaced.

Even those with the means financially to pay for work to be done many times cannot find anyone to do it. There are only so many certified contractors. There are also only so many supplies that can be purchased. The point is simply that it takes time, patience and persistence to recover from a major event such as a hurricane. There are no quick fixes.

I pray the many church groups and others who faithfully went to Louisiana and Mississippi (and still go) will do the same for Texas and Louisiana as the recover from Gustov/Ike. I pray the huge corporations which go graciously donated mountains of food, drinks, building supplies and other materials after Katrina will do the same in the coming weeks for Gustov/Ike victims. I pray that better solutions arise than “FEMA trailers” and other ill fated ways to provide temporary housing to those who lost their homes. I pray those who have no job any longer find a means to make a living.

In the coming weeks and months, a whole host of issues arise that fall into the category of long term recovery. When you get past “disaster relief”, and into how to help individuals and a community start over; that is when the really tough questions start being asked and the amount of money needed to pull it off multiplies quickly. Ultimately I pray the money to rebuild and recover is there, as it has been after Katrina.


17 Responses to “Disaster Relief and Recovery–Ike and Gustov; HELP WANTED and NEEDED AMERICA”

  1. September 20, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    I am wondering if you know anyone with ties to the Albuquerque area (where I live) that might need help with housing. I don’t have money to give, but I have a living room with floor space if a person needs it. Need reference to know that they are safe to have in my home. Thanks.

  2. September 21, 2008 at 3:27 am

    I don’t know anyone at the moment, but there may be many people needing help if more hurricanes hit, as they very well may, in a week or two. I would contact your local Red Cross and talk to them. They are all linked together and if someone is in need, they will know about it.

  3. 3 missionlog
    September 22, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Mercyman, thanks for your heartfelt post. One thing America still has is neighbors, and we are coming down to help again just as we did after Katrina. We are still helping. Your prayers – God’s answers… More updates on my blog, http://missionlog.wordpress.com

  4. September 25, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Please let us know if we can help or if you need able bodies and construction equipment. I own Curatola Construction & Curatola Home Builders. I understand the need for help in a time of need and helping you neighbors when most of them wont ask! Let us no ! Micheal Curatola

    Curatola Construction

  5. 5 stephen ellis
    September 26, 2008 at 5:47 am

    I am a licensed electrician in Massachusetts–can any electrical contractors in the Galveston or Houston area
    use an electrician and helper in your rebuilding efforts
    steve ellis

  6. 6 Bryon Hoffman
    September 28, 2008 at 5:42 am

    I was looking to see if any good and honest contractors were needed in the rebuilding after the hurrican. I have my own business in missouri and feel I could help many more people in your affected area. I have worked from custom homes to remodels,room additions,flooring custom kitchen and baths. Pretty much whatever it is besides foundation work I can do it. Work in our area is very slow nowadays and would be willing to travel down and work.

    Hope to hear from someone.

    Bryon Hoffman
    Statement Contracting LLC
    Pacific Missouri 63069

  7. 7 j smoot
    September 29, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    there will be no goose laying a golden egg here like the the goose layed on kratrina us texans will just have to reach down and get a big hand full and eat it the goverment state and fed could care less all we need to do is pay taxes and baill out people who want to keep UP WITH THE JONES buy a new house knowing that if they stump there toe mis a day of work and foreclosure begins and the lender new that when yhry sold it to them now what a sweet heart deal the govermet will bail out the lender and most of the people will lose there big over priced home they had to have TO KEEP UP WITH THE JONES any way while you can here the lenders lafther all the way to to there pocket and bank account because now they will sell these home again to some one else what do i mean buy this well thank about it after they foreclose on you then you will be anle to buy another house now you have some bad credit you are a high risk they will sell you one at a higher inistest rate so that 10 or 20 years down the road when you think every think is peache and roseie and you have kindy fore gotten those bad times and you have rebuld your credit rating well here comes a bomb shell and all this hell starts over and you will 60 years old with no place to go to old to wokk had any more now that you are a burden to world they take your home kick yor ass to the curb a big cord board box will make you home sick you can go down to the food pantry for food oh i for got food prantrys are every where but know they call them dumpsters but some cities will not let you go to the pantry brcause its againt the law to dumpster dive oh well if you go to jail for it thats ok because they will feed you 3 times a day and you will have a roof over your head and not have to stay under the bridge or unthoughtull freinds or relitves oh my frends and relitves are not like that you say well just try staying with some of them for a while and you will see beccause i have went through this already and im over 60 this is kind of a form that the world goes threw every 15 to 20 years and if you have not went through it yet you will well now not every one will have to face the gloom and doom that i am talking about some of you will be just fine more so if you work as a lender for fannie mac or feddy macoh buy the way you might be able to ouailfy for a low instrest load now from one of the big MACKS NOW being that you now have a low income who knows you might be able to buy your just forclosed home back and pay for it in 30 years WAIT WAIT HEY i would be about 90 years old then now you know that just a pipe dream like the american dream own a home wake people think about it you only own it to some degree leys say you have it paid for well you do not have it PAID FOR just add all the taxes you pay on it dived it by 12 and thats what it cost you per month to say you own it free and clear now dont pay the taxes and see who owns it well the sherff of nottingham will repo it and sell it to the highest bidder NOW are you ready to bid so good luck to all and remimber this is the past and this is the future ways they do bussiness for you but not for them ikewas nothing compared to the bail out ike was just a stepping stone along the way for them to take it away from you faster it just nature working against you and nature working for them isnt it

  8. 8 marvin lenhart
    September 29, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I was looking to see If any contractors may need a strong hard working crew, that is experience in framing, remodeling, and Ins. type rebuilds. I have workers comp. and Ins. I can travel to your area, and stay as long as needed. I have Refs. and know people in Beaumount,Tx. that knows my charerter, (Austin Green) 409-920-0107 is one. I work good with contractors and home owners. I no my role and I get the job done on time.
    Please contact me at marvin.lenhart@yahoo.com or call 865-223-3911

  9. 9 Anonymous
    September 30, 2008 at 4:01 am

    My name is J.R. Heath, and I am a business development rep for Superior Park Model Homes in Pelham, Ga. We have a 120,000 sq ft facility with production capabilities of 50+ park model homes per week. You can see our product online at http://www.superiorparkmodelhomes.com .

    We have recently come under new ownership….so our backlog is almost non- existent. I say this only to show that we can produce a large amount of homes in a very short period of time. We have recently had one of our homes tested for formaldehyde levels, and the test came back with surprisingly low levels. We also have partnered with a company out of Florida that is on the “ cutting edge” of technology. They have invented a ventilation system that brings our homes to a level of 15 parts per billion. I do not believe there is another company out there that can claim that.

    If anyone can use some temporary housing….please call me.

    J.R. Heath

  10. 10 Brian B. Brill
    October 23, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Hello i’m a very good carpenter and roofer that is in need of employment.I’m looking for contractors who could use my skills durring this disaster.I’m planning to make the trip to help in anyway i can.the economy as we all no is not helping the situation any,but i feel i would be a great asset to any crew in my field of skills.Please e-mail any assistance that is available in finding a job there.My e-mail is briett77@yahoo.com.I’m willing to travel to any place that could use me and would consider working on some volunteer programs as well.I’m a pretty humble person so my inquire is not greed modavated,but only in the interest of bettering others as well as keeping a secure job in these unlikly events that have accured in the past few years.Thank you for all assistance that is given,and Texas and Louisiana you are all in my prayers.

  11. November 17, 2008 at 6:42 am

    I own a small, family, 10-year, custom cabinet shop which makes moldings, flooring, stairs and risers. I cannot give my merchandise away but I’m cheaper than your local hardware chains. Can you direct me to the right authority so that I can make this known to Ike victims? I have references and have helped for Katrina. Our website is
    Thank you.
    Jim Lefever
    Lefever Cabinets
    2566 Leatherwood Church Road
    Edmonton, KY 42129

  12. May 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with helpful information to work on. You have done an impressive activity and our whole community will probably be thankful to you.

  13. May 6, 2013 at 5:54 am

    I tend not to leave a comment, but I browsed a few responses here Disaster Relief and Recovery-Ike and Gustov;
    HELP WANTED and NEEDED AMERICA | Mercyman53’s Weblog. I actually do have 2 questions for you if you tend not to mind. Is it only me or does it seem like a few of the remarks come across as if they are left by brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing on other social sites, I would like to follow anything fresh you have to post. Would you make a list of all of all your public pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  14. May 7, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I want to to thank you for this great read!! I definitely loved every
    bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to look at new things you post…

  15. May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and
    say I really enjoy reading through your articles.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics?

    Thank you so much!

  16. July 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm

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  17. 17 airconditioning
    May 30, 2014 at 7:55 am

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