The webcomics blog about webcomics

Unpleasant Echoes

Update to add: My employer will be matching donations to the Houston Food Bank; if you want your effort to be tripled (you give $1, I match $1, my employer matches my $1, total of $3 donated), there’s the place to give.

It was twelve years back that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and that being some months before this here page launched, we didn’t talk about the impact it had on webcomics — a number of hosting and colo facilities were in the Crescent City, and they failed as the floodwaters rose.

Actually, we wouldn’t have spoken about that regardless, as Hurricane Katrina was a bad time for me personally; I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned it here, but my wife’s parents lived in New Orleans at the time, and we lost contact with them about 9:00pm Monday night¹. We didn’t hear back from them until the wee morning hours of Saturday. It’s a terrible thing, not knowing.

Anyway, they called us around 3:00am from a Red Cross intake center at an Army base in Texas (they got to ride in a helicopter!), and then their time at the phone was up. In the meantime, I found a hotel in the same city with vacancies, and when they got their next shot at the phone eight hours later and were still waiting their turn at processing (there were a lot of displaced people there), I told ’em to sign the We’re Leaving release, hop in a cab, and head to the Marriott. An hour later they’d had their first showers and hot food in days, and the luxury of talking to us without anybody waiting their turn.

We told ’em to stay there at least the weekend and were never so glad to get a higher than expected Visa bill that month. They did return to New Orleans, but only briefly to gather their things; they wound up in West Virginia, close to one of my wife’s sisters (the surgical nurse, which was helpful when their health later took downward turns).

Houston, and its metropolitan area, is much larger than New Orleans. It is not conceivable how many people will have to be rescued as the waters are — as of this writing — still rising nearly three days after landfall; it is not conceivable how many will have to be evacuated from homes and neighborhoods that are no longer structurally safe or provided with the necessities of life; it is not conceivable how many may never be able to return. Some of them were probably chased out of NoLa in 2005 and wondering which deity they pissed off to go through all of this again.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that there’s going to be a continuing need for help down in Texas; the immediate rescue-and-recovery will last for the next couple of days, but the rebuilding will take much, much longer.

Fleen readers have proven themselves to be generous in the defense of others, and I’m asking you to help once again. Material goods are not as helpful as cash, so any contributions to any of the local charities called out by Charity Navigator as being well-regarded, we’re going to match them until the end of Labor Day.

Those organizations are:

Remember: a lot of people that don’t evacuate make that choice because they can’t take their animals with them; add in the animals that have been separated from their people, and you see the need.

If there are webcomics down that you learn about alternate posting locations for, we’ll run a list; otherwise, let’s be patient, and let’s do our best to help².

Spam of the day:
Not today.

¹ Exactly twelve years ago tomorrow.

² On that note, there is a nonzero chance that FEMA may ask my town’s EMS to send ambulance and crew to Texas; it happened after Katrina. If that happens, I’ll be away. I trust you’ll deal.

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