September 10, 2005

First person accounts Katrina

Watch this slideshow Five Days with Katrina - Alvaro

Notes from Under Water by Matt Labash is a must-read

In the parking lot outside the hangar sits George Lainart, a police officer from Georgia, who has led a flotilla of nine airboats over land to try to pitch in with the rescue. But his crew has been on the bench for two days, waiting for FEMA to assign them a mission. After making serial inquiries, Lainart is climbing out of his skin, and I later find out that his team circumvented FEMA altogether, got down to New Orleans, and stayed busy for five days straight. Though he shredded his hull by running over asphalt, cars, fire hydrants, and other debris, his crew saved nearly 800 people.

Disaster Medicine via The Doctor is In

Dispatches from New Orleans #1

9/2 I don't know about the psychological and societal root causes of what's going on here. But I can tell you that the two overriding emotions I see are:
- terror. Lots of people are thinking they're going to die here. And lots of them are probably right.
- a sense that all rules have been dispensed with I saw a smaller version of this on 9-11, but this is on a far grander scale. This is Hobbesian in its magnitude.

Dispatches from New Orleans #2

i have meet so many people while down here. people who were at ground zero at 9-11, people who have done tusanmi relief, tours in iraq and every one of them has said this is the worst thing they have ever seen. its unaminous and these are some battle worn veterans of every kind of disaster you can imagine.

From Grunt Doc, Tulane Hospitals CEO's account -

so we hatched a plan and I tried to stay out of the way and let our physicians and nurses triage patients; others determined what vital supplies we needed replenishing; HCA was working frantically to coordinate a transportation effort to pick up patients and eventually, our staff.  How many people?  Good question. At least 1200 which included a total of 160 patients, employees and physicians and their families and 76 dogs and cats that I didn't know about at the time.

and Doctors emerging as heroes

Disasters always spawn heroes.  On Sept. 11, 2001, many of them wore dark blue uniforms that said FDNY.  On Sept. 1, 2005, many wore hospital scrubs that said MD, RN and EMT. Thousands of health care workers stayed with patients in devastated hospitals after the storm struck. Thousands more rushed in to help.

John from Texas, a man with a plan, loads up to find his army buddy, travels to Mississippi, then New Orleans  From LoneStar MVPA via American Digest

Have you ever seen any of the zombie horror movies like Dawn of the Dead?  That's what these people looked like. They were filthy, standing around in two's and three's and I have never seen so much blank confusion in people's eyes.  Still, they thanked us and went about whatever it was they were doing.  When we got to the remains of Joe's house, he was sitting on the ground where his front door had been.  He was cradling his dead dog in his arms and weeping.  When the ocean began to rise, Joe took his wife and children across the street to the only two story house in the neighborhood.  He did not have time to go back and save the dog.  Tracy found a shovel amongst the debris and buried the dog in the soggy lawn.

I was trying to untangle some of the two by fours in the street when my back gave up on me.  At this point, I had better clarify my medical condition.  During one of my many overseas vacations with Uncle Sam, I suffered multiple explosive impact traumas against my spine. T his left me with multiple broken vertebrae and a lifetime of prescription painkillers.  After years of poking and prodding by the Veterans Administration, the federal government declared me 100% disabled and I now became an official burden to society.  Whatever you say, Doc.  Driving, standing and sitting is painful, but walking is agony.  Bending and lifting is torture beyond belief.  Tracy knows all this and bitched at me until I took double my dose of happy pills.  Five minutes later I was unconscious next to the dog's grave.

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Posted by Jill Fallon at September 10, 2005 04:43 PM | Permalink