Katrina Networking

I am using my networking and marketing skills to pass along vital information to organizations, volunteers and survivors of the 2005 hurricane season. Grants, networking, advocating, assistance resources, articles and more. Updated regularly to better assist you.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Insect Control and Tolerance

I just got my Campmor catalog this last week and thought I'd share some ideas that aren't so expensive to buy and just might save some peoples' sanity or skin. The only 3 things I'm going to recommend, and they don't have to come from this catalog, are: The packtowel - super light and dries fast. GREAT. The bug head cover. Bugs in your ears is the worst. Solar shower. The one I show is the largest in the catalog. Allows for more showers in a row than smaller ones. But with showers being a limited resource, this is NOT a bad thing to take along.

You can see them yourself at www.campmor.com. You can also look for them at www.sierratradingpost.com or www.rei.com. I just happen to have the campmor catalog in front of me is all.

First will be mosquito/bug clothing. It's all pretty cheap. Honest. Compared to the comfort you'll have, it's cheap.

Bug Pants. # 82171 $19.99
Bug Top # 82170 $19.99

Bug Socks # 82172 $9.99

Bug Head Cover # 81276 $4.99

Bug Repellants:

DEET Free 4 oz. # 82151 $6.99 (Left)

31% DEET 2.5 oz #84830 $8.95

Shower stuff

Solar Shower Bag # 22320 $24.99

PackTowel 27x50 #99623 $27.05

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Presbytery of Mississippi

Howdy Leslie,

Yes, basically entire county, but focused mainly on Bay St Louis, Waveland,Pearlington.

We are presently working on about 50 homes with over 700 completed in some form or fashion.

We aren't working on the church; it wasn't damaged.

We can house 150 volunteers with food and tools provided.

We also have a social worker on site for the folks we are helping - and the folks are doing well for the most part.

Added 3/29

We need:

sheet rock
felt paper
sundry other things

We need

semi-skilled carpenters

Please send any assistance to:

First Presbyterian Church
Attn.: Sam Thompson
114 Ulman Ave.
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520

I hope this helps

God bless,
Sam T


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Article From WLOX - Home Loans Available

Mississippi House OKs Loans For Homes Hurt By Katrina Surge, Flooding

People whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina's powerful storm surge or flooding could apply for interest-free loans of up to $25,000, under a bill that cleared the state House on Wednesday.

The proposal passed 116-3 and moves to the Senate for more debate.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Percy Watson, D-Hattiesburg, said the bill is aimed primarily at helping people in four of the southernmost counties: Hancock, Harrison and Jackson, which all touch the Gulf of Mexico; and Pearl River County, which is just north of Hancock on the Louisiana border.

The $250 million state proposal comes weeks after the announcement of $5.1 billion in federal grants to help Mississippians whose houses flooded in Katrina, despite being outside the federally designated flood zone.

For many people who won't qualify for the federal grant money, a state loan "probably would be the loan of last resort,'' Watson said.

Under the House bill, the state loans would be available only for primary homesteads and only for people who either didn't have flood insurance or who had too little flood insurance to cover the damage. A person receiving a loan would have to rebuild in the same county, but not necessarily on the same parcel of land.

A homeowner receiving a state loan would have 20 years to repay it. Watson said Mississippi would lose money on the program - first, because the state would pay interest on the bonds; and second, because officials anticipate that some receiving the loans might not repay the money. But he still said the program is the right thing to do to help people recover.

On a voice vote, the House defeated an attempt by Rep. Omeria Scott, D-Laurel, to expand the loans into any county that had "catastrophic'' damage, under federal definitions. That would've included Scott's home county of Jones, where Katrina's powerful winds uprooted hundreds of trees and caused widespread damage to homes.

Scott said she was not trying to take away aid from the coast.

"I represent an area that was hurt, and I'm just trying to get some help for my area,'' she said.
Watson, who also saw widespread damage from falling trees in his district, argued against Scott's proposal.

"Sometimes in our attempt to help many, we don't help any,'' Watson said.

Rep. Diane Peranich, D-Pass Christian, took a moment during the House debate to thank those trying to help the coast.

"We know it would be a situation of last resort, but I cannot tell you how much it would mean to us, out of despair to have hope,'' Peranich said.

Rep. John Read, R-Gautier, said he and his son are among the coast residents who lost homes to Katrina. He also thanked Watson for the loan proposal.

"As I see people daily, hope is fading,'' Read said. "As it's going on, it seems like it's getting worse.''

The bill is House Bill 1548.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

MS United Methodist Katrina Response

Our GoalsRestore persons to safe, permanent homes as soon as possible. Whose homes?
Be attentive to and, where possible, address spiritual, emotional, and other needs of these persons.
Affirm, encourage, and offer support to local churches in the recovery effort.
Organize and deploy volunteers to maximize recovery to extend beyond what congregations can accomplish on their own. How to volunteer
Partner with other organizations where possible to enhance efforts.

Tell the story - keep people abreast of the amazing work being done by local churches and United Methodist volunteers.
Help us archive the incredible story of Miss. United Methodist Katrina recovery
Thousands of United Methodists have come to help heal hearts and homes in Mississippi. It is a beautiful story of hope; a testament to being the church Christ called us to be. We want to remember the many acts of encouragement and hope and share them with generations to come. Many of you have or will take photos and DVDs of your time volunteering in our communities. We are asking you to share those and your testimonials with us. Be sure to identify the who, what, when and where for each photo and testimonial. E-mail to lisacmichiels@bellsouth.net or mail to Seashore District UMC, Attn. Lisa, 1509 24th Avenue, Gulfport, MS 39501. Photos should be e-mailed as jpeg files.

A note from Robert
What compels us to be in ministry to others? Is it because we want to be or because someone compels us to be? What is the church? What does the church do? How is the church to react to others in need? Who is the church?

I think more than 50,000 United Methodist Volunteers in Mission have found the answer to most of these questions. As they have come and given of their time and money they have found that we all are the church. Christ compels us to be in ministry and to meet the needs of others here on this earth.

This disaster called Katrina has given the church a great opportunity to be just that: the CHURCH. As Mother Teresa has said, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” To all these wonderful people who have begun, please give them thanks when you see them. The people of the coast would be years behind in recovery if not for them. God bless our volunteers!

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. - John Wesley

Tu hermano en Cristo,

Robert Sharp of Ocean Springs is coordinator of the Mississippi United Methodist Katrina Response.

After much frustration, we finally got our permit to construct our second multi-purpose building at Nugent UMC, Gulfport. Our first building at Vancleave UMC in Jackson County is moving along nicely. We will move into the warehouse portion of that building this month, which will allow us to close down the rented warehouse in Wiggins. We still have work to do to complete the dormitory portion of the Vancleave building.
Like almost everything down here, these buildings have taken longer to construct and cost more than anticipated. And, we still have some fundraising ahead of us to complete them. They are being constructed with what Mark Twain called "tainted money," i.e. money that "t'aint yours and t'aint mine."
All of the funds to construct these buildings have come from a special grant from UMCOR and donations from churches and individuals. Not one penny of the dollars designated to help families recover from Katrina will be used in their construction. We are now prepared in the eastern area of the Coast to sustain a long-term recovery effort and at the same time are positioned well to respond to future hurricanes.
I recently finished reading a series of articles in The Gazette, the newspaper of Medina County, Ohio. It is about the efforts of the Medina UMC to help the people of Pearlington, Miss. The series is titled "A Prayer for Pearlington." These stories reminded me of my first visit to Pearlington after Katrina struck, which I talked about in our April 7, 2006, e-mail update. They also just reinforced one more time the goodness of people who have come and continue to come to help us in our recovery and the spirit and courage of those who have lost so much.
I have been truly blessed by my association during these many months with simply wonderful and special people - volunteers, victims, clergy and staff in our United Methodist Church, and certainly the members of our Mississippi Katrina Response team. I have gained many friends and have been inspired by many people during this time.
As Dinah Haakenson penned:
You are my Friend.
A priceless gift I treasure,
A blessing without measure.
You've given me laughter, love, and caring,
Your moments, your hours, freely sharing.
You've given me memories, joy that won't end,
You've given me you; you are my friend.

Thank you, my friends, for what you have all meant to me and to Mississippi. - Ed BlakesleeBlakeslee is coordinator of the Mississippi United Methodist Katrina Response.
Mississippi United Methodist Katrina Response Update March 3, 2006

Notes from Ed

Thank you for responding to our request last week for construction facilitators. We now have some candidates to interview for these jobs.

We continue to need donations of building materials (sheetrock, shingles, etc.) and equipment to handle the materials.

We have access this year to several warehouses/buildings that we can use (including the one at Heritage UMC mentioned below), but we still need to move ahead swiftly to construct the multi-purpose buildings mentioned in the Feb. 17 update.

In the Feb. 17 update, we also told you about withdrawing from Katrina Aid Today funding but that we anticipated additional contributions from United Methodists across the country would offset these dollars. Well, God has provided. We anticipate that in early April, UMCOR’s Board of Directors will increase our funding for this year from $2.6 million to almost $3 million. Most of these dollars will be used to fund case management staff beyond the four regions we have set up in the south.

We have employed Margaret DiSalvo to supervise these case management people and to provide technical assistance to case management staff in our four regions. Margaret was performing case management for FEMA on the cruise ship in Pascagoula before coming on board with us.

All of the dollars we are spending in the conference organization are provided through UMCOR. Cash donations from volunteer work teams remain with the local churches to help pay for housing volunteers and to provide some materials for reconstruction.

Beginning with Hurricane Betsy through Katrina, I worked six hurricanes for Mississippi Power Company. We made mistakes in each one and learned from each one. Our church has made mistakes in this effort, and we will make some more before we are through. I am convinced that no one was prepared for a disaster of this magnitude and that we are plowing new ground. But, we will learn from these experiences and be much better prepared for the next disaster.
- Ed Blakeslee

Ed Blakeslee of Gulfport is coordinator of the Mississippi United Methodist Katrina Response.

As noted in last week’s update we have installed two showers at St. Mark’s UMC in Gulfport so that volunteers do not have to drive 20 minutes to Gateway UMC on the north side of Gulfport to take a shower. This week volunteers have installed two more showers at Gateway, so that we now have four showers there.

From the Feb 17 update:
Volunteers: DRC
The Disaster Response Center in Meridian seeks volunteers who can work one day or half a day a week on a continuing basis. “We have been really fortunate to have a handful of regular locals and several teams from out of state who have come for two weeks at a time, but we could use more Mississippi people who can give a day or a morning continuously,” said Chris Bowers, conference logistics coordinator. Tasks include answering calls and doing clerical work. For more info about volunteering at the DRC, contact Bowers at 866-435-7091.

Other Needs
Church recovery needs…
* Architects willing to help churches with rebuilding or expansion plans
* Certified land surveyors
* Certified electricians to help meet code specs
Contact Chris at cumbestc@bellsouth.net or 601-826-7728.

From Emailing Chris, I have found out the there is a prioritization of houses they are working to restore/rebuild.

The homes highest on the list are:
Those of single parents
Large families with financial difficulties

All of these must own their own home, own only one home and have little or no other assistance in rebuilding.

Unfortunately, this is a large number of families.

Talking to Ben Moore who was at the Main St UMC in Bay St Louis, they had a list of over 400 homes and more being brougth to their attention daily. So this is no small feat.

The churches themselves are in need since they were collectively underinsured by approximately $4million.

If you would like to assist in any of these areas, please use the above contact numbers or:
Contact the Mississippi Conference Disaster Response Center toll-free at 1.866.435.7091
to schedule a work team or send a gift to help with hurricane recovery.

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Helping Children Cope After A Disaster

Because of the stress on the teachers I speak to, I finally figured out that the kids are having a hard time too - even if just because the teachers are having a hard time, not even taking into consideration what the kids are coping with outside of school.

So here are some links I found that are GREAT for helping families and teachers and kids cope with everything that has happened to them these last 6 months.

Very great booklet you can DL and print out for yourself. Free.

An article on the needs of a child in distress - chronic or acute stress.

I will continue looking, but these are the best for general purposes....
Professional articles are also available, but I know how eyes can glaze over with those!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Termite Epidemic Myth

I had gotten the e-mail that is circulating about termites being in super cheap bulk mulch being taken out of the Gulf Region. I checked with a gardening friend of mine, she had heard nothing about it through her contacts and then sent me the following information from her Master Gardener Network in VA.

I also know from a little landscaping experience in TX that unless you buy mulch off market, it's been sterilized, so has a very small chance of any type of bug or non-native 'infection' being in it.

I hope this quells some fears and stops folks from spreading rumors. Since it wasn't on Snopes.com last I looked, I'm posting it here.

Fellow agents,

Since Wednesday of last week, there have been several cold-calls to our office about termite-infested mulch being sold "cheaply" by big box hardware stores. The latest information is that the story is an urban myth. Below are 2 emails received last Friday and today that are self-explanatory.
Frank M. Fulgham
Program Manager
Office of Plant & Pest Services
VA Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services
P.O. Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218

Mulch - Formosan Termites
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 15:39:28 -0600
Dear NPB Members, many of you may have received inquiries regarding termite infested mulch coming from the Hurricane Katrina area. This is the result of a public email circulating across the country. Below is a response from my Assistant Commissioner to a similar email.

Thanks, Craig M. Roussel,
Director Horticulture & Quarantine Programs
Louisiana Dept. of Agriculture & Forestry 225/952-8100

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Office of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has quarantines in place in the Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita affected parishes of Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington.

All woody debris in the quarantined areas is going to an approved landfill within the designated quarantine area. There are a multitude of government (state and federal) agencies that are looking at this debris every day as it is deposited into these landfills. The contractors mulching and hauling the debris know the regulations and are abiding by them according to the quarantine requirements. If there is anyone with knowledge of debris moving out of a quarantine area, they should contact our 24-hour hotline @ 225-925-3763.

These are serious allegations and will be taken seriously.

Matthew Keppinger Assistant Commissioner Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry

Here's the press release.
Thanks, Craig

Agriculture & Forestry Today with Commissioner Bob Odom
Contact: Ashley Rodrigue March 3, 2006

Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

That is the message Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Bob Odom is stressing to the public as an email rumor about Formosan termite-infested mulch is circling the globe. The email warns consumers not to purchase “cheap” wood mulch at major home improvement chains because it may be infested with Formosan termites.

“The email is not accurate and doesn’t even mention the quarantines this department put in place last fall to keep Formosan termites from spreading,” Odom said. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry issued quarantines following the hurricanes for woody debris in Cameron, Calcasieu, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes. Woody debris cannot be moved out of these areas without first submitting a plan for treatment to the department.

“I’ve had my people out looking into these claims to make sure there are no violations of the quarantine. I’ve also had our invasive pest expert contact the stores mentioned in the email and we’ve yet to find any validity to the claims in the email,” Odom said. “In my opinion, someone is using the Internet to cause hysteria about a problem that doesn’t really exist. If there are people out there who know about someone violating the quarantines, then they need to report it to us. We’ll shut the culprits down real quick but it has to be reported,” Odom said. “I think the quarantine's doing the job, though. We’ve worked with the debris contractors, the Corps of Engineers and FEMA to handle the debris and quarantines.”

To report a quarantine violation, call (225) 925-3763. -30-

Debbie Dillion Urban Horticulturist Loudoun Cooperative Extension
30 B Catoctin Circle SE
Leesburg VA 20175

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Measuring Life Stress

Again this was taken from "Emergency Services Stress...." by Jeff Mitchell and Grady Bray - 1990 Edition. It can also be found in numerous other locations that deal with mental wellness.

Measuring Life Stress - developed by Holmes and Rahe - 1967

For persons whave had been exposed in recent months to stressful events that added up to an LCU score of 300 or above, these investigators found the risk of developing a major illness within the next 2 years to be very high - approximately 80%.

Event Scale of Impact

Death of Spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Jail Term 63
Death of Close Family Member 63
Personal Injury or Illness 53
Marriage 50
Fired at work 47
Marital reconciliation 45
Retirement 45
Change in health of family member 44
Pregnancy 39
Gain of new family member 39
Business readjustment 39
Change in financial state 38
Death of close friend 37
Change to different work 36
Change in # of arguments w/ spouse 35
High mortgage 31
Loan foreclosure 30
Trouble w/ in-laws 29
Child leaving home 29
Change responsibility at work 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Wife starts/stops work 26
Begin or end schooling 26
Change in living conditions 25
Change in personal habits 24
Trouble with boss 23
Change in work hours or conditions 20
Change in residence 20
Change in school 20
Change in recreation 19
Change in church activity 18
Small mortgage/loan 17
Change in sleep habits 16
Change in # of family get togethers 15
Change in eating habits 15
Vacation 13
Christmas 12
Minor violations of the law 11

Cumulative Stress Test

I am putting this in for both the volunteers that are working in the Gulf Region as well as anyone who lives there who might want to monitor their own stress level or those they work with.

This was taken from pp 56,57 "Emergency Services Stress - Guidelines For Preserving The Health And Careers Of Emergency Services Personnel" by Jeff Mitchell and Grady Bray - 1990 edition.

Dr. Herbert J. Freudenberger has developed a simple test which can help to determine if a person is developing cumulative stress reactions. He suggests that a person review the changes in his or her life during the past few months. Think about each question for about 30 seconds and then pick the number from the rating scale that represents the category which is more appropriate for you for that question.

Freudenberger advises that the higher the score, the more concern about the potential to develop cumulative stress there should be. But people should not be panicked because they can still do something about their stress level. The sooner a person starts taking care of himself or herself, the better.

1= No Change
2= Little Change
3= moderate change
4= considerable change
5= a great deal of change

1. Do you tire more easily? Feel fatigued rather than energetic?
2. Are people annoying you by telling you, "You don't look so good lately"?
3. Are you working harder and harder and accomplishing less and less?
4. Are you increasingly cynical and disenchanted?
5. Are you often invaded by a sadness you cannot explain?
6. Are you forgetting appointments, deadlines, personal possessions?
7. Are you increasingly irritable? More short-tempered? More disappointed in the people around you?
8. Are you seeing close friends and family members less frequently?
9. Are you too busy to do even routine things such as making phone calls or reading reports or sending birthday cards?
10. Are you suffering from physical complaints (aches, pains, headaches, or lingering cold?)
11. Do you feel disoriented when the activity of the day comes to a halt?
12. Is joy elusive?
13. Are you unable to laugh at a joke about yourself?
14. Does sex seem like more trouble than it's worth?
15. Do you have very little to say to people?


0-25: You are doing fine
26-35: There are a few things that you should watch.
36-50: You are a candidate for cumulative stress.
51-65: You are well into cumulative stress.
over 65: You are in danger. Your physical and mental health are threatened.