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, May 14, 2006

Safety Guidelines For Volunteers


Katrina Recovery Workers: Safety Gear is a Must - And Watch for Snakes

Personal Protective Equipment - Gov't Recommendations and Volunteer Experience

Gov't Guidelines on Using PPE

Avoiding Heat Related Illness

Avoiding Infectious Diseases (flu, staph, common colds, Norwalk, etc.)

Video of Skin Staph Infection

Gravely Ill Volunteer

Another Ill Volunteer

Other Resource Pages
Grants For Communities
Grants for Non-Profits
For Non-Profits and Municipalities
For Schools
Safety Guidelines For Volunteers

Education Assistance
Emotional Resources
Family Resources
Furniture and More
Grandfamily/Single Parent Resources
Grants for Individuals - does not include homeowner or repair grants
LA Family Resources
Medical Resources
Mortgage Resources

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bay St. Louis Free Medical Clinic - Thank You

As its administrator, yesterday morning I posted the following notice on our door:

“The Free Clinic which has been operated by the Loudoun Medical Group here in the Depot since September 12, 2005, will be closing at the end of this month (May).
Until the end of this month, however, we will continue to serve the people of Bay St, Louis in whatever way we can.
We would suggest that now is the time to make arrangements for your future medical care, whether through a private local physician or by utilizing Coastal Family Health.
Thank you, from all of us who have worked in the clinic, for your faith in us, your cooperation, and your patience – they have been truly appreciated and we will miss you.

In all honesty, it was with very mixed emotions that we came to the decision to close. The people of Bay St. Louis and Hancock County have been welcoming, supportive, and grateful in the extreme for the presence we have had here. Their healthcare system was badly damaged by Katrina in both a physical and figurative sense, but it has begun the process of recovery and should be fully functional in a relatively short time. During the eight months we have been here, we have had more than 18,000 patient visits for everything from athlete’s foot to myocardial infarctions. As the weather has improved over the past few weeks, the number of people being seen for upper respiratory infections has dropped considerably, and our daily patient totals are now in the high sixties versus the more than one hundred a day that we were seeing a few weeks ago. Additionally, as local doctors have reopened their practices on a more full-time basis, their patients are beginning to return to them.

I’m not at all sure that there is any adequate way to thank all of the people across this country for the support they have given us, for the supplies and medicines sent, and for the volunteers who continue to help us on a daily basis. From the lady in Truckee, CA, who with her organization, sends us nebulizers, to the City Action Partnership of Birmingham, AL, which with the help of the Diabetes Trust Foundation has furnished us with countless glucometers, to the doctors and nurses who have “raided” their own drug closets, we are eternally grateful.

Believe me, the people of this region are by no means back on their feet yet. While small businesses are reopening every day, the major employers have not reopened and will not reopen before at least August. To go to a real grocery store, I still have to drive to another town some ten miles away. Just this morning, in the Laundromat, I met a woman in her late sixties or early seventies who is still lives in a tent; that is not an unusual occurrence. Nor is the case of another person, who, even as I write this on a Sunday afternoon, is on her way to the clinic to fill a prescription because she has no money to pay for it at the drug store yet needs the medicine before tomorrow.

What I’m trying to say is simply this: for those of you who are involved with the Katrina Coalition and Katrina Networking, please, please don’t forget these people. They don’t necessarily receive all of the publicity that their neighbor to the West does, but their needs remain, and they are counting on people like you to help them in their recovery process. And for all of them, if I might, let me thank you and assure you that you are in their thoughts and prayers.

Charles Beardsley

Sunday, May 07, 2006

USDA Rural Assistance Grants

Taken from www.rurdev.usda.gov/

Much information in this single post. Very long - but very worth it. Please spread the word...

Deb Van Dokken helped folks with this in Tioga County NY - and let me know of its existance. Thank you Deb!

Home Repair Loan and Grant Program (Section 504)

For very low income families who own homes in need of repair, the Home Repair Loan and Grant Program offers loans and grants for renovation. The Home Repair Program also provides funds to make a home accessible to someone with disabilities.

Money may be provided, for example, to repair a leaking roof; to replace a wood stove with central heating; to construct a front-door ramp for someone using a wheelchair; or to replace an outhouse and pump with running water, a bathroom, and a waste disposal system.

Homeowners 62 years and older are eligible for home improvement grants. Other low income families and individuals receive loans at a 1% interest rate directly from HCFP

Community Facilities Programs
Who may apply

Community Programs provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. Grants are authorized on a graduated scale. Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants.

Grants are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as non-profit corporations and tribal governments.

In addition, applicants must have the legal authority necessary for construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed facility and also be unable to obtain needed funds from commercial sources at reasonable rates and terms.


I know there's been a lot of financial heartache trying to get wells up and running - this one is of real value

Household Water Well System Program
Application Deadline: May 31, 2006

The Household Water Well System (HWWS) Grant Program provides grants to qualified private non-profit organizations to establish lending programs for household water wells. Homeowners or eligible individuals may borrow money from an approved organization to construct or upgrade their private well systems.
For Private, Non-Profit Organizations

The USDA Rural Development will award grant funds to qualified private, non-profit organizations only. The approved organizations must set up a revolving loan program and provide low-interest loans to eligible individuals who own or will own a private well system. The loans may be used to construct, refurbish, and service an individual’s well system.

The non-profit organizations applying for the grant funds must contribute at least 10 percent of the HWWS grant to capitalize the revolving loan fund. The cost-sharing funds may be contributed from the applicants’ own resources or sources other than the proceeds of the HWWS grants. In-kind contributions will not be considered.

Available funds: $990,000

Individuals cannot receive grants. They must apply for loans through an approved non-profit organization. The loan limit is $8,000 at 1 percent for 20 years. Application forms will be provided by the organization

Completed Application

Non-profit organizations must submit the following items to make a complete application.
Standard application forms
A proposal
A work plan
A budget and budget justification
Evidence of legal existence and legal authority
A list of directors and officers
Other specified information
Required Forms
The following forms must be included in the application:
· Standard Form 424, “Application for Federal Assistance”
· Standard Form 424A, “Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs”
· Standard Form 424B, “Assurances—Non-Construction Programs”
· Standard Form LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activity”
· Form RD 400-1, “Equal Opportunity Agreement”
· Form RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement (Under Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964)
Forms may be downloaded at www.usda.gov/rus/water/wwforms.htm#SF if you are not using http://www.grants.gov/ to apply for the program.
Notice of Funding Availability
A Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Fiscal Year 2006 HWWS Grant Program was published in the FEDERAL REGISTER on March 15, 2006 (volume 71, number 50, pages 13343-13348).
Federal Regulation
The federal regulation, 7 CFR Part 1776, for the HWWS Program was published as a Final rule in the FEDERAL REGISTER on May 19, 2005 (volume 70, number 96, pages 28786-28791).

The following is just an excerpt - but good for most communities in Hancock County

Assistance for Rural Electricity Utilities

Hardship Loans are used to finance electric distribution and sub-transmission facilities at the 5 percent hardship rate to qualified borrowers. These direct loans are made to applicants that meet ratedisparity thresholds and whose consumers fall below average per-capita and household income thresholds. In addition, Hardship loans can be made to qualified applicants if the Administrator determines that the borrower has suffered a severe unavoidable hardship, such as a natural disaster

Farm Assistance Money

Contact:Ed Loyd (202) 720-4623Stevin Westcott (202) 720-4178


WASHINGTON, May 1, 2006 - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced that sign-up begins May 17, 2006, for four crop and livestock assistance programs providing aid to producers affected by the destructive 2005 hurricanes. These programs are funded by $250 million in Section 32 funds authorized immediately following these destructive storms.
"We will do everything we can at USDA to continue to help people who have suffered through hurricanes and lost their crops, or who need help with cleanup or rebuilding their communities," said Johanns. "I strongly support targeted assistance to help people who are in need. USDA has been very aggressive in finding the resources to provide nearly five billion dollars in Hurricane assistance."

The four programs - Livestock Indemnity Program, Feed Indemnity Program, Hurricane Indemnity Program and Tree Indemnity Program - are funded through Section 32 of the Act of August 24, 1935. Johanns authorized the use of $250 million from Section 32 funds in October 2005 for crop disaster, livestock, tree and aquaculture assistance.

To be eligible for this assistance, a producer's loss must have occurred in one of 261 counties that received a primary presidential or secretarial disaster designation due to 2005 Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Ophelia, Rita or Wilma. Assistance is unavailable with respect to losses in contiguous counties.

A list of the eligible counties in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas is available at: http://www.usda.gov/HurricaneInfo.xml.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Relief Supply Warehouse


Katrina Disaster Relief Supply Warehouse is now open.

The new IDTF (Interfaith Disaster Task Force) Disaster Relief Supply at 6516 Woolmarket Street , Biloxi MS , 39531 is now open and receiving all disaster relief supplies as of November 23rd. The warehouse is located north of interstate 10 between exits 41 and 44 on Woolmarket Road . This warehouse was picked because of its centralized position and the ability to receive or deliver supplies West, East, and South of its location. With it being right off of the interstate it has the ability to quick and easy access.

The Interfaith disaster task force has created a multi-denominational warehouse where relief supplies from all faiths can be stored and shared for the Interfaith members within the disaster area. Each faith that deposits needed disaster supplies within the warehouse will have the capability of drawing from those combined supplies deposited as the need arises. With the efforts of IDTF the supplies will include a wider variety of building materials then originally delivered by a single group. Items from a variety of sources will include paper towels, food, tools, building supplies, roofing shingles, etc… Everything from toilet paper to sheet rock will be accepted at a warehouse between the hours have 8 AM and 5 PM Monday through Saturday.

Once the supplies are received at the warehouse, they will be checked and sorted for usability. Some items will need to be repaired or cleaned before they are ready to be used. All supplies will then be shelved until requested. High dollar items such as cordless drills and power equipment will be stored in a secure location, until requested by the construction work crews.

Records of incoming and outgoing shipments will be on file at the warehouse for all participating members to view. Any members of the IDTF that have not participated in the efforts to equipped the warehouse with supplies will need special dispensation from the IDTF committee before they will be allowed to draw from the Disaster Response Supply.

The warehouse sits on three acres and will include forklift offloading and palette jacks within the cold storage warehouse. Included within the property limits is the capability of outside storage protected by a security fence, and alarm system, where these items will be stored. Future plans are to include refrigerated storage as the equipment becomes available. When requested they will be disbursed to each of the three different counties for the rebuilding of homes that fall under the category of,” unmet needs with in the next 2 years”. Supply requests can be placed by phone, fax, or Internet, and can be picked up at the warehouse during operational hours.

The warehouse will also be used as a hub for construction team information such as:
Info source for New building code requirements within each of the 3 individual County areas.
Contact information for each of the local county and city services such as building inspectors, electrical inspectors, and building permit applications.
Updated working information for subjects such as identifying the different varieties of mold, and the approved methods of killing or destroying mold. As well as safety concerns for volunteers operating within a mold infested area.
A posting board, for specific items needed by construction teams.
A posting board for health or regulatory safety procedures or methods within each County.

As needed disaster relief supplies come into Mississippi , some locations are receiving an overabundance of certain supplies they could be used in other regions. Those other regions likewise, have received an overabundance of other supplies. With the IDTF efforts to share these overabundance of supplies within the disaster supply warehouse, the supplies will be shared within the Interfaith churches for the rebuilding of family life’s that did not have enough/or no insurance for their homes.

Also as donations start decreasing within the next few months, the needed construction supplies will become harder to have on hand. This warehouse gives us the capability to store all items for longer period of time. So as the need arises months from now for cabinets or windows “or other items” if they have been deposited within the warehouse, they will be stored for the use of all IDTF members.

Opening on Wednesday November 23rd, any and all relief supplies will be accepted at the IDTF Disaster Supply Warehouse, on Woolmarket St to complete these volunteer efforts. All those wishing to contribute supplies to the warehouse are requested to call Sarge (John Rich) at 228-282-4126 for the coordination of the supply deliveries. There is also a small capacity to schedule supplies to be picked up within the three County areas from the warehouse.
Please keep in mind that this effort can only benefit the disaster victims as long as we all cooperate in depositing items within the warehouse for the combined sharing of all supplies.

John Rich “Sarge “ DirectorI.D.T.F. Disaster Relief Supply House6516 WoolmarketBiloxi, Mississippi.39531

Personal Cell phone: (228) 282-4126
Fax line, incoming and outgoing 228-354-0970
Main incoming line for the warehouse. 228-354-0969

Article - Post Katrina Childhood Stress - Powerful

The alternative number for those in crisis is 1-800-273-TALK. This number will put callers in touch with the federally funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service that has been in operation since January, 2005


Amid the ruins, Katrina's children struggle
By Rukmini Callimachi, AP WriterMay 1, 2006

(AP) - Each time the 3-year-old gets in the bathtub, she thinks she's going to drown. Monica whimpers when her grandmother turns on the faucet, sobbing softly at first, then wailing as the tub begins to fill.
"She cries and cries. 'Don't be crying,' I tell her. 'I gotta wash your hair,'" says her exasperated grandmother, Ruth May Smith.
There's no use telling her she won't drown; the word isn't yet part of the toddler's vocabulary. And it won't do much good to tell her that grandma will take care of her, either; Monica learned the hard way that those she loves can't always protect her.
There were seven children inside the family's Gulf Coast home on Aug. 29 when the 30-foot wave, unleashed by Hurricane Katrina, crashed down upon it. As the walls began to crumble, the older children swam out. Monica, the littlest, was still inside with her grandmother and two aunts. None could swim.
The toddler went under. She would have drowned if not for a family friend who dove in, fished her out and placed her inside a floating cooler.
In her plastic ark, the girl bobbed to safety - but the storm's high water mark is still imprinted inside her, as it is in thousands of others who survived the storm.
Some 1.2 million children under 18 were living in counties rendered disaster zones by Katrina. As many as 8 percent, or 100,000, are expected to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, according to one assessment.
Most experts say the toll is likely far higher. Of the first 1,000 children screened by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 27 percent displayed symptoms of trauma, including nightmares, flashbacks, heightened anxiety and bedwetting, says Dr. Joy Osofsky, a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at LSU's Harris Center for Infant Mental Health.
A study by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the Children's Health Fund compared children displaced by Katrina with other kids surveyed in urban Louisiana in 2003. Katrina's victims were more than twice as likely to have behavioral or conduct problems; the same was true of depression or anxiety.
How children respond and the severity of their reaction varies widely. But eight months after Katrina, patterns are beginning to surface.
For teenagers, depression is setting in, as they realize it could be years before they're back in their homes, if ever.
Elementary- and middle-school children are struggling with the loss of their toys. They battle nightmares and intrusive thoughts. Their anxiety comes out in physical symptoms, like recurring stomach aches.
For children under 6, their faith in their parents' ability to protect them has been shattered. To make themselves feel secure, they regress, sticking close to their parents and returning to behavior they'd previously outgrown, such as thumbsucking and bedwetting.
"Huffing and puffing and blowing your house down is only supposed to happen in fairy tales. Now, anything can happen," says Dr. Lynne Rubin, a founding member of the New York Disaster Counseling Coalition, which counseled children after 9/11.
During the London blitz in World War II, Anna Freud, the daughter of the famed psychoanalyst, observed that children sent to safe homes in the countryside fared worse than those who waited out the bombings in shelters alongside their mothers.
It was the separation, rather than the exposure to the war, that proved more traumatic.
More than 5,000 children were separated from their families in the hectic days after Katrina made landfall, according to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Those who lost a parent often become unmoored, focusing their angst on their surviving parent.
When her father takes a nap, 8-year-old Gabrielle Riley circles the bedroom, on edge. Eventually, she quietly turns the doorknob. "I just go in his room and see if he's OK. But sometimes he don't answer me so I just scream loud, 'Daddy are you OK?'" she explains.
Gabrielle's mother caught pneumonia during the family's evacuation to Houston and died in her sleep. Ever since, Gabrielle has been unable to fall asleep by herself, curling up with her grandmother, instead. It's a recurring pattern, say child psychologists, as children retreat into what is most familiar.
More than 60 years ago, Anna Freud had a second observation: While children who hunkered down in London's bomb shelters with their guardian fared better emotionally than those sent out of harm's way, the children who did best of all were those whose mothers stayed calm. If the mother showed fear, the child sensed the threat implicitly - and symptoms of trauma surfaced later.
Like youngsters in London, many child victims of the story sensed the threat in their parents' reaction and, in Katrina's aftermath, in TV footage.
April Ocker didn't let her daughter out of her sight during the hurricane. But since then, 5-year-old Breanna has harbored a horrible fear: "I'm afraid my Mommy is going to go away and not come back," says the little girl, her brown bangs covering saucer-like eyes.
Sitting nearby, her mother tries to comfort her, stroking her hair. But it's hard to reassure a child who saw trees crashing around her family's trailer, parked 5 1/2 miles from the beach in Pass Christian on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. Katrina nearly wiped the quaint city off the map.
With the hurricane bearing down, April placed Breanna and her 8-year-old brother inside the trailer's bathtub, hoping the tub's strong walls would protect them. The tub survived, but the children are scarred.
When it rains, Breanna says, she hides under the coffee table. She can fall asleep only in her mother's bed; she trails her mother like a shadow. April occasionally gets called to Breanna's school, three minutes from home, because of the girl's sobbing.
April has taken a job at the local Boys & Girls Club, which runs an after-school program for children, so she can be near Breanna in the afternoons.
Breanna describes the hurricane like this: "It sounds like a monster."
It's a monster that's never far away. Even in her mother's arms sleeping at night, Breanna says she often has nightmares.
"A monster is running after me. There's a bear, too," she says.
For adults, the hurricane's damage is the twisted houses, ripped from their foundations, and such things as bloated couches, spit out onto the street.
For their children, it's the muddy teddy bear and the headless stuffed rabbit, poking out of the rubble of one ruined house. It's the baby doll lying in another heap, her arms raised above her head, as if waiting to be picked up. It's the stuffed frog impaled on a radiator fan and the alphabet magnets still adhering to the side of a toppled refrigerator.
A beloved toy is much more than a physical object for a child.
"If you lose a favorite teddy bear, you haven't just lost a toy. You've lost one of the means by which you keep yourself feeling safe," says Dr. Claude Chemtob, a clinical professor of psychology and pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
But the loss extends far beyond their favorite teddy bear.
For Katrina's children, their destroyed homes have become their Ground Zero. They go back again and again, sifting through the rubble, looking for tiny pieces of their rooms. They mourn each destroyed toy, each fragment of a school art project, each mottled action figure.
Objects that were insignificant before the storm have become loaded with meaning.
Like the pink, plastic barrette 10-year-old Jasmine Lombard found on the dank carpet of her flooded room. It's the kind sold by the dozen for $3.99 at the corner grocery.
Returning for the first time, Jasmine spotted the barrette and picked it up. She held it close in her cupped hands, as if she'd stumbled across a family heirloom. "This is the only memory I have of this entire neighborhood," she says.
Some kids - like 6-year-old Michael Watts, Jasmine's next-door neighbor - are taking matters into their own hands. As the storm approached, he did what his parents told him: Pack a single bag. Don't take more than a few day's worth of clothes.
He returned to find his toys caked in mud.
That's when he asked his parents for a suitcase, one with wheels and a handle. In it, he began storing every new toy he was given since the storm.
Now, he doesn't let the suitcase out of his sight, lugging it behind him on errands, to the store, to restaurants and to sleep-overs. Inside are his treasures: Sponge Bob and Batman. A Game Boy. A growing collection of plastic, Hulk-like men.
It annoys his grandmother, Deirdre Domino. No more taking the suitcase to school, she says.
"I tell him, 'Michael, take out a few and take them with us,'" Domino says. "He says 'Mawmaw, what if we have another hurricane?'"
"Make no mistake: This is a crisis and it should be dealt with as an emergency," says Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and president of the Washington, D.C.-based Children's Defense Fund, which in a recently released report called for immediate emergency mental health services in the Gulf states.
Overwhelmed, child psychologists in New Orleans say case loads have doubled, both because of the heightened need and because so many doctors have not returned. "I used to be able to book a new child within two weeks. Now, I'm booking appointments two months out," says child psychologist Carlos Reinoso, author of the book "Little Ducky Jr. and the Whirlwind Storm," which tries to explain the hurricane to children.
What mental health professionals fear most is the impact down the road. The 1988 earthquake in Armenia that killed 25,000 people. Tracking more than 200 children over five years, researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles' Trauma Psychiatry Program found that those who were given professional help early on fared better and showed fewer symptoms at the end of the study. Those who got no help did not improve.
A child such as 3-year-old Monica _ so traumatized she thinks she's going to drown in a bathtub - clearly needs help, says Dr. Bruce Perry, a senior fellow at the Child Trauma Academy in Houston. Without it, he says, she risks a future of drug and alcohol abuse, high blood pressure, crime and child abuse.
"This crisis is foreseeable, and much of its destructive impact is preventable," Perry says. "Yet our society may not have the wisdom to see that the real crisis of Katrina is the hundreds of thousands of ravaged, displaced and traumatized children."
Some may already be beyond help.
No one noticed that a 14-year-old girl in Pass Christian - once a straight-A student - had stopped reading since Katrina.
The girl, who asked that she not be identified because she felt embarrassed, used to lose herself in books. "I would picture myself as the main character in whatever I was reading. I read so much that I would lose track of time," she says.
Now, she has a hard time concentrating. Horrible images intrude as she reads.
She remembers the drowned man, impaled on his plywood fence. She pictures her favorite skirt high up in the branches of a tree.
Last month, she locked herself inside the bathroom of her family's FEMA trailer and lifted a bottle of Lysol to her lips. Her mother found her passed out on the toilet seat, her head leaning against the trailer's plastic wall, the floor slick with the disinfectant.
The girl recovered from the suicide attempt, but her family doesn't have the resources to get her professional help, relying instead on teachers and school counselors.
To this girl, the world is a tunnel of darkness. She sees no way out.
"It's like I can't see my future anymore," she says.