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.

Friday, July 28, 2006

MS Governor Recovery Expo

Governor to hold Recovery Expo at Coliseum

Gov. Haley Barbour will hold a Governor's Recovery Expo, Aug. 11-13 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, to bring together families, businesses, builders and government and in the rebuilding effort.

The Expo will be a comprehensive, convention-style event for the public, encompassing all aspects of recovery and renewal. In addition to product demonstrations, several booths and displays will cover topics such as construction techniques, business recovery, hurricane preparedness, local recovery plans, town-hall meetings, employment services and community outreach.

Outside, model houses will be on display for tours. The exhibits will be set up by public and private organizations involved in rebuilding.

Expo details: Send e-mail to recovery@governor.state.ms.us or call (601) 359-2914

7/30 From WLOX

A house will be raffled off next month to someone left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. The raffle is part of a free hurricane-recovery expo the governor's office is sponsoring Aug. 11-13 at the Mississippi Coliseum.
The home will be given away by Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., a government-chartered organization that provides money for home mortgages.
Gavin Smith, director of the Governor's Office of Recovery and Renewal, said more than 150 vendors will set up booths at the expo to demonstrate ways to make buildings stronger and more storm-resistant, including by using hurricane straps or shutters.
More than 20 contractors will show examples of buildings that could be used as temporary housing - or even as small-scale permanent housing - after people move out of government-issued trailers.
Nonprofit groups and government agencies also will be represented at the expo, giving the general public a chance to get information about building codes and other issues.
The event is set for 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 11 and 12 and noon-5 p.m. Aug. 13.
The expo takes place less than three weeks before the one-year anniversary of Katrina, which struck last Aug. 29.

Emotional Assistance For Schools

The faculty and staff at the NYU Child Study CenterInstitute for Trauma and Stress are greatly saddened by the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
We understand that schools and school districts have a lot of experience in dealing with traumas, but at times like these, resources can be spread thin.
Based on our ongoing experiences helping NYC schools recover from the aftermath of 9/11, we would like to partner with schools that are helping students affected by Katrina.
We are able to donate written materials on helping students, teachers, and caregivers cope with the effects of Hurricane Katrina, provide training to counselors, and other school staff, and/or assist with parent trainings.
For more information, please contact Elizabeth Mullett, Ph.D. at (212)263-3682

Materials also can be downloaded from our website: www.aboutourkids.org.

School Books



This site has deals on Primary School books, focusing on K-2. It also has grants available for teachers to attend reading conferences.

If you are a Title 1 School, you get more deals.

Please review the site.

Moss Point Environmental Forum


August 1 -
Chemist Finds High-Level Of Arsenic In Katrina's Wake
POSTED: 9:07 am CDT July 31, 2006
UPDATED: 9:14 am CDT July 31, 2006

BILOXI, Miss. -- A chemist said soil samples taken in the wakes of hurricanes Katrina and Rita show dangerously high levels of arsenic in some areas along the coast.
Wilma Subra said she believes arsenic, other heavy metals and bacteria in the soils of coastal areas battered by hurricanes last year are causing residents to become sick with unexplained illnesses.

Some who attended a meeting organized by the Outreach of Love to publicize Subra's findings said they or their family members are suffering from unexplained health problems.

Subra said 90 percent of the samples taken in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas have exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency's standards for arsenic.

She found the highest levels in Mississippi at Moss Point, Gulfport and Pearlington, where arsenic is at levels 27 times beyond what the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality considers safe.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

JULY 29, 2006 AT 7:00 PM

Ms. Subra will be providing information on environmental stressors and human health impacts in the Jackson County area,prior to and following Hurricane Katrina. Her main focus will both on environmental justice vulnerabilities and their impacts on our communities

Ms. Subra has collected samples of the sediment sludge transported on shore by Katrina in the Moss Point- Pascagoula areas. The contamination she detected in her samples consists of Arsenic, other heavy metals, Poylnuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons and a host of bacteria. The bacteria range from E-coli and Salmonella to Staph aureus, which cause skin infections, skin rashes, gastro-intestinal problems and respiratory conditions.

Ms. Subra states: “The problem is the medical community is not treating the patients for both gram negative and gram positive organisms, thus the patients continue to be ill.”

Committed to protecting the environment and the health and safety of citizens, Wilma Subra started Subra Company in 1981. Subra Company is a chemistry lab and environmental consulting firm in New Iberia, LA. Mrs. Subra provides technical assistance to citizens, across the United States and some foreign countries, concerned with their environment by combining technical research and evaluation. This information is then presented to community members so that strategies may be developed to address their local struggles.

She is currently Vice-Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), a member of the EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), a member of the Cumulative Risk and Impacts Working Group of the NEJAC Council, and a member of the National Advisory Committee of the U. S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

Ms. Subra holds degrees in Microbiology/Chemistry from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. She received the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award from the MacArthur Foundation for helping ordinary citizens understand, cope with and combat environmental issues in their communities and was one of three finalists in the Environmental Category of the 2004 Volvo for Life Award.

The public is urged to attend this meeting and be educated on exactly what factors are keeping us ill and what can be done about them.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dental Assistance

Dental Suggestions

$1,300 Worth Of Dental Care For Seniors and Disabled
The National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped started the Donated Dental Services program to help disabled and elderly persons who are low-income by matching them with volunteer dentists. Homeless and mentally ill people are also helped. Volunteer dentists agree to treat one or two people each year with dental problems, and dental laboratories that make dentures, crowns, and bridges also donate services. The program now serves over 500 people each year with each patient receiving an average of $1,300 worth of services. In some areas of the country, Dental House Call projects have been started where dentists will come to homes or centers to provide dental care.

To learn where services are located in your area, contact
National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped,
1800 15th St., Unit 100,
Denver, CO 80202;
303-534-5360, Fax: 303-534-5290.

Dental http://www.toothwoman.net/er/index.html

3/29 Dental Program For Schools

3/29 MS Dental Corrections Program

The following conditions will be given priority for consideration
Severe decay in more than ten teeth
Congenital or hereditary dysplasia of the teeth.
Cysts and tumors of odontogenic (dental) origin.
Handicapping conditions with special dental needs

Application ProcedureApplication for the Dental Corrections Program must be made at a County Health Department office of the Mississippi Department of Health. The proposed treatment plan should be submitted by the dentist. All forms and correspondence should be sent to the following address:
Dental Corrections ProgramMississippi Department of HealthP. O. Box 1700Jackson, MS 39215-1700
Questions may be addressed to the Dental Corrections Program at the address above, or by calling (601) 576-7500.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Insurance Mediation Program

Not really part of the mediation program, but of significant interest.
The letter from the Commissioner of Insurance to the Governor of MS regarding the crisis with storm insurance rates and the Wind Pool.

Mediation of Katrina cases ordered
By Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press Writer October 26, 2006
GULFPORT, Miss. --David Rideout braced for a grueling court battle when he sued Allstate Insurance Co. for denying his claim after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Rideout was one of the first participants in an experimental mediation program designed to ease the crushing load of lawsuits spawned by last year's epic storm, which damaged or destroyed more than 250,000 homes in Louisiana and Mississippi.
With hundreds of Katrina lawsuits clogging his docket, U.S. District JudgeL.T. Senter Jr. has ordered several dozen plaintiffs and their insurers to sit down with a mediator and try to resolve their differences, or face "appropriate sanctions."
Settlements were reached in seven of the first 17 cases to go to mediation, including Rideout's two weeks ago. Encouraged by those results, Senter last week ordered mediation for 57 more cases.
Senter, who presided over the first trial of a Katrina insurance claim, sided with insurance companies in that case when he ruled in August that standard homeowner's policies cover damage from wind but not rising water.
Insurers have refused to pay for billions of dollars in damage from Katrina's wind-driven storm surge.
The next batch of trials is scheduled to start early next year, with several judges from other districts joining Senter in presiding over the cases. In the meantime, Senter has solicited advice from attorneys on the best way to resolve hundreds of these cases in a "just, speedy and inexpensive" manner.
Chip Merlin, whose Tampa, Fla.-based Merlin Law Group has had more than two dozen Katrina cases ordered into mediation, said the process can only help his clients get the money they deserve.
"Our clients want to get on withtheir lives, get their businesses back in business and get their homesrebuilt," Merlin said. "They don't want this to drag out."
Other attorneys are not as supportive. Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, whose legal team is suing insurers on behalf of hundreds of policy holders, has urged Senter to try cases in groups instead of individually. Mediation "has no teeth in it," he added. "If they were going to pay these claims," Scruggs said of insurers, "they would have done it already."
Many homeowners who are locked in disputes with their insurers but have not sued have agreed to mediation through a program sponsored by Mississippi's insurance commissioner. As of Oct. 16, 82 percent of those voluntary 3,372 mediation cases have resulted in settlements, according to the commissioner's office.
Insurance companies appear to support the process. An Allstate spokesman said mediation is "less adversarial, time-consuming and costly than litigation." A spokesman for State Farm Insurance Co. called it a "rapid approach to reaching mutual agreement."
Rideout, 50, said he was prepared to "go all the way" and wait months for his case to be tried, but he is grateful for the chance to move on with hislife.
"It was less emotional than I expected," he said of the negotiations,which were held at a federal courthouse in Gulfport. "It was strictlydollars and cents."
© Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material maynot be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Over 1,000 Cases In Mississippi Hurricane Katrina Mediation Program Settle Minimum of 160 Conferences Being Held Per Week

From: State Insurance Commission Filed 7/20/06 GCN
Jackson -Commissioner of Insurance George Dale announced today that of the 1,338 mediation conferences scheduled prior to July 14, 2006, in the Mississippi Hurricane Katrina Mediation Program, 1,112 have settled. Dale also announced that the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the program administrator, has moved the program's mediation conferences into larger facilities on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and is now scheduling a minimum of 160 mediations a week.
Of the number of conferences scheduled thus far, 524 cases have settled prior to their scheduled conference and 588 have settled at conference. There have been 226 impasses. A total of 2,677 requests for mediation had been filed by July 14, the program's success rates stands at 83%.
"The continued and growing success of this program has far exceeded our expectations. I commend all of our mediators for the excellent job they are doing. I would again encourage anyone who has not signed up for mediation to consider doing so today. Mediation is a simple and basic process that is FREE to the policyholder, "said Dale.
Dale added that while mediation has helped a great number of people he is aware that mediation will not work for everyone and for those persons for whom mediation is unsuccessful he encourages them to pursue their case with an attorney of their choosing.
The Mississippi Insurance Department Hurricane Katrina Mediation program serves as a non-adversarial, non-binding, alternative dispute resolution procedure designed to facilitate the resolution of claims as quickly and fairly as possible. A policyholder may request a mediation conference in one of four ways:
* By writing the Administrator at:
American Arbitration Association
Attn: MS Insurance Mediation
13455 Noel Road, Suite 1750
Dallas, Texas 75240
* By calling the Administrator at: 1-800-426-8792
* By faxing a request to the Administrator at 972-702-0173
* By contacting the Administrator on-line at MSinsmediation@adr.org.
Consumers are reminded that all administrative and mediator fees for the first mediation conference will be paid by the insurance companies. There will be no costs to the policyholders. The parties may bring individuals to the conference that are knowledgeable about the issues such as adjustors, appraisers, and contractors. Either party may be represented by legal counsel. If the parties reach a settlement at the mediation conference, the policyholder will have three business days to rescind the settlement agreement as long as they have not cashed any check issued by the insurance company as a result of the settlement. After three business days, if the policyholder has not rescinded, the settlement will become final.
For more information on the Mississippi Mediation Program visit the MID website at www.doi.state.ms.us

Friday, July 21, 2006

MS Grant Statistics

1/4 Continued Red Tape
Legalities Slow Katrina Housing Grant Program
POSTED: 8:50 am CST January 4, 2007
GAUTIER, Miss. -- A Gautier homeowner is still awaiting a grant from Mississippi's $3 billion Homeowner Grant Program to complete repairs on her home from Hurricane Katrina-related damage.
Chandretta Lewis told the Mississippi Press newspaper that she's not thrilled with the amount she's due to receive but will accept it to complete repairs such as installing sinks and steadying an unbolted toilet.
The only thing delaying Lewis from receiving the grant is that her ex-husband hasn't signed off on the state's required documents.
Lewis must have her ex-husband's blessing since his name was also on the title of the home when Katrina hit in August of 2005, according to officials with the state agency in charge of the Homeowner Grant Program.
The couple divorced in September.
Asked how many grant applicants have had similar title troubles, Mississippi Development Authority spokeswoman Melissa Medley said there have been several. She said the agency tries to work with them on a case-by-case basis.

11/18 Checks Given
* The state has sent out 5,701 checks to Mississippi Gulf Coast homeowners who suffered damage from Hurricane Katrina, program supervisors said Thursday

8/5 - MS Homeowner Grant Red Tape
An exerpt
The process will take time. The MS Development Agency says it will soon start sending out as many as 500 notices a day and that will take at least 34 days. It is the closing meetings that will take time. Homeowners have to appear in person at the closings to sign documents. If the MDA can handle a hundred closings a day, and each takes 15 minutes, which is an optimistic speed, it will take at least eight months to process all the claims. It is likely that many homeowners will not see a check any sooner than well into next year

7/30 - Grant Writing Forums
From WLOX http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=5143186

Recovery and rebuilding for non-profit organizations means learning to look for more funding sources.
The Mississippi Center for Non Profits held a grant writing blitz at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Gautier campus Wednesday. Organizers say there's money available from the government and businesses for groups that help others, but members must know the right procedures in order to get the funds.
"There's billions of dollars out there. There is so much money in so many different areas, and without research, without knowing where to go to look for funds, it will never be utilized. It will just sit there," grant writer Mary Ann Louis said.
If you want more information on the next grant writing seminar, call (601) 968-0061 or click here to reach the Mississippi Center for Non-Profits. (www.msnonprofits.org)

From Leslie of Katrina's Angels
FEMA provides another $13M in public assistance inMississippi
Associated Press
BILOXI, Miss. - An additional $13 million in publica ssistance grants have been approved for Hurricane Katrina recovery programs in Mississippi, U.S. Sens. Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, both R-Miss., announced Friday.
The largest single grant, for $4.4 million, will help the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi replace the heavily damaged Mercy Cross High School. The diocese plans to rebuild the school outside the flood plain.
"This is the latest installment of federal grant assistance targeted toward restoring Mississippi's communities hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina," Lott said in a statement.
Other grants announced were:
_ Hancock County, $2 million, to restore about six miles of public beaches along U.S. 90 shoreline.
_ Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission, $3.2 million, for repairs to 1.2 miles of unstable, bent railroad track near the Port Bienville IndustrialPark.
_ City of Gulfport, $1.6 million, for a special biohazard team to remove and dispose of about 2 millions pounds of raw chicken and pork that spilled onto public and private property from damaged shipping containers.
_ Diamondhead Water and Sewer District, $1.9 million, to repair the area's damaged sewer system.
The grants are part of FEMA's Public Assistance program, which provides financial assistance to state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations for disaster-related cleanup and rebuilding efforts. The grants help rebuild or restore buildings and infrastructure to pre-disaster condition

Found on the Clarion Ledger
HUD funds sent to Mississippi:
$3 billion: Grants of up to $150,000 for uninsured or underinsured flood victims.

$250 million: Grants of up to $30,000 for homeowners to defray the cost of raising homes to meet new elevation requirements.

$5 million: To help Hancock, Harrison, Pearl River and Jackson counties pay for added costs of permitting and building inspectors for one year.

$5 million: Creation of the Katrina Fraud Prevention and Investigation Team to help prevent fraud.

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said Monday that his agency has released $3 billion to Mississippi to help thousands of homeowners recover from Hurricane Katrina.

The release of the funds means thousands of qualified homeowners in Mississippi will soon be receiving up to $150,000 to help them recover from Hurricane Katrina.

The remaining $2 billion in CDBG funding will be made available to Mississippi once the state submits an amendment to its action plan for HUD's review, Jackson said in a statement.

"Today, we take another step closer toward helping make Mississippi homeowners whole again," said Jackson. "Throughout this process, Mississippi was intent on getting this money to the very people who need it most. I'm confident that with the appropriate safeguards in place, Mississippians have created a homegrown plan to rebuild their local communities."

The first of thousands of Katrina housing grant checks are expected to be mailed out this week.
J.E. Giveans Sr. of Pearlington hopes he and his wife get one of the grants.

Giveans, an 81-year-old retired carpenter, is building a 24- by- 36-foot home after losing everything in the storm.

The Giveanses haven't been able to get much from their insurance company, and they would have been unable to pay back a Small Business Administration loan on their fixed income.
Giveans said they met with representatives of the Mississippi Development Authority last month but have not heard yet if they have been approved.

"We need help on this," Giveans said. "We didn't even owe on our home, and we lost everything. We lost 56 years of our life."

The grants are going to homeowners who lived outside the federal flood plain but lost their houses to Katrina's water. Louisiana is conducting a similar grant program.

The MDA, which is administering the grants, began taking applications in April. More than 16,500 people have applied.

HUD's release of the funds appears to have settled complaints from mortgage companies and watchdog groups that homeowners might be more susceptible to con artists and scammers and the arrangement will mean many hard-hit neighborhoods won't be rebuilt.

Gov. Haley Barbour has said one reason for giving the money directly to homeowners is it would allow them to relocate to higher ground, if they so choose.

Barbour has said the grants would still be subject to mortgage and other liens, similar to insurance payments.

Barbour was pleased that HUD sided with the state, he said Monday through spokesman Pete Smith.

"Today's release of funds will get essential money into the hands of coastal homeowners who desperately need the help and are ready to rebuild," Smith said.
Clarion Ledger

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

LGBT Family Grants

Found through Katrina's Angels

SAN FRANCISCO - Children Of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere has extended its support of LGBT-headed families affected by Hurricane Katrina beyond New Orleans. The organization, which dispersed more than $15,000 in grants to Louisiana residents, is offering another $15,000 to those affected in Mississippi and Alabama as well.

"While many grant recipients lost everything, it is inspiring to see how strong the will to rebuild is among our families," said Beth Teper, executive director of COLAGE. "Clearly, additional help is needed, and we are seeking to broaden our support outside of the New Orleans area."

According to applications, one family lost the house they had shared for 11 years, along with all of their personal belongings, including their car and have been living in Arkansas since August 2005 awaiting a FEMA trailer. For others, finding employment has been the greatest challenge.

"It's not easy finding a job," wrote Embry's fathers William and Kelton. "We lost our livelihood as a result of the hurricane. Our house was severely damaged and insurance did not cover much."

In the wake of Katrina, COLAGE connected New Orleans families with other LGBT families across the country for temporary housing and other support. The New Orleans chapter also received a grant and has been providing free programming and activities for gay families since October 2005.

"COLAGE New Orleans has enriched our lives," said Shari and Mary, mothers of twins Evan and Ayden. "In the aftermath of Katrina, it brought many new supportive friendships to the lives of our children."

A new grant application is available to individual families at www.colage.org or by calling (415) 861-KIDS (5437).

A COLAGE committee will review all of the applications after the Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2006 deadline. Grants of $500 each will be awarded to the first 30 eligible families to submit complete applications. Grants will be awarded on or before Katrina's one-year anniversary. [7/19/06]

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Captain Planet Foundation Grants

The mission of the Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) is to support hands-on environmental projects for youth in grades K-12. Our objective is to encourage innovative activities that empower children around the world to work individually and collectively as environmental stewards. Through ongoing education, we believe that children can play a vital role in preserving our precious natural resources for future generations.

The Captain Planet Foundation will fund as many projects as its annual resources allow. Please read the following guidelines thoroughly if you would like to seek funding from us. In order to maximize the impact of Foundation funds, the Board of Trustees limits their grant awards to those applications which comply with the following guidelines.
All applicant organizations or sponsoring agencies must be exempt from federal taxation under the Internal Revenue Code Section 501, in order to be eligible for funding (this includes most schools and non-profit organizations).

Promote understanding of environmental issues
Focus on hands-on involvement
Involve children and young adults 6-18 (elementary through high school)
Promote interaction and cooperation within the group
Help young people develop planning and problem solving skills
Include adult supervision
Commit to follow-up communication with the Foundation (specific requirements are explained once the grant has been awarded)

Deadlines for submitting grant applications are March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31. Grant Proposals are reviewed over a period of three months from the date of the submission deadline. All applicants will be informed of their proposal's status within four months of the application deadline. It is very important to remember this information if your project is seasonal. For example, if you are seeking funding for a summer project you would want to submit an application no later than the December 31st deadline in the year prior, otherwise you will not have your grant money in time for the project.

Starbucks Youth Leadership Grant

(Initial Information found through Katrina's Angels Forum)

Levels of Funding and Associated Criteria

Applicants should clearly state the level of funding for which they are applying (choose one
level only) and address how their program meets the criteria for that particular level of
funding. Funds should be spent within one year of grant award.

$5,000-$10,000 - Local Grant

• Program involves the participation of Starbucks partners of at least one Starbucks
(company owned) store that is geographically located in the community
• Program reaches 20 or more clients in providing its services

$20,000 - Regional Grant

• Program engages Starbucks partners and stores (3 or more company owned) in an
integrated and meaningful way on a metropolitan wide or regional basis

• Program delivers services, disseminates information, provides training and/or builds
networks broadly in a major metropolitan area or region
In all cases project budget should show reasonable per client costs and not request more
than 50% of funds for either general operating costs or staff salaries. Project budget should
not represent more than 10% of overall program budget.

Program Sustainability- The Starbucks Foundation will give priority funding to organizations
that can demonstrate on going sustainability. We will consider repeat grants for up to three
consecutive years. However we will fund at decreasing levels in years two and three of our
support to encourage organizations to obtain a diversified funding base. Repeat funding is
not guaranteed and organizations requesting repeat grants must re-apply for funding through
our grant process.

Office Depot Backpacks For Kids

(Info From Katrina's Angels Forum)

Store Locator:

Now in its sixth year, Office Depot's "National Backpack Program" provides "at-risk" school children with a new backpack for the upcoming school year. Our goal is to make a difference in the communities where we operate and do business.
In 2006, we will once again provide 300,000 backpacks to children ages 5-12 in North America and internationally. This year, backpacks will be distributed through several national charities focused on education, disaster relief, violence and domestic abuse, many of which actively work with local schools and non-profit organizations nationally.
In the coming weeks, we will provide further details about the distributing organizations. IMPORTANT: In the past, we have accepted individual applications from schools, non-profit organizations and school districts and shipped directly to hundreds of organizations each year. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming demand in recent years as well as rising freight costs, we will no longer be able to accept applications through the website, nor will written requests be accepted as we are unable to ship directly to benefiting organizations.
However, each of our retail stores will be provided with an allocation of backpacks. We encourage you to reach out to local Office Depot Stores in your community. Please understand their allocations cannot serve everyone, but we will do all we can to assist organizations that have received backpacks in recent years.
We appreciate your understanding of this program change, which was necessary in order to streamline the distribution process of backpacks so that we can continue offering our signature program, which helps our most important asset in America: Our Children.

Thank you!
The Office Depot Community Relations Team

Monday, July 17, 2006

Children's Book About Katrina

I just got the best present in the mail today. A book. A children's book. About The Storm. A teacher brought the idea forth from the moment she and her family evacuated. Their house survived, and so as people came back looking for each other, she spoke with other families about the idea that has become the book.

She ended up having 30 children a day, working in the safety of her home while their parents salvaged what they could from the rubble, mud and ditches that used to be home. The children used anything and everything as materials for their artwork to produce a stunning display of emotion framed simply by few words that say more than any "great american novel".

The first printing has sold out. The second printing is due in August, with orders being taken now. http://www.storyofastorm.com/ shows some of the art, some of the devastation and some of the hope.

All proceeds go to their school, the families and the faculty. 85% lost everything, and so this work that has helped the children heal, will help the community heal as well.

Long Beach isn't in Hancock County. But you know, I don't care. The book is incredible. The cause worthy. Because we're all in it together, no matter what border or boundary or county you're in.

Rent To Utilities Article

Emailed to me by Leslie of Katrina's Angels. Thank you!

Associated Press
HOUSTON - A federal judge ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday to let hurricane refugees in its temporary housing program spend unused portions of their rental assistance on utility bills.The number of evacuees who could benefit from the preliminary injunction is uncertain, but it is likely "in excess of six figures," said attorney John Scofield, who is representing Hurricane Katrina refugees in a class-action suit against the agency.
FEMA is reviewing the order and "determining what ramifications it has for the agency and FEMA's housing policy," spokesman Aaron Walker said. The ruling would help refugees pay utility costs when the amount of rental assistance they're eligible for exceeds their actual rent. The difference in most cities is typically around $100, Scofield said.
Families whose rent meets or exceeds what FEMA provides won't receive any additional money to help cover utilities.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Tree Removal Service Needed

In Mississippi's towns and cities alone - never mind the 1.2 million acres of damaged forestland - some 2 million trees didn't survive.

We are looking for several tree removal companies/crews for tree removalwork throughout LA. These are immediate OPENINGS. Typically, jobs pay upwards to $30,000+ . Your crew should consist of 3-5 people. You MUST have your OWN equipment! Preference will be given to individuals with multiplecrews/equipment. You must be qualified and PROFESSIONAL with prior tree removal experience! (No startup companies).
For additional information, please call 251-767-0505.

10/21 From Dick Brown of Hancock County Project Recovery
Trees must be standing, 12" in diameter, in an area that was flooded, and pose a danger to a structure or road. Contact your city or county and they will send someone out to assess the situation.
Dick Brown
Project Recovery
Hancock County

Dead trees will be falling here for years - Insurance may also hit homeowners
In the forests and yards of South Mississippi, dead trees manhandled by Katrina still stand, naked limbs and decaying trunks waiting to put homeowner-insurance premiums into a skyward climb.
"Some of the dead pine trees are already coming down with the thunderstorms you are having there, but some may stay up for five years as they slowly decompose and then fall," said the forestry commission's Jimmy Mordica. "You could probably spend $10 million just taking down dead trees on the Coast because there's so many of them."
Local insurance companies have not been taking claims on dead trees falling on houses yet, but they expect it to happen.
Lance Wedgeworth with Mississippi Farm Bureau Insurance said both getting the tree off the house and repairing the damage are covered in a typical policy.
The possible insurance nightmare is not confined to homeowners, however. Cities also have a problem and a potential liability issue.
The Mississippi Forestry Commission will pipe federal money to municipalities to take down trees on both public and private property, where public property is within falling distance of dead, standing trees. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is also supplying money to cities so they can mitigate the potential dangers of falling trees.
"There are lots of hazard trees that may have not been taken down during the debris-removal process," said Donna Yowell, the director of the Mississippi Urban Forestry Council.
Pass Christian's Mayor Chip McDermott said homeowners who did not sign right-of-entry forms and let debris removal contractors pull their dead trees down are now on their own.
McDermott will be using MEMA money to pull down 500 standing dead trees in the city's rights of way before they become a hazard to residents.
Marcellus Andrews, an economist with the Insurance Information Institute, said homeowner-insurance rates are determined by a formula based on two factors- actual past losses and companies' reasonable projections of future losses. He said state tax commissions regulate the relative weight of each of those factors.
Though Andrews said the number of weak or dead trees around a homeowner's house will change the premium on a new policy, John Wells, the director of rating at Mississippi's Insurance Department, said the standard practice for current policies in Mississippi involved incentives for not filing damage claims.
After the premium is determined, Wells said many companies use a credit and debit equation for lowering or raising rates based on the number of claims a homeowner makes. The result is an incentive program for homeowners to eliminate claims.
As an example, he said State Farm offers a 5 percent discount on premiums if the policyholder does not file a claim in two years. That discount goes up to 20 percent if the policy holder does not file a claim in nine years.
On the other hand, the first claim raises premiums by 15 percent in the year after it is filed. A homeowner will still see a premium that is 5 percent higher six to eight years later.
However it works on individual policies, Yowell and Wedgeworth advised homeowners to be proactive to avoid dealing with tree-inflicted damage and the associated paperwork. They recommended homeowners get a licensed arborist to tell them what trees should be removed. They should then have the work done by an insured tree-removal service.

FEMA's Position Changes - hopefully for all of Gulf Coast:

FEMA will pay to cut dead trees
Policy change affects New Orleans land
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
By Michelle Krupa
Thousands of trees that died in Hurricane Katrina but remain standing will be removed from New Orleans parkways, playgrounds and other green spaces by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has agreed to pay 100 percent of the cost after refusing for the past year to finance the job.
City officials lauded the policy reversal as a critical step toward the recovery of the city's battered tree canopy. It will result in the extraction of at least 2,000 trees that are dead but still standing on city property, posing a danger to nearby residents and buildings or otherwise hindering quality of life. Also removed will be dead trees on state property within city limits, including those in City Park and along state highways.
FEMA officials would not explain Monday why they changed their policy, which called for the Army Corps of Engineers to remove trees felled by the storm, but to leave behind dead trees that remained standing. The task was part of the corps' assignment to collect storm debris on public property at no cost to local government.
"It's in the interest of public health and safety that we fund the disposal of trees killed on the public right of way by saltwater flooding," said Jim Stark, director of FEMA's Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office. "We are pleased to be working with our city partners, to facilitate the best use of FEMA public assistance funds in order to help New Orleans in its recovery."
Keith Bleichner, the city's chief landscape architect, said New Orleans officials were always convinced that federal relief money should pay for the removal of all dead trees. But he said that faced with an unprecedented number of standing dead trees left after Katrina, FEMA "relied on a narrow interpretation of criteria to rule that the trees were not eligible."
"Changing their thinking was not easy," Bleichner wrote in an e-mail Monday.
The city argued that under its own guidelines, FEMA would be expected to pay for removal of debris that poses "a threat to public safety or that which will become a threat within five years," Bleichner said. He said the city maintained that as root systems deteriorate further, standing dead trees would become increasingly dangerous to people and nearby structures.
"Letters that we obtained from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the United States Forest Service reinforced our contention that these trees were hazards," he wrote.
Bleichner did not have an estimate of the cost of the work, but said the corps has already bid the project.
It will not include the cost of stump removal, the restoration of turf on neutral grounds, parks and golf courses, or the planting of replacement trees.
Katrina killed an estimated 50,000 trees in New Orleans, include those that fell, were left leaning or lost most of their major limbs, Bleichner said.
Much of that debris was disposed of during street clearing operations immediately after the storm.

Posted on Fri, Jul. 14,
Standing dead trees are a danger

HANCOCK COUNTY - Katrina's wicked winds didn't snap them in half or knock them to the ground. Instead, thousands of massive pine trees here were left to die a slow death from saltwater. First they turn brown, and later their limbs fall off. Soon what's left of the trees will come tumbling down and where they will land is anyone's guess. County officials are pleading for help and they need it fast. Each day, dozens of dead trees topple with freight-train force, jeopardizing houses, power lines and motorists, and even children who spend summer days playing in the woods.
Carolyn Hollister and her husband, Paul, were keeping a close eye on two mammoth pines barely standing nextto their Waveland home that was being restored."
They were huge and they were dead," she said. "They would have fallen on the house."
A volunteer group from California helped cut down the trees. Otherwise, it would have cost the Hollisters about $1,000 to have them removed."
A lot of homeowners don't have the money to remove them, especially now," said Rocky Pullman, president of the Hancock Board of Supervisors.
County leaders have asked FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps ofEngineers and the state Forestry Commission for help, but with no luck. This week they turned to the state Emergency Management Agency and Gov. Haley Barbour to figure a way to chop down the rotting timber. The federal government will likely cover the cost of removing dead trees from public rights of way. But local leaders are far more nervous about the trees that threaten human life.
"There's a big concern for the safety of the general public," Pullman said. "A lot of them are close to houses or next to FEMA trailers and some are on private property next to roadways."
Mike Womack, MEMA's interim director, said he has met with FEMA and the two agencies are hammering out details of a plan to remove the trees, but no deal has been made.
Meanwhile, the Hollisters are anxiously waiting to see where two other pines - leaning near their backyard -will fall, before they complete their home renovations.

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Online Donations
Adopt A Bedroom Started by a lady to get children back into real bedrooms
Allentown Rd FD A MD fire department assisting Hancock County Fire Departments
Art Of The Storm - a Video made by artists with proceeds for all Gulf Artists
BRICK Layers - AL based group helping rebuild Pearlington
BucksMont PA - PA based group built a children's center in BSL, now building animal shelter
Second Helpins - Rainbows doing soup kitchen work on a shoestring budget.
Camp Victor - Christus Victor Church. All monies go to rebuilding homes
Carol Pigott - A Gulf Native helping all Gulf Artists
CoHR Lens - Started by the Carnival of Hurricane Relief - another list of places to assist
Charity In Action - PA group helping Hancock County agencies rebuild
CitiImpact - Helping rebuild throughout the region - donated 800 turkeys at Thanksgiving
CitizenActionTeam - All monies go to shipping supplies found on their database
CityTeam - Need building supplies in great quantities to rebuild Bay St Louis homes
Disaster Corps Working in Pearlington and Hancock County to rebuild "Green"
8 Days of Hope - Working in MS with thousands of volunteers - need building materials
Foundation Hope - rebuilding houses for less than 24,000 each.
The Giving Circle 2 houses almost finished, in need of more building materials to start more
HANDS MS based organization helping with all aspects of family life
HandsOn National org working throughout the region to rebuild homes and lives
HandsOn NOLA Handson site specific to NOLA
HeritageConservation - National org helping rebuild historic homes in Bay St Louis
KansasMethodists Helping Hancock County clean up
Karing IL org helping rebuild Bay St Louis homes and lives
Katrina Artists Artists needing new venues to sell and live
Katrina's Angels
Volunteers needing financial/material assistance for their "adopted" families
KenTenn Relief One man trying to transport materials to the Gulf.
Lagniappe Church Financial/Material assistance needed to help with rebuilding homes
Loving Neighbors - Financial assistance for rebuilding churches in Pearlington
Manna Ministries Financial/Material assistance to rebuild homes and lives
Mission From MN Financial assistance to help rebuild homes
New Hope Const Financial assistance to help finance house kits for families
OHAAT One House At A Time, financial and limited material assistance needed to build homes
Presby Disaster Assistance - financial assistance for rebuilding and administrative costs
Port Townsend Financial/Material assistance for building homes and community center
POD Church - Financial/Material assistance for building homes
Book By The Children Buying the book helps rebuild schools in Pass Christian
Wayland2Waveland - Financial/Material assistance to help rebuild homes

Direct Relief - In Kind Donations to Those Who Need It
Animal Shelters

Hancock County Animal Shelter
Waveland Animal Shelter
Waveland Animal Shelter 322 Gulfside St Waveland, MS 39576 228-467-0230
The library system has done exceedingly well, considering how few dollars there are to go around, but they lost just about everything and still have a substantial list on their site. They have been tremendous in the recovery efforts.
Art Community
You can donate goods or money and can even adopt an artist, should you choose to do so.
The Children
Hope Haven Children's Home
An older, established home that has just re-opened for children - a full 8 months following The Storm's passing. It is the only home in MS that will take wheel chair bound children or pregnant teens.
Boys and Girls Club
Hancock County's B&G's Club 1101 St. Joseph St. (Waveland Elementary)Waveland, MS 39576 Phone: (228) 323-8679 Fax: (228) 463-9662
It was wiped off the map during The Storm.
Bay Waveland School District
They are again requiring students to wear uniforms. Please consider assisting with this since most parents are still without homes, their old jobs, or places to shop.
Bay Catholic School
A very long needs list, but you can also choose your grade if you'd like! They are merging with another school due to The Storm.
Our Lady Academy
The only all girls school in MS.
Hancock County School District
I've never gotten a list from the school district like I have the others, but I will not leave them out. Contact them.

St Rose de Lima
Another that was virtually wiped out, but the building remained solid.
Have undertaken the web in hopes of helping its congregation by setting up a registry of needs.

The Towns
The City of Waveland's Needs
The story and list are both long, but worthy of reading.
Waveland Fire
They are still working out of FEMA trailers and are in need of larger equipment
Waveland Police
City of Waveland 335 Coleman Avenue Bldg. 8 Waveland, MS 39576
Their website and email are still shaky, so refer to the above post for their needs.
Bay St. Louis
The City's Needs
You can also go to http://www.GulfCoastNews.com for updates.
The list is long, but with the help of many, is getting shorter by the day.
BSL Fire
Working out of FEMA trailers and with fewer fire fighters than normal, life is a challenge.
BSL Police
They just got new patrol cars and body armor. Life is good! But still needing much to offset the non-budget coming up. Their are also reduced by 30% due to what is now becoming permanent evacuation.
Distribution Centers/Food Pantries
Hancock County Food Pantry
PO Box 4313
Bay St Louis MS 39521
They lost their building. and they are actually borrowing a building on Hope Haven's property until the county rebuilds where they were before. Until then, the needs are at least those of any other food pantry in the summer - GREAT.

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

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Web Publishing For Katrina Victims

Welcome to Think New Orleans

Think New Orleans helps New Orleans use the Internet. We host Internet Workshops for nonprofit and neighborhood organizations, as well as small businesses.
We show you how to use the Internet as your productivity office suite, with classes in calendaring, collaborative authoring, and mailing list management.
We show you how to use the Internet for advocacy with classes in web publishing, Podcasting, email marketing, and online photo albums.
These workshops have been a great success. We’ve helped a number of neighborhood organizations get off the ground with their own web site.

In This Issue
Get Your Own Professional Web Site Now
Workshops at Xavier
Open Door Workshops
DeSaix Area Neighborhood Association
Get Your Own Professional Web Site Now

When you attend the Web Publishing 101 you will learn how to maintain your own web site. The web site employs a content management system, so you don’t have to learn HTML.
Because the web site is in a newsletter format, adding new content is as easy as writing an email message.
When the Workshop is over, you’ll get your own web site with your own domain name, or you can transfer an existing domain name if you like.
Internet Workshops are either for nonprofits or for businesses. Please make sure you attend the appropriate workshop.
Web Publishing 101 for Nonprofits
When: Thursday, July 6th, 2006 at 6:00 pm.
Where: New Orleans Housing Resources Center at 1832 Felicity St.
Cost: The workshop is free for nonprofits. The web site has a $10.00 materials cost.

Web Publishing 101 for Businesses
When: Monday, July 10th, 2006 at 1:00 pm.
Where: New Orleans Housing Resources Center at 1832 Felicity St.
Cost: The workshop is $60.00 for businesses. The web site has a $60.00 materials cost.

Internet Workshops at Xavier
Think New Orleans will now host Internet Workshops at the Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Xavier University.
The Center for Advancement of Teaching (CAT) offers a state of the art computer teaching lab.

Web Publishing 102 for Nonprofits
When: Saturday, July 8th, 2006 at 1:00 pm
Where: 5th Floor of Library Resource Center (Library 534) Xavier University
Cost: The workshop is free for nonprofits.
The CAT teaching lab is arranged with rows of 13 Macintosh G5 computers and 24 Pentium PCs, an a Smart Symposium with a Macintosh and PC computer for the instructors use.
This facility is indeed a laboratory. With it, we will be able to rapidly develop new Internet workshops. The quality of equipment and the controlled environment means that new workshops can be conducted with a minimum of hardware glitches.

Thank you to Bart Everson and Xavier University for making this resource available to community and neighborhood organizations.

Open Door Workshops
Think New Orleans now offers open door workshops at the New Orleans Housing Resources center. With the Open Door Workshops, you will be able to apply the tricks you’ve learned in the Internet workshops. It’s a follow up, a refresher, a place to try out your new skills and ask questions.

Open Door Workshop
Starting: Thursday, July 6th, 2006 at 3:00 pm.
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Where: New Orleans Housing Resources Center at 1832 Felicity St.
Requirements: Attendence of one regular workshop.
Thank you to Paul Baricos, Charmaine Smith, and Dwana Makeda of the New Orleans Housing Resoruces Center.

The New Orleans Housing Resources Center is a smartly appointed office space that conducts workshops for homeowners and home buyers. They have a 5 Pentium computers for workshop use and a wireless network. This space and assistance has made the web publishing workshops possible.

DeSaix Neighborhood Association
Please stop by the DeSaix Neighborhood Association web site, maintained by Internet workshop attendee Wayne Benjamin.

This is not a static brochure web site. Nor is it an overly complex message forum. It is a straightforward, yet highly effective content management system for neighborhoods.
It is a neighborhood newsletter to publish information. A built-in bulletin board gathers neighborhood feedback.

Wayne uses this forum to publish meeting agendas and minutes, and to announce important events. Regular contributions from neighbors show how effective a web site can be to share information within a neighborhood.

Alan Gutierrez

MS Building Codes Article

Emailed to me.

Miss. Building Codes Adopted; Local Governments Not Required To Act Yet

POSTED: 6:19 pm CDT July 11, 2006

JACKSON, Miss. -- The Mississippi Building Codes Council has taken a first step toward statewide rules on how homes and businesses are built.

The council recently adopted the 2003 International Building Code-International Residential Code body of regulations for the state.

The action does not require local governments in Mississippi to adopt building codes. But it does ensure that when they do adopt construction rules, they have to use the IBCIRC or stronger regulations.

Mississippi is one of the only states without building guidelines to protect homeowners and communities from substandard construction.

Some local governments have adopted rules, but they are a hodgepodge.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Government Testimony

Sent to me from Brice at WQRZ News

* Hancock County Governor’s Commission member David Treutel testified this week before the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. Dave testified at the hearing held to provide information concerning the capacity of America’s housing market to withstand future catastrophes and the strain that natural disasters are having on homeowner’s insurance markets.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Survey For Volunteers

7/13 - Time is running out to participate. This is a blind study - no names, just basic demographics and why you've done what you have. It'll be interesting to see the results.

Did you provide help following Hurricane Katrina?

I (Donna) am conducting a study that investigates the help that people provided following Hurricane Katrina. This study involves completing an online questionnaire that includes several questions about yourself and your helping. The questionnaire should take you approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. It is hoped that the study will provide knowledge into help provision that may be useful in future disaster-aid appeals.

If you provided any form of help following the disaster (donating money, housing victims, transportation etc….) and would like to read more about the study, please click on the link below.

At the bottom of this page is the link to the survey. I've taken it already and is very easy to navigate. Please consider participating - regardless of how much or how little you feel you've done. I think the results will be very interesting since the study was designed and being performed in the UK. An outside view!

Project coordinator – donna.ghezzi@stud.man.ac.uk
Project supervisor – martin.lea@manchester.ac.uk

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Replacing Vital Documents


This site has for citizens, businesses, not-for-profits and Federal employees

It have links and directions to replace your:

Bank Records
Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates
Damaged Money
Driver's License and Vehicle Registry
Civilian Personnel Records
Immigration Documents
Has a medical information form
Medicare Card Replacement
Military Service Records
Savings Bonds
SS Card
Tax Returns

There is a phone directory if you'd rather do this by phone and a FAQ sheet.

Please Check it out

Contracting and Information Center


The Hurricane Contracting and Information Center provides a central point of reference for businesses, especially Minority-owned businesses and Small- and Medium-sized enterprises, to register for and become aware of federal contracting opportunities in the Gulf Coast. While the HCIC does not award contracts, their mission is to ensure that businesses understand the process and are aware when opportunities become available.

On October 11, 2005, Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez unveiled the Hurricane Contracting Information Center (HCIC) to assist U.S. businesses, especially minority and small businesses, in participating in the Gulf Coast rebuilding efforts.

This center provides the necessary information for U.S. businesses to participate in Gulf Coast contracting, subcontracting and reconstruction.

The Bush administration is reaching out to companies of all sizes, especially minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses and small- and medium-size enterprises, to help those seeking to join the rebuilding efforts to navigate federal agencies and bid for contracts with ease.

The website allows U.S. businesses to register throughout other government websites to become eligible for federal contracts. One such website provides e-mail notifications of contracts being made available that correspond to particular areas of expertise.
The website provides a central point for information and services available throughout the government geared to help in the contracting process for U.S. businesses, including minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses and small- and medium-size enterprises.


The HCIC also includes a call center staffed with representatives from other contracting government agencies onsite to provide direct business counseling.

These individuals will help businesses navigate the federal contracting process.

Business Outreach
The HCIC will canvas the business community by holding roundtables and events with business groups, leaders and others to create awareness of the HCIC and assist businesses.

The HCIC will showcase the process and services available to aid business involvement.
A calendar of events will be developed and maintained.

Child Care Facility Funding

Long Beach, Miss. (June 21, 2006) — Humanitarian agency Save the Children today received $2 million from the Chevron Corporation to continue assisting children and parents in hurricane-ravaged southern Mississippi by rebuilding child care facilities.

The donation was part of Chevron’s new $18 million Energy for Learning initiative, which will assist hurricane-affected public schools and early childhood education centers in 23 school districts throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. Mississippi’s Governor Haley Barbour and Dr. Hank Bounds, Superintendent of the Mississippi Department of Education, spoke at the press conference held at Pascagoula High School.

"This program is a demonstration of the value of partnerships,” said Governor Barbour. “The Chevron Corporation has been a leader in restoring education in our state after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Save the Children, in partnership with Chevron and Mississippi State University, has set the standard in rebuilding child care facilities in our communities. There is no question that child care and education are the primary needs in rebuilding our economy.”

Recognizing the critical role of child care to individual and economic recovery from the disaster, Save the Children, the Chevron Corporation and Mississippi State University partnered just weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. This new funding strengthens that partnership, allowing Save the Children to broaden its efforts throughout the Gulf Coast communities.

“Creating safe spaces for children is critically important after a crisis such as Hurricane Katrina,” said Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais, team leader for Save the Children’s Katrina Response. “Children have lost homes, pets, belongings and sometimes even family members and friends. We know from our years of dealing with emergencies around the world that schools, child care centers and after-school programs provide services essential to a return to normalcy and, ultimately, recovery.”

Save the Children currently supports schools, child care facilities, summer camps and local child and youth service organizations in Hancock and Harrison counties in Mississippi, as well as in the greater New Orleans area and Baton Rouge in Louisiana, and in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.