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.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Oil Spill Workers Information

Here's some of the information on the page NIOSH has set up to track workers, to educate workers and to assist other agencies dealing with those cleaning up BP's Hell On Earth.

Oil spill response workers may be exposed to many different chemical, physical, biological, and psychological hazards. These hazards vary depending on the type and location of the oil spill, type and stage of response, degree of coordination between entities involved in response and recovery, and the workers’ specific tasks. Therefore, occupational and environmental hazards need to be identified, assessed, and monitored in each oil spill response.

Potential Hazards
Chemical exposures may include benzene and other volatile organic compounds, oil mist, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and diesel fumes. Physical hazards may include ergonomic hazards, excessive noise levels, sun exposure and heat stress. Injuries may occur due to slips, trips, and falls on slippery or uneven walking and working surfaces. Other safety hazards are associated with the use of tools, equipment, machinery, and vehicles. Biological hazards include possible exposure to biting or venomous insects or other animals. Psychological hazards may include witnessing traumatic injuries or death, inability to help affected wildlife, and fatigue. Fatigue may result from working in a fast-paced environment, working extended shifts, and doing heavy labor or demanding cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making.

Training and Protecting Responders
Employers should train oil spill response workers about their potential hazards and safe work practices to prevent and control these hazards. All workers should be provided with the appropriate tools, equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and protective clothing needed to perform their job tasks. Workers should be trained in the appropriate care and use of this equipment. PPE should be selected based on identification of the hazards, protective qualities (such as oil resistance) and suitability for the tasks performed. An occupational health and injury surveillance system should be put in place as soon as possible. The prompt reporting of injuries and illnesses should be emphasized.

How is NIOSH Responding in the Gulf of Mexico?
NIOSH is protecting workers and volunteers responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with the following efforts:

•Providing information to British Petroleum (BP), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Coast Guard, and other federal and state partners about protecting workers and volunteers from potential safety and health hazards.
•Assisting OSHA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) with information about tools for training workers including health hazard risk assessment and personal protective equipment selection
•Conducting a voluntary survey of workers to obtain a record of those who have participated and a mechanism to contact them about possible spill-related symptoms of illness or injury, as needed.

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Death In My Family

Hello to all.

I just wanted to say that my mother has died.

Her heart attack was 3 years ago 4/1. Life has been increasingly difficult since then.

She had significant artery disease (runs in the family), which caused renal failure in one kidney and renal disease in the other. It also made it impossible to replace her aortic valve, which was damaged as a child during illness.

This past October, she had an episode of what they call Flash Edema - it's where your lungs fill up within minutes, rather than days. It signaled that her aortic valve had completely failed. She went to Baltimore, MD to consult with a surgeon who felt she was a good candidate for what's called Apical Aortic Conduit surgery. They plug a piece of tubing from the bottom of your heart and attach it to your aorta, with a valve somewhere in the middle. This acts as the aortic valve without having to deal with the actual valve. Difficult and risky, this doc only performs about 6 a year. With such small #'s performed, it's assumed they take only the best risk of high risk candidates.

After many tests, she was determined to be a good candidate. 6 weeks after the flash edema, she had the surgery. They kept her fully sedated following the surgery, so the stroke she suffered immediately after the surgery wasn't discovered until 2 days after the fact. It's called an Embolic Shower acquired brain injury.

Rather than the stroke occuring in a single location within the brain, either because of an artery being closed off by too much junk, or by bleeding in the brain, the embolic shower means that many pieces of something - blood clot, arterial placque, fat globs - go throughout the brain and block off the arteries. The bad part about this style of stroke is that it catches the body completely unaware and is unable to build new arteries and veins around it quickly, like it can when the artery is slowly closed off. So, the picture to the left shows what an embolic shower can look like - many areas of dead white spots throughout the brain.

Mom fought incredibly hard to live - surviving ineptitude and infections, normal and extraordinary post-surgical complications. However, 6 months to the day following the flash edema, God finally convinced her it was time to die and go home.

While difficult for us, it's so much better for her.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Hope Haven Update

Dear Leslie,

It almost seems like a dream. Five years...and I can clearly remember things that occured before the storm...but much of what occurred after...does not come in to focus well. All the contacts and faces of the people who responded and helped and rescued us....are a bit blurry. I would have thought that these things would be etched in our minds but others I have spoken with here are having the same trouble. I guess it is like being in a car accident and you know people helped...you just cant remember all of the details. Well maybe its better for us this way....but it makes us seem like we are ungrateful for the hands that did help...and for that I apologize for not contacting you.

We are well. We rebuilt our home in Waveland with the aid of the Navy CBs and used it for the County social services offices for three months...as it was the only building with water, ac and flushing toilets. We then hosted about 400 volunteers over a two year period...who stayed in the home and worked rebuilding the area....and then it was time to put it back in service for children. We hired live in houseparents and reopened as a community sponsored foster home with 6 kids. Social services wanted us to reopen as an emergency shelter....but they changed the regulations and we just couldn't do it with the money we had. After one year in Waveland...we had a chance to buy a country home inland with seven bedrooms and a guest house next door with four bedrooms. We stepped out in faith...and did it.

We now use our Waveland home as office space for HH and three other small non profits and that works well. We have the office home up for sale...but not much joy there.The children who come to us love the country setting...small pond...horses and goats next door....barn to play in.

On the down side...abuse and neglect cases have risen dramatically in the wake of Katrina. There are over 230 kids in custody in the county compared with about 100 prior to Katrina. Stress, no jobs, meth all have ripped this County back apart. The basic infrastructure has begun to recover...the people...thats a different story.

Our funding situation has suffered....local support is hard to come by and the economy has hurt the grants and foundations who supported us....but we are keeping our heads above water which is better than many.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Books On Katrina Recovery

As I have time, I'll be posting more links to books regarding the rebuilding of Pearlington, Waveland, Bay St Louis, Kiln and the rest Hancock County. If you know of any, please let me know.

I've long held I wouldn't advertise anything that was a for-profit endeavor, but I think at this point, they need to be shown in an effort to prove rebuilding has yet to be complete.

The first is Pat Holt's Rebuilding Pearlington. She's a lady from basically all over the nation, having served in the military and after retiring, took up photography. I wish her memoir included many more of her photographs, but perhaps she is working on a separate book for those.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Note From Leslie

Hey folks.

It's been forever. I keep thinking about writing an update, but am so sad that I am unable to do more for my families and for Hancock County that I just cry and procrastinate.

While everyone's health around here has stabilized, the monetary situation has not. I'm having to put all of my financial assets toward the house or mediations for all 3 of us.

I'm fortunate enough that this summer allowed me to garden, saving us about $1000 in food for the year, and more weather-proofing of the house, which is saving us another $1000 in reduced utilities, but I have so much more to do and am barely keeping my head above water.

I continue to help 2 families as I am able, but just can't do any more than that. I had to turn away clothes and toys because I can't afford shipping. I feel awful about that!

I continue to think about everyone, and pray they are ok, and ask forgiveness for not being able to do more. It's just been one of those lives. LOL I know it's only been about 20 months, but it certainly feels more like a life-time.

I do continue to get emails from folks, and will always answer them or direct them to the correct resource. So I know you're all out there!

Know I'm here and I'm still doing all that I can.


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HUD Being Sued

Money Steered To Port Project over Housing

POSTED: 11:11 am CST December 10, 2008
UPDATED: 11:37 am CST December 10, 2008

JACKSON, Miss. -- A federal lawsuit accuses the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development of failing to properly review Mississippi's plan to divert half a billion dollars from a hurricane housing fund to a port expansion project.

HUD drew criticism from advocacy groups and congressional leaders when it approved the state's proposal to steer the money to the port despite a lingering housing crisis caused by Hurricane Katrina. At the time, then-HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson said he was legally obligated to OK the project because of congressional language associated with the use of block grant funds.

The suit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Washington, names HUD as the only defendant. It is being brought by the Mississippi State Conference NAACP, Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center and individual residents.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Katrina Defrauder Caught

Fugitive From FBI Wanted List Arrested In Park

Around 1 a.m. on November 9th, rangers received a report of an assault that had taken place near Government Wash.

Investigation revealed that the primary suspect was Mitchell Baria of Jackson, Mississippi, who was wanted by the FBI and listed as a "featured fugitive" on a web site run by its office in that city. Rangers searched the area but were unable to find him. Later on the next day, NPS special agents who were staking out the area received a report from the government Wash campground host that he thought he'd seen Baria walking into a nearby wash.

The park's search dog, "Onyx," and handler ranger Todd Austin, together with rangers Joel Hyzer and Stephen Dollinger, began tracking Baria from the point where he'd last been seen.

They soon found him and he surrendered without incident. He was later released to the FBI.
Baria was wanted by the FBI for his alleged involvement in a scam to defraud Gulf Coast homeowners, mostly elderly, out of more than $100,000 since 2005. The victims' homes
were damaged by Hurricane Katrina, and Baria was hired to repair them. He allegedly obtained money to repair the homes, but performed no work. Baria's search and capture was accomplished through a coordinated effort by rangers and NPS and FBI special agents. [Submitted by Eric Lisnik, District Ranger]

More Information...

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Mold Abatement Tool

Household mold. It’s not just a cleaning issue – it’s a health concern. And now there’s a new way to fight it. Concrobium Mold Control® is a ground-breaking technology that helps do-it-yourselfers and professionals fight harmful mold without resorting to harsh chemicals. It’s the only EPA-registered solution that eliminates mold and keeps it from coming back – without bleach, ammonia or VOCs. Finally a solution that wins the war on mold without nasty effects on people and planet. > click here to find out how Concrobium Mold Control works.It’s the cure for the common mold™.

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