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FReeper Greets New Orleans evacuees as they deplane....(vanity)
Right Bert ^ | 09/11/05 | Bert

Posted on 09/11/2005 6:43:46 AM PDT by bert

Friday 09/09/05 10:00 pm

In my capacity as a Red Cross Disaster volunteer I was present as 72 people arrived at the Ti Cities Airport directly from New Orleans. Most left their homes yesterday and flew directly from New Orleans to Tennessee. They were the people who were located in their houses and told to “leave now”.

They arrived on a charter 737. The plane carried air marshals, 72 people, 6 dogs and one iguana. Overall, the people were in good shape, good spirits and extremely thankful and appreciative for the help they were receiving. The dogs were also in good spirit. I did not see the iguana.

They were amazed to learn they were in Tennessee. They knew they were leaving but did not know where they were going. The group was from all across the social spectrum from the very poorest black people to one very wealthy white person.

The air marshal told a RC volunteer who boarded the plane to assist the wheel chair bound passengers that he had been at this for quite a while. Early on they were air evacing 17,000 people per day. That rate was currently reduced to about 1200 per day.

Some of the persons I met……

There was one man who was in his attic for 11 days before rescue. He had lost his glasses and couldn’t see very well. There was one 70ish black woman in pajamas, bunny slippers and a chenille bathrobe. She was in shock. There was one black couple in absolutely filthy cloths. They had been in the water and apparently were unable to change clothes. The other people had also braved the water but had somehow been given clean clothes. The wealthy man noted above was 85 years old and had a mind that came and went. He was being carefully watched by at least two of his traveling companions to insure he got medical attention .His condition was well known. He had his medications that he took every four hours. He was in fact given close medical attention as were several others needing special attention.

I talked for about 20 minutes with a man who had spent 10 days in his fourth floor French Quarter apartment. He was very wired and talked 90 miles a minute. He was literally gushing his experience. I think I was one of the first non NO people he had talked to and was extremely interested in letting it all come out. His profile….. white 50 ish, lengthy gray hair, purple LSU sweat shirt, red beret. He told me he wanted three things, a library, an internet connection and a New York Times. He grilled me about the levees. He was unhappy that the levee broke and wanted to know exactly how long the break was . He was down right flabbergasted when I told him of the very active TV coverage of the repairs including lengthy live shots of bull dozers and dump trucks going through several cycles as they worked on the other side.

He told me that he witnessed lots of looting and the city was out of control for a while. The military came in and began shooting and killing looters. They were “shot and drug off”. The number shot and killed will, he said, never be known. He said there were many Chinese and Thai merchants who guarded their shops and were armed with bad automatic weapons. He was upbeat about himself but very concerned about his less fortunate travel companions.

He told me that he left before they came to get him, he decided that although he was secure, the cause was lost and there was no other real course. He wanted an e mail connection because he was expecting 15 or 20 invitations to come visit/live with friends. I did not talk much, mostly listening and didn’t have the heart to tell him about the swirling political battles and the garbage being spewed by the Slimes. He was the first person I have ever met who in a completely adrenaline wired condition asked for coffee and since that was not available accepted a Mountain Dew and chased it with water.

I learned yesterday that the man is a well known New Orleans personage and lectures all across America on a regular basis.

The group departed in 6 busses, 2 of which were short and wheel chair accessible.

The incoming group was met by a host of agencies and organizations from the state and the three counties involved. All were there to perform a specific function as part of the overall disaster team. There were the county school busses and drivers along with the sheriff department. There were the local county Emergency Management agency that were ostensibly in charge of the whole operation. There was The highway patrol and county law enforcement to go over the luggage for weapons and drugs. There were ambulances and a large group of EMT’s . None were actually required, but there was no advance notice of what medical conditions would be presented . There was a large contingent of physicians and residents who volunteered from private practice and the medical school. They interviewed each person to learn if there was immediate treatment required. There were Tennessee Emergency Management People who liaise with the local counterparts. There was a representative from the Veterans Affairs department from the Veteran’s Hospital. There was a large group of Red Cross Volunteers who assisted the deplaning operation and made their new clients comfortable. They rode the busses to the shelter in a nearby county where another Red Cross chapter will take care of them. Lastly there was the local press. They were kept at a distance but individual were asked if they wanted to recount their tales to the press. Most did not but enough did so that all pressies got a story. None got to interview the extremely articulate guy in the red beret.

I asked the Red Cross Disaster manager how she thought it went. The last week has been seen intensive work to prepare for 500 evacuees to three shelters in our area. Visibly relieved, she said “They were well received, treated with respect and a truly great group of people. “


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: aar; americanredcross; disasterrelief; evacuees; katrina
A few words to give some flavor of a first hand FReeper encounter with a group of the most recent folks to leave New Orleans. Most went pretty much directly from their homes to the NOLA airport to Tennessee. When there was a full load, the plane departed.
1 posted on 09/11/2005 6:43:46 AM PDT by bert
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To: theophilusscribe; gopwinsin04; dawn53; FreePaul; texgal; rellimpank; Arpege92; Sthitch; ...

Ping


2 posted on 09/11/2005 6:45:30 AM PDT by bert (K.E. ; N.P . I smell a dead rat!)
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To: bert
he wanted three things, a library, an internet connection and a New York Times.

His mind is obviously gone.

3 posted on 09/11/2005 6:47:36 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Landru; ForGod'sSake; Tolerance Sucks Rocks; Copernicus; Mr. Mulliner; thesummerwind; ...

ping


4 posted on 09/11/2005 6:47:55 AM PDT by bert (K.E. ; N.P . I smell a dead rat!)
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To: bert

Interesting account bump.

Are you at liberty to reveal the identity of the "well known" person?


5 posted on 09/11/2005 6:48:53 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: bert

Thanks for the first hand report. Had I read it in the MSM I would not have automatically believed any of it.


6 posted on 09/11/2005 6:51:12 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: bert

A 65 plus couple from NOLA were in the local post office Friday here at Lake of the Ozarks (couldn't miss their accents). The husband said they tried to drive north but the neighboring town had blockaded the highway.


8 posted on 09/11/2005 6:52:25 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Troubled by NOLA looting ? You ain't seen nothing yet.)
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To: FreedomPoster

I think it better not to reveal his identity. He is here under adverse circumstances.


9 posted on 09/11/2005 7:06:41 AM PDT by bert (K.E. ; N.P . I smell a dead rat!)
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To: bert

As a fellow FReeper working at one of the mega centers in Atlanta area I really enjoyed reading your first hand experience. I talk to them after them have been in our area for a few days and are waiting to be processed through the whole system of getting their story told and then receiving the aid they need. We have had all ages from a three week old baby to seniors in their 80's...most are so appreciative of all the help they are getting but of course there are some who have made life miserable for the workers.So far what I have observed is a pretty upbeat group of people....many are religious and just thank God they are alive. I met a man yesterday on oxygen and I gave him the name of my husbands pulmonologist and as I walked away he yelled to me "it just wasn't my time to go...God has more for me to do"
Most of what they seem to want to do is talk and tell their own little story...one woman told me she was separated from her husband and had finally tracked him down and he was in Houston. She is to leave today on a plane to rejoin him....she jokingly said she had waded through mucky water...had waited days to be rescued...was hungry and had nothing except her life left and yet she was afraid to get on that plane as she is afraid to fly. We joked about that and decided that if she had made it through all that she could indeed get on that plane to rejoin her husband. As we parted she hugged me and thanked me for making her laugh and realize just how much she had to look forward to once she got off that plane. It's such a good feeling to think you can help someone with just a few words.
I heard this morning on our local news that the Red Cross will not be passing out the debit cards they had been. One station just reported the system was being changed and people would now have a phone number to call for the card. I then switched to another channel and they were reporting that this change was being made because there were so many people showing up at the centers claiming to be from NO and getting the debit cards....then the RC was finding these were fraudalent claims etc..I'm wondering just how this change will affect those standing in line for hours waiting to get the cards...thankfully we have had plenty of security around to calm some of the problems that have popped up.
Very few of the people I talked to want to return to New Orleans.....and most in the center I am working at are staying with relatives or friends. We fed about 2,000 on Friday. Not sure how long the centers will be open or just how many more from the hurricane areas are expected in Georgia.But I was told if I wanted I could be kept busy volunteering indefinitely.


10 posted on 09/11/2005 7:54:15 AM PDT by grannyheart2000
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To: bert
Wonderful details and overview in your report. Thanks for writing and posting, bert.

Someday the elderly man who asked about the levee will learn that Terry Ebbert, Chief of Homeland Security for New Orleans originally reported that the levee break would be repaired within a few hours and that the waters were rising slowly.

Hard to tell how many lives were lost because Ebbert spread that misinformation.

11 posted on 09/11/2005 9:01:51 AM PDT by syriacus (I THINK WE CAN GET [the levee] STABILIZED IN A FEW HOURS - T Ebbert, NOLA Dpt.Hmlnd.Sec. Aug/2005)
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To: grannyheart2000

Thanks for reporting your experiences, too, grannyheart2000.


12 posted on 09/11/2005 9:04:11 AM PDT by syriacus (I THINK WE CAN GET [the levee] STABILIZED IN A FEW HOURS - T Ebbert, NOLA Dpt.Hmlnd.Sec. Aug/2005)
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To: bert
They knew they were leaving but did not know where they were going.

Amazing.

Thanks so much for posting this! Very good read.

13 posted on 09/11/2005 9:06:31 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Fritzy

ping..... can't believe I left you off the first ping.


14 posted on 09/11/2005 9:07:34 AM PDT by bert (K.E. ; N.P . I smell a dead rat!)
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To: bert
He said there were many Chinese and Thai merchants who guarded their shops and were armed with bad automatic weapons.

I wonder what he meant by "bad automatic weapons"?

15 posted on 09/11/2005 9:09:05 AM PDT by snowsislander
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To: snowsislander

...."bad automatic weapons"....

I don't know why he said that but that is what my note says.....


16 posted on 09/11/2005 9:21:22 AM PDT by bert (K.E. ; N.P . I smell a dead rat!)
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To: bert
Thanks for your firsthand report and volunteering to help your fellow Americans.

There were the county school busses and drivers along with the sheriff department.

But Mary Landrieu says mayors can't get employees to work on weekends. Oh wait. You're in Tennessee.

17 posted on 09/11/2005 9:37:30 AM PDT by auboy
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To: bert

Thanks for the first hand account bert.

Bless the "Croix Rouge" and their volunteers.


18 posted on 09/11/2005 9:50:35 AM PDT by ForGod'sSake (ABCNNBCBS: An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.)
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To: bert

Hey.. thanks for the heads up... great report... amazing what on the ground Volunteers can do...


19 posted on 09/11/2005 9:52:53 AM PDT by Fritzy
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To: grannyheart2000

.....Most of what they seem to want to do is talk and tell their own little story.....

In my limited contacts, this was the over riding factor. It has been pent up and building.The need to tell someone is extreme.

I'll use your post to make another point that is sinking in. This disaster is unique in that it is coming to us rather than the normal us going to the area. By that I mean where churches, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Shepard's Purse and all kinds of groups gathering up stuff and skills and sending them off some where they are needed at home where the evacuees are coming.

In addition to the 72 noted above there are many,many more who are finding their way out into America. Freepers should be on the lookout for opportunities to be of service.


20 posted on 09/11/2005 9:55:53 AM PDT by bert (K.E. ; N.P . I smell a dead rat!)
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To: bert

I'll agree with you there....I urge everyone to find some time if possible to volunteer. In my county most of the churches are offering help whether it be food, clothing,shelter or counseling. It doesn't take long to find a place to offer your services. I have been so impressed with the turnout of people of all ages wanting to step in and help. A man who is a volunteer was helping me load some food supplies and he looked at me and wondered just why it is that it always takes a castastrophe for us all to come together. Here we were....a 70 yr old white haired lady and a guy with long dredlocks(sp?)working together and vowing we would try to keep this spirit alive.
So once again I'll get on my soapbox and let you know that volunteering is one of the greatest rewards in life..


21 posted on 09/11/2005 10:37:54 AM PDT by grannyheart2000
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To: bert

I'll agree with you there....I urge everyone to find some time if possible to volunteer. In my county most of the churches are offering help whether it be food, clothing,shelter or counseling. It doesn't take long to find a place to offer your services. I have been so impressed with the turnout of people of all ages wanting to step in and help. A man who is a volunteer was helping me load some food supplies and he looked at me and wondered just why it is that it always takes a castastrophe for us all to come together. Here we were....a 70 yr old white haired lady and a guy with long dredlocks(sp?)working together and vowing we would try to keep this spirit alive.
So once again I'll get on my soapbox and let you know that volunteering is one of the greatest rewards in life..


22 posted on 09/11/2005 10:37:56 AM PDT by grannyheart2000
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To: bert

I'd like to know more about the wired guy.


23 posted on 09/11/2005 1:14:07 PM PDT by tiki
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To: bert; snowsislander

I suspect he meant "bad" in the sense of "cool, good, neat".

"That's a BAAAAD ride you've got there", referring to someone's restored '71 Challenger, that sort of thing.


24 posted on 09/11/2005 4:47:47 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: bert

Thanks for the ping and the firsthand account.

Hats off to all the people who are helping others.


25 posted on 09/11/2005 11:19:58 PM PDT by Tired of Taxes
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

It sounds like the couple you met had tried to drive into Gretna...?

In case you didn't see this story yet:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1481211/posts


26 posted on 09/11/2005 11:22:33 PM PDT by Tired of Taxes
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To: bert
He was very wired and talked 90 miles a minute. He was literally gushing his experience. I think I was one of the first non NO people he had talked to and was extremely interested in letting it all come out. His profile….. white 50 ish, lengthy gray hair, purple LSU sweat shirt, red beret.

Greetings Bert!

Believe it or not the fellow may be exhibiting symptoms of shock and delayed stress.

He might need triage for special handling.

Just a thought.

Best regards,

27 posted on 09/12/2005 7:18:13 PM PDT by Copernicus (A Constitutional Republic revolves around Sovereign Citizens, not citizens around government.)
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To: bert

Hi bert, thanks for the ping, your account, and your service.

I'm glad people are getting the help they need!


28 posted on 09/13/2005 10:33:27 AM PDT by theophilusscribe
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