Texas Flooding – How To Help

Here’s someone who’s helping.

Not all of us can bring our boats down to Houston to help rescue people. Probably would not be a good thing if we all did. It’s even possible that this will be one of those Twitter feel-good stories that winds up otherwise. Here’s another story and a social science comment. Most people are good at heart.

The best thing we can do from far away is to send money to organizations that are providing help. Here are some. Offer up more, preferably those that you know personally, in the comments.

Red Cross

Houston Humane Society

San Antonio Humane Society

Austin Pets Alive

Update: Suggestions from the thread below.

SPCA of Brazoria County

Houston Food Bank

Portlight – Disaster aid for people with disabilities

Texas Diaper Bank






149 replies
  1. 1
    katep says:

    I made my contribution to SPCA of Brazoria County. Doing good work with a few employees and volunteers.

  2. 2
    BethanyAnne says:

    The #CajunNavy is coming also, too. Link

  3. 3
    maeve says:

    Houston Food Bank – has 100% rating from Charity Navigtor

  4. 4
    Davebo says:

    While I appreciate it that walk thru windshield with the inboard isn’t going to do a lot of good.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    We should call the rescue and recovery effort “Stronger Together.” 😝

    Thanks, Cheryl.

  6. 6
    Davebo says:


    We can do without a parade of deplorable in john boats. We have plenty already.

  7. 7
    germy says:

    This photo is shocking

    Thank you John for all your help today; 15 rescued from Dickinson nursing home https://t.co/ba3JEG7rG1 via @GalvNews— Timothy J. McIntosh (@DividendsMGR) August 27, 2017

  8. 8
    BethanyAnne says:

    I”ll er, tell them to go back home if I see them trying to help me?

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Wes Callison‏Verified account @WesCallisonTNN

    This is crazy. These Houstonians are catching fish in their living room! #HurricaneHarvey #Houston #Texas Video from ABC13.


  10. 10
    germy says:

    La vita Bella nursing home in Dickinson Texas is almost underwater with nursing home patients pic.twitter.com/oCNkrgoRZY— Timothy J. McIntosh (@DividendsMGR) August 27, 2017

  11. 11
    opiejeanne says:

    @germy: I’m relieved that they got those people out. I hope they also got the cat as well as any other pets that were in that place. The cat was visible in the back of the room, perched on the back of a couch; don’t know if there were other animals.
    I was astonished by how many people whose first reaction was that the photo was fake, as if all news is now suspect. Isn’t Fox reporting on the storm at all?

  12. 12
    BethanyAnne says:

    If you’re on Twitter, look up @TexasTribune. They have a list to watch of Harvey news. I’m finding it more useful than either hashtag – I set a column in TweetDeck to it.

  13. 13
    opiejeanne says:

    @rikyrah: Psht. We had salmon on our city streets in Seattle. Big salmon.

    Just kidding, that’s darkly amusing. They’ve probably lost everything, may not have flood insurance, but they’re fishing inside their house.

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    Wow, until it’s seen the imagination doesn’t do the caption justice. I won’t ponder what’s in the water.

  15. 15
    Redshift says:

    I’ve been hearing good things about Portlight which does disaster aid for people with disabilities, which standard disaster response often isn’t well-equipped to handle.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Selfish violence” stories are much better for ratings.

  17. 17
    Redshift says:

    @opiejeanne: I saw a report on Twitter that the cat was rescued, too, from someone who was relaying other information about the rescue:


  18. 18
    opiejeanne says:

    @trollhattan: You know what’s in that water. There will be some very sick people as a result.

  19. 19
    opiejeanne says:

    @Redshift: Thanks. The photo of the dog evacuating himself with his bag of dog food was tragicomic. There have been photos of animals left behind that were rescued by neighbors. Mostly dogs. I don’t understand why they don’t take their pets with them and just leave them in the yard.

  20. 20
    james parente says:

    @opiejeanne: Floodwater is officially classified as sewage.
    When I finally got back into my house, on 10/31/2012, after Sandy, one of the first things I noticed was that the there was toilet paper stuck to the ceiling of my bathroom.
    Storm surges are incredibly violent phenominum.
    Also, mold sprouted within 2 days.


  21. 21


  22. 22
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yeah, that! Thanks for the link; it’s my second column in Tweetdeck atm.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Reliable news sources? How last century.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @germy: That will go viral. I can’t imagine being one of their relatives.

  25. 25
    Balconesfault says:

    Via AirBnB, hosting a family of 7 for free until Matagorda County lets them return

  26. 26
    Ruviana says:

    @opiejeanne: They may have to leave them. There was an awful picture of a woman with her daughter and her dog wrapped in a blanket listening to the shelter person tell her she couldn’t bring the dog in. And I recall people during Katrina refusing to leave if they couldn’t bring their pets. I’d probably roll that way myself.

  27. 27

    Mexico has offered help.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @Ruviana: Hard to say if you haven’t lived through it, but same here.

  29. 29
    Kathleen says:

    Reposted from thread below:

    Looks like another storm is brewing on Atlantic coast and it appears it could affect coastal areas of Georgia, South Carolina and North Caroline. Stay safe, Juicers who are in affected areas.


  30. 30
    sukabi says:

    @germy: thank goodness for the rescue, but why were they left there in the first place?

  31. 31
    rikyrah says:

    Watching MSNBC. They’re interviewing a woman – took them 12 hours to rescue her. Reporter asks her what she was thinking as she was waiting to be rescued.

    ” That I need to write my social security number on my arm.”

    The reporter had nothing in response to that.

  32. 32
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    After watching their performance here in SF after the earthquake in ’89, I urge you to donate to something other than the Red Cross. Because they are the first organization that comes to mind for many people, they will get a metric shit-ton of donations – far more than they are willing to spend locally. They will quickly divert your donation to their other causes or stockpile it. Give to local organizations, and please, if you can, GIVE MONEY.

  33. 33
    Redshift says:

    @opiejeanne: The story of the dog with the bag of food actually had a happy ending. He wasn’t flooded out.

  34. 34
    Greenergood says:

    Another group needing $$,
    from Weather Underground blog: Portlight working for years in Haiti, Katrina, etc.: helping people with disabilities in disaster zones: http://www.portlight.org/

  35. 35
    opiejeanne says:

    @james parente: Ugh. Yes. I have a friend who stood knee-deep in contaminated water after a hurricane in Florida, waiting for the pizza delivery guy. She had sheltered in a cousin’s cinder block house and her trailer survived with minor damage but she replaced it not long after.

  36. 36
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    I’m struggling with conflicting emotions. Part of me wants to offer nothing but “thotsnprars” to Texans out in the suburbs and exurbs, and to target my aid only to residents of Houston proper.

    Also, right now, Texas conservatives are rubbing their teeny dicks to the thought of crushing Houston “libruls”.

  37. 37
    opiejeanne says:

    @Davebo: You’re the guy who posted the recipes for cat one night. I think you should not be too proud of yourself.

  38. 38

  39. 39
    tybee says:


    it’s been gusting to over 40kts here on the islands of georgia. rain off and on but nothing like what they’re getting in texas.

  40. 40
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    recipes for cat

    Wait, what?

  41. 41

    @SiubhanDuinne: As the HFG here, had I seen that, I would have banned it.

  42. 42
    Hellbastard says:

    Austin Pets ALive is helping too:


    And I wouldn’t go anywhere without my dogs. F that…

  43. 43
    opiejeanne says:

    @Baud: Not everyone who survives to old age has relatives, or ones who know or care about their circumstances. The facility is assisted living, very near a waterway of some sort (bayou?) There was no evacuation order but you’d think management would have been aware of the weather and have taken some precautions.

  44. 44
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Stay safe, tybee.

    I have a friend who lives on Tybee, whose life’s work involves going out almost every day in her bright yellow kayak to hang with the dolphins. She’s written two books about them, and frequently posts photos of them on FB. I think it’s fair to say that after 20 or so years, she knows them well and they know her. I always worry, though, when there’s a major weather event on the Georgia coast.

  45. 45
    Florida Frog says:

    @tybee: I’m just a bit south of you and it’s been rain bands and gusts for several hours now. I’m on the marsh side of the island and we usually don’t get much wind but our big oaks are doing the tropical storm dance now.

  46. 46
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    Rightly so, if it is what it sounds like. How terrible.

  47. 47
    debbie says:


    That is appalling. Where’s the staff?

    Abbott keeps saying this isn’t the time to talk about what could have been done better, but that time better come soon.

  48. 48
    Jay S says:

    @opiejeanne: I will admit I looked at the photo from the nursing home skeptically at first. It looks unreal. They seem unnaturally calm in the circumstances. That said my first response is not to yell fake news about any of this, despite the surreal photos I am seeing.

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @debbie: Abbott is praising Trump’s FEMA already.

    @Jay S: Me too.

    (It looks like an album cover.)

  50. 50
    eclare says:

    @debbie: Still remember Anderson Cooper’s “when is the right time to talk about mistakes?” moment covering Katrina.

  51. 51
    evodevo says:

    @germy: I’m just glad THEY got out … there was a nursing home in LA during Katrina that wasn’t so lucky ….

  52. 52
    opiejeanne says:

    @Ruviana: I remember that. I know that not all shelters will take pets. These people decided to leave in plenty of time, so I don’t understand why they left animals. There are places that will take pets,
    I’d take my dog or cat or canary and evacuate to high ground even if it meant I had to sleep in the car. I have contemplated this myself despite living on a hill. The town below us is 39 feet above sea level, and there are three driving routes off of the hill. One flooded badly and was closed for more than a month last winter, not for the first time. I can see a scenario that forces us off the hill without our car and that would be a huge problem if we couldn’t take our cat.

  53. 53
    EmbraceYourInnerCrone says:

    For what it’s worth some of the community organizers and people who were involved in Occupy Wall Street formed Occupy Sandy in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy when the local Emergency and assistance organizations were overwhelmed and still trying to get help into the area. They have some good resource documents in English and Spanish about how to clean up after you have been flooded, how to safely deal with mold and other things: http://occupysandy.net/resources/ http://occupysandy.net/resourc.....mmigrants/

    Also the Texas diaper bank: http://www.texasdiaperbank.org/

    Looks like President* Trump will be going to Texas on Tuesday. Personally I think this is a terrible idea.

  54. 54
    debbie says:


    The documentary, Mine, is about people who were forced to leave their pets behind during Katrina. Many had great difficulty in retrieving them and were frankly mistreated by those who had taken care of the pets. Enduring lectures and insults was as traumatic as the hurricane.

  55. 55
    Jay S says:


    Where’s the staff?

    I suspect the legs you see underwater at the bottom of the photo are of a staff person taking the photo.

  56. 56
    opiejeanne says:

    @Redshift: Nice story. I figured that his humans were nearby or something. Wasn’t too worried since he was toting that bag of food.

  57. 57
    Gin & Tonic says:


    Looks like President* Trump will be going to Texas on Tuesday. Personally I think this is a terrible idea.

    I hate to be in a position where I’m even tangentially defending that asshole, but this is a real no-win situation regardless of who’s POTUS. If you go, it’s obviously a great strain on local resources; if you don’t go, then you’re painted as cold and uncaring.

  58. 58
    opiejeanne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Oh yes. Schrodinger’s Cat saw it too. Or was it Mnemosyne? Told him off.

  59. 59
    opiejeanne says:

    @TaMara (HFG): It was more than a little shocking. I haven’t gotten over it.

  60. 60
    debbie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    It will be interesting to see whether he can speak without once referring to his own excellence. I say he can’t.

  61. 61
    opiejeanne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It was a link to prep and cooking. It included pictures of the prep, from the beginning.

  62. 62
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Ugh, terrible.

  63. 63
    mskitty says:

    I’ve been watching all day, footage of people being rescued – and many – MANY – of them have dogs on leashes, cat carriers – one couple were carrying two small dogs in a cooler box. These people are NOT leaving their pets behind. We all heard – read – secondhand suffered with the Katrina pets problem, and we just will NOT let it happen again. You might find a shelter or even a few that won’t allow pets; I read that most have an adjacent space for the pets that come in with rescued people.

  64. 64

    @Gin & Tonic: Tend to agree, we gave Shurb a whole lot of shit(and deservedly so) for doing the ‘flyover’ of NOLA. But Lord Smallgloves should at least wait until it stops raining.

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @Gin & Tonic: This happened to Obama. He explained why he wasn’t immediately travelling to Louisiana after a hurricane, but the conservatives nonetheless used the opportunity to take him to task for being uncaring. But I think that was more about conservatives being dicks.

  66. 66
    eclare says:

    @opiejeanne: OMG! Glad I missed that.

  67. 67


    But I think that was more about conservatives being dicks.

    So a day ending in ‘y’.

  68. 68
    Seth Owen says:

    @opiejeanne: My understanding is that the photos were BY staff, who were looking for rescue. I read that the facility staff was advised to stay put because it had never flooded before.

    As this is an unprecedented storm, by definition a lot of places are going to see flooding that have never experienced it before, so a lot of people are going to be caught by surprise. Unless you are on obvious high ground (which I hear is rare in the Houston area) it will be hard to predict exactly where the flood waters may appear. I think it’s appropriate to cut a little slack for people, including management and officials, who are dealing with something outside anyone’s experience.

  69. 69
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: True, but I think that was after the Katrina response was shown to be a shambles.

  70. 70
  71. 71
    Baud says:

    I initially read that as “recipes for cats” and was wondering what’s so bad about it. I didn’t realize that it was a To Serve Man type of situation.

  72. 72
    Ruviana says:

    @Gin & Tonic: This was what I was thinking–W was berated for waiting and Obama for visiting. It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

  73. 73
    opiejeanne says:

    @Jay S: Maybe I believed it because I read the account of the couple trapped in their pickup with their four dogs. They chose not to evacuate after talking about it. Camped out in their car in the garage until the house started collapsing, then moved to their pickup and tried to move to high ground but the neighbor’s boat was blocking their road. They sat in water up to their chins for hours. The two big dogs were in the back part of the cab, just managing to keep their heads above water, the two little dogs on the dashboard. After that the picture seemed believable.

    also, there was a place like that in Katrina, and the residents drowned after the staff abandoned them. I can believe a lot of perfidy and many shocking things.

  74. 74
    Katep says:

    People can’t always take their pets to shelters, as noted here. Some animal organizations are coming up with alternative plans for them – Brazoria County has a Companion Animal Shelter set up at the fairgrounds for OWNED pets of people under mandatory evacuation orders. However, the owners must provide care and supplies for their own pets and come at least twice daily to care for them.

  75. 75
    Suzanne says:

    @Seth Owen: The other thing to realize about evacuating hospitals and nursing homes is that it is likely that lives will be lost during an evacuation, so they put it off as long as possible. Hospitals are designed to be compartmentalized, so that they can hold patients even during a fire, since evacuating is often more dangerous than staying. And you have to have somewhere to evacuate to—nursing home employees are not going to pack up a bunch of people on heart monitors and oxygen and leave without a plan to put them somewhere safe.

    I’m glad they got them out safely.

  76. 76
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    So I was in Houston for the 2001 hurricane Allison, and this is already much worse. Just looking at the levels, I’d say the floodwater is about twice as high as it was with Allison. And, of course, it’s gonna get worse.

    Current models are saying that this storm is going to “bounce” out into the water on Monday, strengthen, and make landfall again at Houston. Allison hit Houston twice, but the damage came with the second hit because the ground and flood control systems were saturated. And that was before another 16 years of the Texas state government cutting services in general.

    They aren’t going to be able to move large amounts of aid into Houston until Saturday at the earliest if this hurricane comes back for seconds.

  77. 77
    opiejeanne says:

    @eclare: It was a late night thread. I have mixed feelings about bringing it up now, but he was being a dick and I’ve just lost the last bit of forbearance for dickish behavior.

  78. 78
    chopper says:


    that’s what I figure. what’s the point of showing up when it’s still pouring? how is he even going to get close?

  79. 79
    lgerard says:


    Looks like President* Trump will be going to Texas on Tuesday. Personally I think this is a terrible idea.

    I am sure he will be donating a few rounds of golf at one of his clubs to help those who lost everything

  80. 80
    opiejeanne says:

    @Seth Owen: I’m sorry, it was predicted to be a cat 4 before Thursday, and Houston was in its path. Like you said, there’s not much high ground and it’s better to err on the side of caution.

    I’d have been out of there before that, though because I heard other towns being told to evacuate BY Thursday.

  81. 81
    Baud says:

    @chopper: The point is to get good press.

  82. 82
    chopper says:

    @Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]:

    one thing to remember re: allison is, the city he grown tremendously in the last 16 years. that’s a lot of concrete i.e. less land that can absorb, rather than runoff, precipitation.

  83. 83
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Yep. You know her?

  84. 84
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Suzanne: I think that was 24 of the deaths in the Rita evacuation on 2005. A bus full of nursing home patients – I believe it went up in flames from one of the oxygen tanks.

  85. 85
    Davebo says:

    @opiejeanne: Unless you’re talking about the satire SaveToby.com website I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about.

  86. 86
    opiejeanne says:

    @Katep: Yeah, CNN is showing pets being evacuated by rescuers. There must be some plans to shelter the animals or they’d be making people leave them.

  87. 87
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Yo. Trying to write fiction here. I know new paragraphs should be made when new characters speak, but what about when it’s written in the first person primarily? When should paragraphs be split?

  88. 88
    Davebo says:

    @Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]:

    This is much worse than Allison or even Tropical Storm Alicia.

    Right now Addicks and Barker Cypress reservoirs are nearly topping off. Both are formed by a rolled earthen dam and if Addicks breaches we’ll see over 80k acre feet of water dumping into Buffalo Bayou and working it’s way east downtown.

    That is the nightmare scenario.

    Talk of evacuation shows gross ignorance of the situation. Anyone who experienced Rita with over 100 killed while evacuating knows that.

  89. 89
    Calouste says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Queen Elizabeth and Prince William managed to show up at Grenfell Tower a few days after the fire without bringing half an army of security with them. Of course, they are not scared of their own people, unlike Theresa May.

  90. 90
    tybee says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: i’ve met her a few times

  91. 91

  92. 92
    opiejeanne says:

    @Suzanne: This isn’t a hospital. It’s an assisted living facility and it’s in Texas. I have no idea what the building requirements are for that type of facility, but I do know that Houston has no, none, not a single bit of zoning law and I would suspect there is similar regard to regulation of these places in the area; I don’t think there’s national rules and regulations. It means big bucks for the contractors who build in flood zones without studies or requirements for flood control. Some cities in California have discovered that it does indeed rain in the desert, sometimes very hard. Victorville and Hesperia had brand new developments with 3 and 4 feet of water in the houses in the winter of 1992. My husband’s company acted as their city engineer and were laughed at when they advised them to require developers to put in flood control channels and storm drains.

    I’m listening to the very reasonable-sounding mayor and I’m almost convinced about the lack of evacuation orders.

  93. 93
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    You sound dubious 😏

  94. 94

    @Calouste: Of course, that was after the fire was out. Tuesday, it still could be raining.

  95. 95
    MomDoc says:

    @Seth Owen:

    You are right about the unprecedented nature of this. We are hunkering down watching the river levels as it continues to rain here. My family lives in a neighborhood that was planned to lessen the risk of flooding. We are hanging in.

    I know a lot of people are asking about evacuations but most Houstonians remember the horror of the Rita evacuation where millions of people sat on the freeway for hours and hours. I had a 3-year-old son and 5-month-old baby girl during that evacuation. It took us 24 hours to get to Dallas (a 4-5 hour drive). Gas was scarce so I couldn’t use the AC in the car and we were moving so slow, there was no breeze in the car. It was horrible. My daughter cried the entire time. Everyone I knew in Houston had evacuated ahead of Rita and almost everyone got stuck on the road. And everyone then said that they would not evacuate again. No one left when Ike hit in 2008.

    I don’t think there was enough time between Harvey intensifying and landfall to coordinate an evacuation of 6 million people. Rita taught us that you need more time to get the city cleared. Certain neighborhoods flood more often but a lot of the flooding is in places that have never flooded. Part of I-10 is underwater up to the sign over the freeway — literally you can only see the sign and a little of the pole holding it across the road. That has never happened. Most of the residents are not asking why there was no evacuation — we just want the rain to stop…

  96. 96
    opiejeanne says:

    @Davebo: I remember your post clearly. It was not the fake “save the kitty/bunny/puppy” thing, it was a set of instructions for cleaning and prepping a cat for cooking, followed by a recipe.

    Unless it’s the other guy with “bo” after his first name, there are two of guys, named somethingbo, Fredbo?, and in that case I apologize.

  97. 97
  98. 98
    opiejeanne says:

    @Davebo: They probably should let water out of those reservoirs in order to save the dams. It will cause more havoc but if those dams go it will be worse.

  99. 99
    Davebo says:

    @opiejeanne: That’s not really an option. These are not traditional dam reservoirs.

  100. 100
    Mike in NC says:

    @lgerard: Trump will offer to sell MAGA hats at a 20% discount to people who lost everything in the Houston flood.

  101. 101
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I miss him.

    Every single day.

  102. 102
    Baud says:

    @Mike in NC: Sadly, I don’t know if you’re kidding.

  103. 103
    Bess says:

    There is an interview on one of the news networks with someone who says that she is the daughter of the assisted living facility. She says that her mother has an evacuation plan (as required) but they were instructed to shelter in place.

    Realistically I doubt it’s possible to evacuate many of our large cities in a short period of time. There’s simply not adequate road space to hold that many vehicles. And many don’t have vehicles or access to them.

    That’s why Indian Point nuclear reactor is being closed. If it experienced a disaster there and the wind was blowing toward NYC there is no possible way to move people out of the way.

  104. 104
    Davebo says:


    As bad as this storm is we’ve only had 5 confirmed fatalities statewide.

    Over 110 people died while trying to evacuate Houston for Hurricane Rita (which never came).

    And keep in mind, Harvey made landfall 225 miles away from Houston. Try to convince people to start packing up because of a storm 3 1/2 hours drive away.

  105. 105
    Steve in the ATL says:


    Looks like President* Trump will be going to Texas on Tuesday. Personally I think this is a terrible idea.

    Hmmm…I’m also going to Texas on Tuesday. I think it’s a terrible idea too but the union apparently feels compelled to bargain over this next contract rather than just accept all my proposals.

    So, any recommendations on what to do in Austin in the rain?

  106. 106
    opiejeanne says:

    @Davebo: No gates? They had to do that with Lake Matthews in Riverside County when we had a record-setting storm; I think they used pumps because they don’t have gates either. The water followed the path of least resistance for several miles, and took out a huge chunk of a divided road and caused sinkholes in a new tract. The houses were sitting on islands with gaping chasms filled with flood water. The canals in the area overflowed, just to add to the excitement and the rain just continued to pour down. We had a waterfall in our bedroom because the roof chose that moment to leak like a sieve. This was at the end of three years of drought in the 70s, before house inspections became A Thing, and we found the attic was full of buckets and pans that had finally overflowed.

  107. 107
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    @Steve in the ATL: 5th street. At least it’s indoors.

  108. 108
    Jay S says:

    @Baud: Discounts? Of course he’s kidding. Those hats will be sold at a markup to a private relief organization and written off as a donation.

  109. 109

    @Steve in the ATL:

    the union apparently feels compelled to bargain over this next contract rather than just accept all my proposals.

    Typical Union Thug behavior.

  110. 110
    Ruckus says:

    Really it’s a rock and a hard spot for mass evacuations. 9 million people are not going to fit on the roads all at once. Major CA freeways serve 250,000-350,000+ cars a day.
    Even if you double the average, and that’s not all that realistic, at 4 people per car at let’s say 600,000 cars that’s 2,400,000 people per day. For 9 million that’s almost 4 days. You just can’t move that many people in 2 or 3 days without a lot of prior planing. And they just didn’t have that many days. And that doesn’t of course take into account all the people that wouldn’t be 4 per car. And where would they go?

  111. 111
    Capri says:

    @mskitty: The number one reason people refused to be evacuated during Katrina was because they weren’t allowed to bring their pets. In response the officials SOP’s were changed to allow pets to be evacuated along with their people.

  112. 112
    Barbara says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: You would start new paragraphs where it would make sense narratively, but you make the continuation of a quote over multiple paragraphs clear by putting quotes at the beginning of each paragraph, and closing the quotes only at the end of the entire quote. Like this:

    “I am a rock. I am an island.

    “But a rock feels no pain.

    “And an island never cries.”

  113. 113
    Busybody says:

    My husband and I went to Baton Rouge to help people evacuated from Katrina. The shelter was a big church and run by the Red Cross. I would really recommend not sending send money to the Red Cross. It is a huge organization and most of the money goes to maintaining themselves.

    There must be local relief groups that would be much more effective.

  114. 114
    Davebo says:

    @Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]: 6th actually. (Pecan Street)

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    Davebo says:

    It is a huge organization and most of the money goes to maintaining themselves.

    That’s simply not true.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Or a POTUS could do like Obama, and take care to stay away from areas where he and his entourage would get in the way of rescue and relief operations. Of course, it might not occur to the Trump White House to take such care.

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    tybee says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: i only spoke with her a few times. she seems to be pleasant. astrology is not exactly something i follow.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I don’t follow it, but I have found some of the archetypes to be useful, just as one might refer to a “Hamlet” or “Iago” or “Miranda” as shorthand for certain personality types. But Muriel’s work with the dolphins is quite fascinating. There’s a real connection there.

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    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    @Davebo: been 20 years since I lived there, my bad.

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    I’m seeing some comments on the Red Cross as a charity. There were issues in 2014 that were followed by a reorganization. I haven’t followed all that in detail, and I’m having a hard time finding a simple article that describes that history. But my sense is that the negative things that are being said have been corrected since then. Here are a couple of ratings from what look like reputable organizations. At least, I see news articles referencing them as if they are. I vaguely recalled all this when I put the link in the opening post.

    Charity Navigator
    Charity Watch

    A ranking from Christian Science Monitor puts them as number 5 in the United States.

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    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: wait–your friend is a dolphin astrologer?!?

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    Sounds like the Cajun Navy might be real?

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    WaterGirl says:

    @james parente: Sending good thoughts your way as I’m sure this storm is bringing it all back for you.

  125. 125
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruviana: I thought there was some law or regulation passed after Katrina that says pets must be allowed at shelters. Or something like that.

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    Suzanne says:

    @opiejeanne: I know it’s an assisted living facility. My point is that facilities that house people who aren’t fully mobile or healthy is very hazardous, and evacuating can be more dangerous to those people than staying in place. There are lots of people in assisted living facilities who are still in pretty dire medical need or are really fragile. I don’t blame employees for not evacuating, since it sounds like in this situation, there’s not a good strategy for a place for those people to go.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: My response to that is tears.

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    satby says:

    @Busybody: I agree and I was part of the Red Cross disaster response! And then part of their IT support years later when it was outsourced, and there’s no organization that can waste money like the ARC. I quit volunteering for them and quit donating to them.

    @Cheryl Rofer: Well, I left the account in 2012, but they reorganize regularly. And were never able to get their shit together to get out from under a consent order that was decades old regarding the blood products resulting from their blood drives.

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    james parente says:

    @WaterGirl: It is bringing it back but I’m still dealing with the financially disastourous “recovery” process.
    Myself and thousands of others are permanently damaged by this, almost 5 years after the storm.

  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:


    We’re talking about the night you posted links to a site about how to skin and cook a cat, with photos of the dead cat being skinned.

    Go and Google it. If you didn’t remember that you did it, you should probably stop drinking to blackout.

  131. 131
    debbie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The Red Cross ran into trouble after Katrina when it came out that they were using donations to upgrade computers rather than providing direct aid to victims as donors had intended. The CEO, Bernadette Healy (?) had to resign.

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:


    Honestly, that seems like kind of a judgement call. If the computers need to be upgraded to be more efficient with emergencies and blood donations, and the money is coming in, I think I might make the same decision if I were running the Red Cross.

  133. 133
    satby says:

    I still have friends working at ARC, so I hate to slag on it, but Charity Navigator has several 4 star charities listed that will be working in the areas affected by Harvey.
    Some of the biggest names, like ARC, are 3 stars.

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    debbie says:


    I could see doing that at a later date, but there was a lot of suffering and that’s what people wanted their money to be spent on.

  135. 135
    satby says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, that was one of the excuses they used, but that’s not exactly how they used the money that I saw. Can’t really disclose anything not already public like the consent decree, but watching how they used what they were given is why I don’t give to them.

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    pk says:

    @Katep: Is there donation set up for them? or just donate to Brazoria County Humane?

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    WaterGirl says:

    @james parente: Yeah, as I wrote that I figured that since your money had been wiped out that you are still living with it every day. I was thinking more of the emotional side of things with what I wrote. It sucks and it’s unfair – most of the rest of us think of Katrina and Sandy as events in the past. I am starting to learn that we are wrong about that.

  138. 138
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne: The person that posted what you are describing needs to be banned permanently.

  139. 139
    Mnemosyne says:


    I was probably going to donate to the food bank anyway — I usually feel like I’ll get more bang for my buck at places like that, and I’m sure the corporate giving arm of the Giant Evil will be making their standard $1 million donation to the Red Cross, so they won’t need my extra pennies.

  140. 140
    Kent says:

    Red Cross was a complete cluster during Katrina. Supposedly they reorganized and solved those problems. Then came Sandy and again, a complete cluster.


    AT&T corporate execs took over operations. They raised over 1/2 billion for Haiti relief and managed to build a total of 6 houses


    I’m not sure how many chances they should get.

    Surely we can find organizations that will do more with our money than the Red Cross. Just saying.

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    Booger says:

    @debbie: Healy resigned after the 9/11 debacle. There was a new CEO in 2005.

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    Ruckus says:

    I still live with things that happened and decisions I made after the LA earthquake of 94, which cost me a business that had been in my family for over 30 yrs, that I had owned and run for over half of that. Large natural disasters can be and are difficult to recover from, unless you have lots of money to spend. My life has changed in ways that I never could have foreseen in a million years. But I’m reasonably healthy for my age (even though some things have stumped a few docs) and I’m keeping on keeping on.

  144. 144
    Booger says:

    @Kent: The American Red Cross has been consistently operated by Republican appointees. This is not a secret but it explains a whole lot.

  145. 145
    Ruckus says:

    If I remember correctly the issue was that they didn’t do a very good job and they spent a lot of money on the computers, something that probably could have waited a couple of months and been better done. I worked for a company that spent money stupidly on computers because the person making financial decisions didn’t have a clue so she did what she always did, ask and pay IBM without listening to her IT staff.

  146. 146
    Kent says:


    Yes, going back at least to Elizabeth Dole who was going to leverage it into a presidential run or something. Maybe even before her. I don’t know the complete history

  147. 147
    Immanentize says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    So, any recommendations on what to do in Austin in the rain?

    Go to Chuy’s. Eat Tex Mex. Drink margaritas.

  148. 148
    J R in WV says:

    Had a friend who got “hired” by the Red Cross, was delighted the first day, then learned that her “salary” was dependent on how much money she raised… from $0 up to what they “offered” her if she raised a shitload more than that.

  149. 149
    BethanyAnne says:

    I just saw this thread on Twitter: A Floodsplainer for Houston

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