Beau September 16th, 2008
The past week has been challenging for so many people, especially those who live along the south Texas and Louisiana coasts, or are essentially refugees after Hurricane Ike. The rain from that storm made it’s way up through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri leaving flooded homes and rivers yet to crest in its wake. The storm’s impact was felt even further through Kentucky, Tennesee, Illinois, Indiana and states further east. And let us not forget Hurricane Gustav a couple weeks ago- many along Louisiana are struggling to recover there as well.
I have not experienced a hurricane, personally riding out the storm in a home on the coast. That must be frightening, and I hope never to be caught in such an event. One would hope to have enough foresight or means to leave and find shelter somewhere else.
I remember standing on the deck of a ship in sideways rain and 60 mph winds trying to avoid the fringe of such a storm, and watching the pitching, rolling seas build and build. I’ve flown over a super typhoon, watching the swirl of clouds spanning over 600 empty miles across the ocean, cruising along at 37,000 feet. It leaves one fairly speechless to look down into the eye of such a maelstrom knowing that not much separates your little pink body and the immense forces of nature taking place far below. It’s humbling.
Watching the news and stories about the aftermath of Hurricane Ike is also humbling. I’ve seen seen the aftermath of typhoons, cyclones and other natural disasters by other names in different parts of the world. The sheer devastation and the impact on human lives is barely comprehensible. And the pictures from Ike’s aftermath are barely comprehensible.
Those of us at a great distance and unaffected by the storm’s wrath can often do little but say prayers and provide assistance with donations to such organizations as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army or a church or other aid organization.
To their credit a few companies are donating funds; Lowes and Home Depot are both making a $1 Million donation to the Red Cross and local aid organizations for relief efforts, and ExxonMobil has pledged $5 Million toward disaster assistance. I’m sure there’s more, and for those inclined, here’s a link to the American Red Cross Donation page, and another one for the Salvation Army’s donation page.