Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Biloxi - Gulfport Hurricane Relief Info & Donation Info

All people effected by hurricane Katrina are hugely worthy of being the focus of relief efforts, however I have chosen the Biloxi – Gulfport region for my focus. My brother-in-law is stationed at the Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi and rode out the hurricane on base. I also have a business connection with people in the general area, so that is why I have specifically chosen to highlight the Biloxi – Gulfport region. The important thing is that everyone who can help does help, regardless of where those receiving their assistance live.

If you want to donate to the folks in the Biloxi – Gulfport area, the local paper “Sun Herald” has listed a number of organizations that they are requesting that you donate to. They are all large universal type organizations so donations will provide assistance for everyone affected by Katrina, which is a good thing.

Sun Herald Donate List

Here is the link to the Red Cross site where you can donate and help people today with food, water and the first phase type relief that they need

RedCross Phone: 1-800-Help-Now

I am trying to identify local organizations as well that need help and will post them as they are identified. Until then I would ask that you consider giving what you can to one of the organizations listed.

A couple useful links for those in the region effected by Katrina and for those who want to help or simply want more information:

Sun Herald is the local newspaper for the region and has lots of helpful information

Eye On Katrina Blog is the papers “blog” dedicated to covering the hurricane, the aftermath, and the recovery efforts.

MSEMA is the "Mississippi Emergency Management Agency" and they have useful links to several things like:

Temporary Housing – Individual Assistance – Public Assistance – SBA Assistance – Even Available Hotel & Campground Locations

I will put direct links to each so that people don’t have to go through the main page as soon as the response time improves from the site.

(Caution the site is very slow so unless you are an affected citizen needing info in the area please don’t link and slow the site down any more than it is)

24 Hr MEMA Emergency Assistance Phone Number is: 1-800-222-6362

I will add to the post other contact and assistance websites, phone numbers and information as I discover it.


Keesler Air Force Base Update:

For those of you with family stationed at Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi, MS. Here is a link to the bases official website:


From today’s news release from the Public Affairs Office, good news:

“The safety, health, and well being of our Keesler family is our priority, said Brig Gen William Lord, 81st Training Wing Commander. “Thankfully our people who sheltered in one of our certified hurricane shelters are safe and we can now focus on reconstituting the base and reestablishing our mission. In spite of the power outage, the air field is operational during daylight hours, and other utilities are available. “We have a fully operational sewage system and drinking water,”

If you were scheduled to report to Keesler, you need to read the news release to get your instructions and where to call and what to do. The phone numbers are available on the Keesler Website


Update: Service to Contact Missing Family & Friends

Here is a link to the local ABC affiliate and they have a good deal of information posted and one service is for those trying to locate family and friends in the area via the Salvation Army’s Team Emergency Radio Network:



The trucks are arriving in Biloxi - Gulfport and that's a very good thing, per the Sun Herald:

Supplies Arriving

Turner said he expects 250 emergency response vehicles and 1700 people to bring in supplies to set up 12 feeding kitchens in conjunction with the Southern Baptist association that already is operating a kitchen at First Baptist church in Biloxi..................The Red Cross also hopes to bring supplies to people who can’t make it to the food kitchens. "Eventually, there will be block by block help for people," said Dan Chandler community service feeding manager for the local Red Cross. Chandler said workers will ride up and down streets in trucks with food and water and call out to residents using a bullhorn.

So if you need food, water, ice or supplies or if you have a family member or friend that you can contact that needs these supplies (who in Biloxi-Gulfport does not?), here is where they need to go:

- First Baptist church in Biloxi = Food (1560 Popps Ferry Road (228)-396-8500)

- Jackson County fairgrounds in Pascagoula = water & ice

- Singing River Mall in Gautier = water & ice

- Shelters Open = Vancleave High School and East Central High School in Hurley

- Authorities are in the process bringing in portable toilets - more info when they arrive

- The Red Cross is organizing "Information Booths" to provide quick and thorough information on what aid is available and how to get it (that is important).

- The Harrison County EMA currently is planning the location of distribution centers for water and ice. The agency currently has 85 tractor trailer trucks full of ice and water ready to be distributed. (find a spot man and give it out!)

- Long Beach Middle School: Fire Chief George Bass said he wasn’t sure what time they’d open but residents will be able to go to Long Beach Middle School and Quarles Elementary to get supplies.

(From what I have seen, the top three organizations that are on site "NOW" delivering first response aid are the Southern Baptist association, Red Cross, and Salvation Army. Donate to whom you want but in Biloxi - Gulfport those three seem to be in the lead for making a quick and immediate difference with aid)


Upate: HUGE Need For Basic Drugs In Biloxi-Gulfport

They need prescription drugs in Biloxi-Gulfport in a very bad way. Per Sun Herald a big need for general drugs:

She (Jamie Goad) said businesses that are open should contact emergency management authorities, who are operating out of a building on Convent Street in Pascagoula across from the county courthouse. She also asked pharmacists to contact emergency officials to set up a pharmacy unit where people could get prescription drugs.

If you work for a pharmacy based company please see if you can help get at least the basic pharmaceutical supply that they so badly need. The contact if you can at this point is Jamie Goad at WLOX TV (228)-896-1313 and email at She can redirect you if someone else it the proper contact after her impromptu role in the pharmacy needs. Contact me at and I will find the right person if you can help on this serious need..................


Update: Volunteers Needed In Biloxi - Gulfport

ABC WLOX 13 has a post up for those of you who want to and can volunteer to assist in Biloxi – Gulfport:


Call MEMA @ the listed numbers below if you have the skill set they are looking for:

Professional Search & Rescue: 601-360-0937

Medical Professionals
Nurses: 601-497-8022
Physicians & EMT: 601-576-8085

Non- Professional Volunteers
Please contact the Red Cross, Salvation Army, or local churches
Churches Biloxi
(I personally think that the local churches will be very effective in helping their fellow citizens and know the area and the people obviously) Churches Gulfport

You can also contact NOVAD National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters and they can place you where you are needed most.

Important: you must contact the above organizations and get security clearance to travel to the area. Please do not simply head down to help without coordinating your service with the authorities. You will not be able to get through the security check points.

If you can go in person and provide the needed service what a great gift to give……………


Update: New Website

There is a new website up that has several informative sections related to hurricane Katrina and provides useful information:

Hurricane Katrina Survivors

Some of the options:

- Chat Room for registered users to discuss the pressing issues and to share information (such a service will become very useful to the residences once power is restored and they have online access)

- Survivor Data Base where residents are posting that they survived for family and friends that can not contact them.
- Local media sources in the effected Gulf region

Seems like a good service and a productive use of the internet to help people get out information and gain information during this disaster..............


Keesler Update

A new update is out from Gen William Lord 81st Training Wind commander of Keesler:

Keesler Update


- Training to be shut-down, read the update for details.
- Student update and plans for students.
- Food & Ice are present and available as is water and sewage treatment.
- An insurance claim process has been set-up and activated.
- Cell Phones should be more accessible shortly as Nextel and Verizon are constructing a new tower to relay signals.
- Gas is in short supply and the normal ½ hour drive to Mobile AL, now takes 11 hours.

The new cell phone towers should help those seeking to contact not only family and friends stationed on the base, but other non-military residents in the area as well.


Update: Don't Forget About Habitat For Humanity

I don’t know how I could have forgotten this organization on my list:


Probably because the focus is on first wave response, but an organization like Habitat will be a huge contributor in the rebuilding process. I volunteer locally in St. Louis with Habitat and it is a very rewarding thing to help someone in need build their house and help them become homeowners.

WLOX 13 has an article on Habitat’s plans WLOX

Isert said -- quote -- "Habitat is not necessarily a first-responder agency, but we see a huge role for our work in any area that's been impacted by a storm or natural disaster."
He said when the area is safe, Habitat will send an assessment team in to develop short-term and long-term recovery programs for Katrina victims.

In the coming days Habitat will help people re-enter the homeownership market after having their former homes destroyed. Consider Habitat when you make your donations……………………………..


Update: Bank Opening In Biloxi

Peoples Bank is opening in Biloxi, per the Sun Heralds blog
eyes on katrina

Outsiders, please help us get information to us Coastians. We post this knowing that nobody's got internet access here, but if friends or family call you, you can relay this stuff back in. Calls go out, but they can't get in. (Sounds like a Raid commercial, eh?)

This one's about Peoples Bank. It will be open today, noon-4 p.m. and again Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. They hope to resume normal hours Tuesday, and they're accepting deposits and cashing checks only.

The following locations are open:
WEst Biloxi Branch on Pass Road, Biloxi
Cedar Lake Branch on Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi
Main Office on Lameuse Street, downtown Biloxi

Other branchss will open when they can.

All employees who haven't contacted the bank are urged to do so. Call Jackie Henson (435-8205) or the employee hotline (435-8419). If you can't do that, contact a co-worker and pass the word along.

Like they say, the people in Biloxi and Gulfport don’t have internet service, but if you have family or friends in the area and can reach them, the opening of a bank where you can get cash, is HUGE after such a tragedy………………………….


Update: Emergency Mail Service - Hope For Power - Water & Ice

WLOX is reporting that the Post Office is setting up emergency distribution points for vital mail like social security & pension checks:


Pickup centers have been set up at 4100 Rabby Street in Escatawpa, at 356 Ginger Drive in Biloxi and at 11110 Highway 49 in Gulfport, Mississippi, and in Louisiana at Hammond, Covington, LaPlace and Des Allemands. Plans for a pickup center in Alabama were dropped after officials said they expected to be able to resume deliveries there.

See earlier post on bank openings so that those checks can be cashed and the people needing cash the most can get it.....................

Also WLOX is reporting that the electric company trucks have arrived as well and were welcomed as heroes by the residents:


Power Crews On The Scene - 9/1 2:05 pm CDT
Posted by C. McNeill - WAVE 3 - Louisville, KY
While crowds awaited the distribution of water and ice, power crews started rolling into town. Spontaneous cheering, led by a Biloxi Police Officer, and the beeping of car horns erupted among the crowd.

Also water and ice arrived and should continue to arrive:

Water and Ice Arrive! - 9/1 1:30 pm CDT
Posted by C. McNeill - WAVE 3 - Louisville, KY
Semi-tractor trailers loaded with ice and cases of bottled water have arrived in the Biloix/Gulfport area. We'll have video available in a few minutes.


Update: New Help Links From Sun Herald

The Sun Herald has a revised and updated help page up with lots of links:

Sun Herald

Resource Sources:

- Finding and locating family in the region as well as people in the regions letting others know they are ok.
- Housing options in the regions and outside the region.
- Donations
- How can we help them
- Messages of sympathy


Update: Op-Ed Piece

I've held off on giving any political comments on this disaster because I think that is wrong at this stage. I will continue to refrain from such comments, because I think that is the right thing to do when the focus should be completely on helping the victims. That said I will have lots to say soon about the nasty, vile, and I have to say evil things that are being put forth by some in the MSM and New Media. I'll say a small bit here and now. Here is the negative things that are taking the positive energy away from this very needy circumstance.

The things that discuss me the most at this point are as follows:

- The humans that became animals: those who are preying on their fellow man are no longer human. Taking water and food is completely acceptable and I'd break the window for them if I was there and hand it out. The rape, murder, looting of non-essentials, the total lack of societal conformity, and the predatory mentality makes these people less than human. They are animals who have turned their back on the human code and covenant. No disaster or hardship justifies preying on your fellow man.

- the political pundits: whether you are left or right if your agenda is to try and "spin" a political agenda on this disgusts me. There is a time for political debate and that discussion should occur, and will soon. However, to interject politics into this debate while so many are in a horrific situation that no one owns and needs to be fixed, is below irresponsible. I say its a crime and any organization that puts such an agenda forth will never be on my lists of sources going forward. Nor will any organization or corporation that advertises with them. I mean that and plan to post in the future a list that have made injecting their twisted politics into this debate a priority. It's completely unacceptable and we should forcefully and completely make that message clear.

- those who don't act: if you have not done something for your fellow man who is hurting in the Gulf Region, then I have to ask what is wrong with you? Are you an Eagles fan who lives by the song, "Dirty Laundry"? Give to these people they need you and if you don't who will? We have to help people who have been devastated and are thinking right now there is no hope. There is hope and things will be ok, be part of the solution and if you are not then you are part of the disaster.

All in all I say either you are a "human" capable of helping your fellow man with no strings or requirement, or your an animal with a predatory desire and social rejection of the needs of our fellow human beings. Are you a "Human" or an "Animal"............................

Be a human and focus on your fellow human being who needs your help and needs to trust you in a time of horrible disaster and knows that you care about them and will help. You will either be a negative force or a positive force, there is no other option in this matter..........................


Update: A Plea for Help From Editor of Paper

The editor of the local paper is asking us for help:

Sun Herald

But the needs of our people are so incredibly great as to cry out for attention. Medical needs, food, water, gasoline -- are all needed and now. Some say our plight coupled with the unbelievable state of degredation in New Orleans represents the greatest humanitarian crisis in American history.
This has led us to profoundly understand our dependance on others. In this moment of need, we wonder who will help us? We are even so bold as to send a message from the lost cities of the Mississippi Coast: Will you help us?

Read the whole thing and then donate what you can……………….


Update: Don't Forget Biloxi & Gulfport

Things have improved in New Orleans which is great news!!!!! That said, the face of this disaster has become the disaster after the disater, which is rioting and flooding in New Orleans. It was horrible and like a horror movie, no doubt, but rember the people in Biloxi & Gulfport who had the worst damage from the hurricane itself, and were leveled. They were "ground zero" from a wind damage perspective.

There was no rioting or killing in Biloxi & Gulfport to speak of. Law remained in control in an eviorment that I can not begin to understand how it could. Good local management, response, and pulling together by the people it was. But they did it and have done it at a benchmark level. Having a good first response that controls and prevents the things we saw in New Orleans, does not make one less needy of help.

Please do not forget or help the areas that did not slip into a horror movie reality, as you spend your relief money. Biloxi & Gulfport are "standing" with character, but they still need your help as much as New Orleans........


Update: Final Post on This Post

Things are much better today in the Gulf region than they were just three days ago. It's still a very bad and a terrible scene of destruction, but it is improving. If you have not given then please consider doing so. The most important thing the people need is MONEY. Money will give these people HOPE and a new life or at least a restart of a new life........

I hope this post has helped someone somewhere, and I hope it has inspired someone to donate money to the relief. There is lots to do still and there is lots of good information coming out on the situation in the Gulf region. Because of that I am closing this post, but will continue to focus on the Biloxi - Gulfport region.

Lots to learn why in such a terrible situation where Mississippi faced equal or worse circumstances they have not had the terrible issues we seen from the local management team in New Orleans. That is where the "first" focus of this should be, why did Mississippi handle the disaster so much better than New Orleans from a
local management perspective. From there the investigations should continue up. There is a HUGE issue to be addressed in the local managment response on this disaster, before we can really begin to talk about the Fed effort.

Give again even if you have already gave..................MONEY is the KEY!~!!!!

Instapundit has a list of organizations you can donate to as well Instapundit