Getting hit from the right, then from the left. No, I’m not talking abut Dan Rather and CBS—aren’t you glad?—I’m talking about the Caribbean Islands and the southeastern US. Hurricane Ivan, as we know, is the third hurricane to take its turn in laying waste to these areas. Now there’s a fourth in the queue, designated Jeanne; its estimated target: the eastern coast of the US.
Charlie and Frances delivered a one-two punch to Cuba, the Bahamas and to the greater area of the Floridian peninsula. Ivan has basically destroyed Grenada, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. (I tried to access Helen’s site, the CaribPundit. Helen had been blogging from Jamaica, but when trying to access the site, all I get a “bandwidth exceeded” message. I pray that’s all it is and not something worse.) Ivan’s effect on the Florida panhandle cannot yet be estimated, since portions of the main access roads to the affected areas have been destroyed and Ivan’s slow commute makes conditions too dangerous for flyovers. As for Jeanne, it has already knocked Puerto Rico about and taken some slaps at the Dominican Republic.
The combined death toll for all of the hurricanes in all of the effected countries is still being tabulated, simply because it isn’t over.
Here in the US, areas that experience natural (and man-made) disasters have the federal government coffers at their disposal. And, while I know that most of us righties aren’t too keen on dipping into those pockets—the tax-payers’ pockets--for very many reasons, disaster relief is one of those times for which there will be little if any complaining about such expenditures. Additionally, there are the private associations which specialize in coming to the aid of disaster victims:
The Red Cross (yes I still remember the 9/11 money fiasco; give at your own risk).
Also, remember that we in the US—even under the most dire of conditions—are blessed to have an infrastructure that can respond to disasters in our own country. And most of us are big-hearted enough to come to the aid of those who are not so blessed; yes, even when so-called leaders of other countries excoriate our country for being all that’s wrong in the world.
Disaster Relief (an international relief effort subsidized by a combination of the Red Cross, CNN and IBM).
Here’s a story about the Caribbean tourism private sector joining forces to help themselves. Good on them, but I hope they form two special committees in addition to those necessary for their purpose: one to keep watch on the EU and another to keep watch on the UN.
Interaction has a list of hurricane relief agencies.