Help From Miami Turned Back and Refused

Sue Ann, who lives her principles and does good in her spare time, is getting madder and madder:

On Wednesday 4 private jet ambulances left Miami to respond to the direct pleas of 4 New Orleans Hospitals that had requested help transporting ventilator patients from the evacuation area.

The jets landed in NO and waited 7 hours on the tarmac then were REFUSED and turned back by the National Guard. No patients were transported. The planes next went to Baton Rouge and picked up whomever they could.

A Florida man who spent his own money to buy 150 flatboats to help with the evacuation was REFUSED again by the National Guard. The would not allow him to give the boats to aid the rescue efforts. He turned back and gave them out in MIssissippi which isn’t as flood damaged.

Food being shipped to the area is also being turned back. Caravans of individuals can’t donate food. If it’s not done through the proper channels of some “approved” religious organization you can’t help.

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8 Responses to Help From Miami Turned Back and Refused

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  2. Claudia says:

    Kindof Off- Topic so apologies, but trying to get the word out about this distributed project.

    If FEMA or the Red Cross had rolled out a database on day one, this would not be necessary, but they didn’t, and while the Red Cross is publicizing its database now, there are thousands of entries at other sites that might not get listed without our help. Messages are also getting posted on message boards at evacuation shelters and they need to get into a database. So…

    Join the Katrina PeopleFinder Project.

    It’s easy. All you need is an internet connection and the ability to copy data into a form.

    After Katrina many friends and family members have been separated and left with no clear way to find each other. Hundreds of internet web sites are gathering hundreds, and probably thousands, of entries about missing persons or persons who want to let others know they’re okay.

    The problem is: the data on these sites has no particular form or structure. So it’s almost impossible for people to search or match things up. Plus there are dozens of sites – making it hard for a person seeking lost loved ones to search them all.

    The Katrina PeopleFinder Project NEEDS YOUR HELP to enter data about missing and found people from various online sources. We’re requesting as little as an hour of your time. All you need to do is help read unstructured posts about missing or found persons, and then add the relevant data to a database through a simple online form.

    To get started please click here:

    Help us tell others about this project.

    Get buttons to put on websites and blogs here:

    Background on the project here:

    Questions? Email:
    katrina-people (at)

    The Katrina PeopleFinder Team

    Also for the techies:

    —–Original Message—–
    From: David Geilhufe
    Sent: Monday, September 05, 2005 10:16 AM
    Subject: Re: [Democratic Technology] Redundancy and Pattern Scanning

    Our specification the PeopleFinder Interchange Format is designed to address redundancy.

    Let a thousand flowers bloom and make sure they can all talk to one another.

    We need people to convince others to write feed that conform to the PFIF specification linked to off the Tech wiki

    Please find me some people. Thanks.

    David Geilhufe
    dgeilhufe /socialsourcefoundation /org
    (use sparingly, in information overload)
    IM on yahoo: dgeilhufe /yahoo /com
    (use sparingly, in information overload)

    Social Source Foundation, CivicSpace Labs and
    Foundation are coordinating an open community effort to aggregate
    refugee data from accross the web.
    Current information:

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  4. really says:

    Donations of stuff or even volunteers can be trouble for relief agencies no matter how well intentioned. Best to find out what is needed before getting your boats down there. Did the relief agencies have pilots for the boats, gasoline for the boats? Relief agencies have pleaded for people to quit showing up to help while not having gasoline or food or shelter themselves.

  5. really says:

    On the other hand, get this from Tim Russert’s interview with the president of Jefferson Parish:

    MR. RUSSERT: Hold on. Hold on, sir. Shouldn’t the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of New Orleans bear some responsibility? Couldn’t they have been much more forceful, much more effective and much more organized in evacuating the area?

    MR. BROUSSARD: Sir, they were told like me, every single day, “The cavalry’s coming,” on a federal level, “The cavalry´s coming, the cavalry´s coming, the cavalry’s coming.” I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry’s still not here yet, but I’ve begun to hear the hoofs, and we’re almost a week out.

    Let me give you just three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn’t need them. This was a week ago. FEMA–we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The Coast Guard said, “Come get the fuel right away.” When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. “FEMA says don’t give you the fuel.” Yesterday–yesterday–FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, “No one is getting near these lines.” Sheriff Harry Lee said that if America–American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn’t be in this crisis.

  6. Pat Harland says:

    Perhaps if Bush had heeded the numerous advance warnings, there could have been SOMEONE in charge of the massive operations that could have been staged in surrounding areas. Then private citizens would have known who to contact to donate their supplies. I’m not surprised about the actions or inactions of FEMA. Never in my 50+ years have I ever known this agency to be on the spot when needed. Of course, what can you expect when FEMA is now run by an ex-horse show commissioner with no disaster experience, who got his job because he worked on Bush’s re-election campaign? Who comes to the rescue? Wal-Mart, giver of low wages and no health insurance. Go figure. I want to know who in the Natioanl Guard said ‘no’ to relief supplies. What stopped them from taking the supplies and giving them out appropriately? Were they going to shoot the private citizens if they gave their supplies anyway or put them in jail?

  7. Thomas says:

    It shouldn’t need to be said, but here goes: the National Guard in LA isn’t controlled by FEMA. Even a silly lawyer from Florida should know that, and would, if he weren’t acting in bad faith.

  8. This reminds me of a case when I worked with a Belgium society “Sante” on some projects… Once we sent 2 ambulance cars to Ukraine as a humanitarian help – our people has to spend a couple of weeks on the border and they also made us pay quite a high tax for offering them the cars. that was incredible((


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