Saturday, September 03, 2005

How to get help to those hurt by Hurricane Katrina

Attached is an information note for wide dissemination through the

Hurricane Katrina is an extraordinary disaster that has affected many
people in

In hindu tradition, seva is the highest dharma, paramodharmah. The
attached info. on helping those hurt has to be widely circulated.
Three contacts are mentioned therein: American Red Cross, HSS, IDRF.


How to get help to those hurt by Hurricane Katrina

India Development and Relief Fund

The IDRF operates on the simple principle that "Service to Humanity is
Service to God". In 1999, IDRF was effective in helping us get
assistance to the families of Indian soldiers who died in protecting
India from global terrorism in the snowy heights of Kargil. In 2001,
IDRF sent $25000 to the families of New York firefighters who died
trying to save the victims in the World Trade Center terrorist attack.
Known for quiet effectiveness, both in swift emergency response and
long-term support for grassroots reconstruction projects that empower
the local people, IDRF provided the means for Indian-Americans to
deliver effective relief and rehabilitation following such
mega-disasters as the Orissa Cyclone, the Gujarat earthquake, and t
organization's tsunami relief efforts from Dec.26, 2004 onwards, are
seen at this page. Now they are collecting funds to help neighbors hit
by the hurricane and flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi.


"Our volunteers in Baton Rouge, LA are working with American Red Cross
and local voluntary organizations to assist in providing relief
efforts. There is a need for long term rehabilitation and all your
contributions will be directed to the grass roots organizations."
Suresh Deopura, Vijay Pallod, Raghu Verabelli, Babulal Gupta

HSS Relief Activities:
One of the organizations that IDRF uses in India to deliver reliable,
effective support to the grassroots is Sewa International. Sewa can
also be reached through the HSS. From their Press Release:

The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh has designated Amit Misra, as contact for relief activities.
All 90 chapters of HSS in the US are helping through collecting
donations, canned foods, cookies, crackers, bottled water, juices,
medical supplies and blankets. HSS requests all monetary contributions
directed to Sewa International or American Red Cross. Dozens of
volunteers from Houston, including children attending several
Balagokulams, have already started the collection. The HSS office at
Keshav Smrithi, 4018 Westhollow Pkwy, Houston, TX 77082 has been
designated as the contact point for all relief efforts.

HSS is working with authorities in Houston in meeting the immediate
needs of the displaced people arriving from New Orleans. The
government officials and American Red Cross have opened various
shelters in Houston. HSS volunteers will serve in these local Red
Cross shelters in Houston and other area. Volunteers are also
coordinating with other shelters and motels, which have become
temporary homes for victims. Volunteers are also contacting
physicians, asking them to contribute their time and medical supplies
and businesses to provide material help.
Sharad Amin to join the relief activities

American Red Cross
"The American Red Cross, with support of the worldwide Red Cross and
Red Crescent Movement, is launching a Web site and hotline to help
assist family members who are seeking news about loved ones living in
the path of Hurricane Katrina."
Various contact and volunteer participation mechanisms are given on
the Red Cross website. One of the resources they operate is the
Family News Network of the International Committee of the Red Cross

Here are some suggestions from their site, valid for all disasters:
Volunteers coming in contact with the survivors should especially help
the survivors in this:
"With widespread power and communications outages and roads under
water, it's important to go back to communication basics to ensure
that your family and friends know you are safe:
•Call an out of town contact to let them know you are safe.
•Ask them to spread the word to your family and friends.
•Make sure your contact lives far enough away that they are not
affected by the same storm.
•Rest assured that emergency responders are working as quickly as
possible and are doing all that they can to help those affected.
•Remember that storms mean power outages and downed phone lines.
Please keep trying and be patient.
•Phone lines are often overwhelmed after a disaster. Try sending an
email if you can—sometimes email works when phones don't."

"American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by
voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You
can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each
year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster
Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food,
counseling and other assistance to those in need. Call 1-800-HELP NOW
or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Donations are also being accepted at
Coinstar machines at select grocery stores across America. To find the
nearest Coinstar machine, visit Contributions to the
Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross
chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC
20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by


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At 12:56 AM, Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

Be prepared for the next hurricane weather or find another one that's similar. As the Boy Scouts say: "Be Prepared"!


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