My daughter and son-in-law were living in New Orleans ten years ago. At that time they had a two-year old daughter and a six-month old daughter. They evacuated the city (with their two cats) the day before the storm and headed to my sister’s house a few hundred miles north of New Orleans. No one could have predicted what happened next. They returned to their home a few days before Thanksgiving.
There are a few things I would like to say about the storm and the aftermath. For a few months they lived in Kansas City where a local church adopted a number of families from New Orleans and helped them deal with their losses. My daughter and her family suffered very little actual loss, but we found out later what the impact of the experience on the young children was. Two years after the storm as they were preparing to move to another city, their older daughter asked, “When we move this time, can I take my bed and my toys with me?”
There were many people after the storm who came forward and helped those who had lost things. There were formal organizations like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and Operation Blessing, and there were groups of people who simply saw a problem and did what they could to solve it.
One of my favorite Hurricane Katrina stories was how the city dealt with the abandoned swimming pools in the city that were becoming breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
In July 2006, National Geographic reported:
To battle the bugs, Sackett (Steve Sackett, an entomologist with the New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board (NOMTCB). ) has turned to a natural predator—the western mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis).
The fish can eat up to a hundred mosquito larvae a day. And unlike commercial pesticides, the prolific breeders can replenish themselves.
No pesticides, no chemicals–just fish!
Another inspiring story to come out of this tragedy is that of the Sugarcane Academy. This is a story worth reading about.
Americans are special. We are capable of coming together after a tragic event, and we are capable of coming up with innovative solutions to problems. We need to develop those talents.