A special, heartfelt THANK YOU to ALL the Red Cross
volunteers and first responders from around the world who
helped the people of  the New Orleans & Gulf Coast areas
during our time of need, and to volunteers everywhere who
are still helping to rebuild!

               click  HERE to go to the "LEVEE BREAK" blog

Welcome to the CONNECTION SECTION!  Look for your comments & e-mails here!
(NOTE:All e-mails received become the property of Katrina Connection and may be reprinted in
whole or in part on the website)

"...I am certain that you have created a much-needed addition to the efforts to provide timely and
comprehensive communications for hurricane survivors and others interested in the continuing challenges
of recovering from Katrina and Rita.....we applaud the arrival of your website..."
-George Flynn, editorial director,

"..I love your site, looks great and a huge help for people...u r doing a very good deed"
-Vince, Collinsville, IL

"Just wanted to let the world know, how displaced evacuees are missing the aroma of New Orleans, things
like the Food, Parties, Family &Friends. But some things happen for a reason so i guess the Lord was
telling me this is where i needed to be... but just wanted to let everyone know their's no place like New
Orleans miss it very much, also this was a much needed WEBSITE!!!!"
-Zarice, Chattanooga, TN

"I just linked you a week or two ago. Glad to be a part of helping New Orleanians rebuild."
-Planetary Sister, New Orleans

"I'll tell everybody I know about this site!"
-Michelle, Marrero

"Love the site. It's great that Hurricane Katrina isn't forgotten."
-D. Gibson, Kenner

" Didn't you know that people told me New Orleans was knocked off the MAP!
But they don't know that we're COMING BACK. This means we are rebuilding our city in the 9th
ward,17th and Lots other places in New Orleans."  

"Great to see this initiative. I'm particularly interested in Katrina experiences of disabled people. You can
read about emergency preparedness involving this population here on my
living-with-global-warming.com/disability-and-disasters.html page. Also would love direct experiences
shared here on my
alternate-energy-sources.com/global-warming-impacts.html page."

"You are missing quite a few non-profits(see
links page):








Please add all of us!

Cheers and keep up the good work!"

Sidney Ray, executive director
Red Cross volunteer with evacuee volunteer
What were YOU
doing when the
water was
Send an e-mail to webmaster
"I was uptown and - believe
it or not - the water started
coming up the sidewalks, but
at first there was no water in
the streets where I was...the
water was running up the
sidewalks! -
Marc Caesar
"I had evacuated to Baton
Rouge...I was worried about
my house in LaPlace,
because I heard it was gonna
be a worse case scenario -
"I had evacuated to Lake
Charles, and was watching it
on TV... I thought the whole
city was gone." -
Hurricane Katrina survivor
"I was walking on the
interstate, trying to get
Hurricane Katrina Survivor
"I drove people to Lee Circle...then
started driving people from there to
the Convention
-Nathaniel Brookins
"I walked through four feet
of water.."           -Chinee
"What were YOU
doing when the
water was rising?"
Send an e-mail to webmaster
"About 33 of us were in Kingwood
Texas in a hotel. We had
evacuated before the storm. It had
taken us 18 hours to get to the
North side of
Houston from New Orleans. We all
stuck together and are still together
in Humble Texas, north of
where we
reside"                                 - Kia
"I was in Little Rock (Ark),
worrying about the people
and their homes"      - Cindy
"We evacuated to Jackson, and
watched it on TV...I was worried
about my house two blocks from
the levees"                      -poppy
                    "The Getaway"
                                   By Phil Moore        Part 2 in a series
Nothing has ever brought the people of the New Orleans area together like Hurricane Katrina did. Yet
nothing has ever torn the people apart like the flooding after Katrina.

There were many of an ill-prepared  population dependent upon meager wages or upon first-of-the-month
government checks due to arrive in a few days from an ill-prepared government. Transportation and
gasoline money was available only to those blessed enough to have it. Nevertheless an unprecedented
mandatory evacuation was ordered on that Sunday morning of August 28, 2005. New Orleans, along with
each and every neighboring municipality, began what became a historical mass exodus of biblical
proportions never before seen in America, bearing an eerie resmblence to the people of Israel in the days of

I had come home from a night's work early that Saturday morning, navigated to the National Weather
Service website and looked at our destiny: the predicted path of hurricane Katrina like a bullet taking direct
aim. The full scope or severity of the situation wasn't apparent to me. It became increasingly clear that
medical procedures or any scheduled appointments would have to wait.

Oblivious to the potential for a chaotic calamity, and almost like an out-of-body experience, a numbness
precluded any rationale. It WAS time for a vacation from driving a company truck 360 out of the previous
365 nights - even actually refreshing to have an unprecedented Saturday night off as Katrina churned in the
Gulf of Mexico. It was time to contemplate a  getaway.

While I was incoherently immobilized, Sunday morning the phone started ringing and I found love in my 25
year-old daughter and then my only sibling, a sister, who each offered an evacuation ride. My daughter
going with her husband & kids to unknown parts east in Alabama, and my sister with her friend, along with
a nephew and a niece going to unknown parts west - to anywhere. So that I wouldn't forget myself, I took
the ride with sis, west through Louisiana.

Interstates, of course were jammed about noon by the time we started out. Radio reports were cautioning
folks to avoid the I-10 if possible. So we took Highway 90 (Airline Highway) going further west along that
road than I'd ever been. Louisiana's evacuation routes point north. Most people on the bumper-to-bumper
highways that day would have thought the all roads headed west.

By 9:30pm we arrived in Baton Rouge, normally about a one hour drive from New Orleans. As the outer
bands of Katrina (due to arrive in less than 10 hours) brought drizzling rain, a feeling of gloom caused us to
turn down the ubiquitous live news reports and start the traditional road trip group songs. Soon we were
cruising into a service station with a convenience store. The place was so packed, it seemed to be the only
store in town. But so had the other two pit stops we'd made by then. What was disappointing was that this
store's shelves had been practically wiped out by earlier evacuees.

Back on the road, the group mood became apprehensive. After all, we were on Airline Highway, heading
west through towns with names only the locals could pronounce, going 60mph on an uncharted course,
with the night becoming darker and darker. Eventually, we found an I-10 entrance somewhere past
Lafayette, Louisiana, and decided to be brave joining the majority of travelers, rather than stay on Airline
after passing signs indicating we were getting close to Texas.

As I-10 was leading into the city of Lake Charles midnight and fatigue reminded us that it was time to seek
shelter somewhere..

NEXT: Part 3 - "The Host City"
"There was about 5 to 6 feet of
water in Metairie on Caswell
St...a Coast Guard helicopter
hovered over me, then took off
and left
me..."                             -D
hurricane survivor
"...I was watching cnn in a motel
outside of Jacksonville, FL.  My
family all lived in arabi/st.bernard
parish. I called cnn for days
leaving messages for someone to
rescue my people in da parish.
I didn't know if anyone was there
to help them. Most were ok.
My aunt
hurricane survivor
"My girl & I had evacuated
from Mid-City to Eunice
(LA.)..."              -Dillon
hurricane survivor
"I had evacuated to Denham
Springs (LA). When I saw
what was happening, I
cried...."  -KB
Baby Boy Da Prince
"I was doing what they
called 'looting'...I was
trying to survive!"
PRINCE,                         Rap &
Hip-Hop Artist
"It's About More Than Just A Hurricane!"
Tweets by @StormConnection
Katrina Journals

Take a fascinating personal  
journey with a
Red Cross
volunteer who's witnessed
firsthand the devastation and
destruction from international
disasters. This time, it's a
winding adventure through
every part of Louisiana.  
J'Orel Miller gives a rare
Northwestern view of the
world of humanitarianism,
from the inside looking out,
with interesting experiences
during the days and weeks
following hurricanes Katrina
and Rita, in his
"Katrina Journals"

Hurricane Katrina Red Cross Volunteer J'Orel Miller
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