Sunday, September 18, 2005

health of new orleans refugees

Harvard School of Public Health undertook a survey of evacuees in shelters in the Houston area in cooperation with The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  • One-third (34%) of Katrina evacuees report that they were trapped in their homes and had to be rescued. Half (50%) of those who were trapped said they waited three or more days to be rescued.
  • More than 1 in 10 (14%) Hurricane Katrina evacuees report a family member, neighbor or friend was killed by the storm or subsequent flooding, and more than half report that their home was destroyed (55%)
  • Also, the survey found that 2 in 5 (40%) spent at least a day living outside on a street or overpass, and 13% report that some members of their immediate family are still missing.
  • The survey also found that evacuees in Houston shelters face serious health challenges that will complicate relief and recovery efforts.

The survey had the following health-related findings:

  • 52% report having no health insurance coverage at the time of the hurricane. Of those with coverage, 34% say it is through Medicaid and 16% through Medicare. Before the hurricane 66% of people evacuated to Houston shelters used hospital or clinics as their main source of care and of those, a majority (54%) used Charity Hospital of New Orleans, substantially more than the second most common care site (University Hospital of New Orleans, at 8%).
  • 33% report experiencing health problems or injuries as a result of the hurricane and 78% of them are currently receiving care for their ailments.
  • 41% report chronic health conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and asthma.
  • 43% say they are supposed to be taking prescription medications, and of those, 29% percent report having problems getting the prescription drugs they need.
  • Of the 61% who did not evacuate before the storm, 38% said they were either physically unable to leave or had to care for someone who was physically unable to leave.
  • 39% report that they did not get help from any government agency or voluntary agency during the flood and evacuation.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

window on new orleans


FEMA disaster website IE-only
9/6/2005 2:37:53 PM, by Ken "Caesar" Fisher

As relief workers scramble to provide comfort and succor to the thousands and thousands of people dispossessed by hurricane Katrina, tech relief efforts are hitting snags. Equipment shortages, problems accessing the Internet, and the time it takes to set up computers for refugees to use are all getting in the way of getting people help, but that's not too surprising. This is, after all, a disaster. What is surprising, however, is the fact that the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) online registration site for disaster help is Internet Explorer-only.

While anyone can browse the site, users of non-IE browsers will find this message waiting for them when they attempt to register.
"In order to use this site, you must have JavaScript Enabled and Internet Explorer version 6. Download it from Microsoft or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register. "

Something so minor has become a considerable problem for relief workers, who are attempting to setup as many kiosks as possible for refugees. Workers on the ground have told Ars Technica that they would prefer to avoid setting up Windows XP work stations because they take longer to setup, and even longer to properly patch and configure for use.
You may recall that in an experiment performed last year, a Windows XP SP1 boxput on the Internet was compromised in 4 minutes flat. While ServicePack 2 and recent updates undoubtedly improve XP's defenses, techs are wary of using the OS in this situation.

The issue isn't only security. XP hardware requirements, while not impressive by today's standards, rule out using some donated hardware as well. Furthermore, legitimate copies of Windows also cost money, and relief workers are trying to stretch their dollars as far as they can go. Ideally, many would rather create LiveCDs with Linux distributions that are ready to boot and roll, as this would provide the quickest and most secure configuration in a pinch. However, with so many people wanting to register on FEMA's site, this becomes a problem. The registration makes use of JavaScript, but there's no functionality being provided that could not have been provided in a more browser-friendly manner. User agent proofing - a technique by which a browser reports that it's another browser type-makes the site somewhat more usable, although we encountered errors using Opera 8.0 and the MSIE6.0 user agent. It certainly isn't an ideal workaround.

Mike Quealy, a FEMA spokesperson, explained to me that they are aware of the issue, and are currently working on a application that supports all of the most popular browsers. Quealy said that the application in question was originally an in-house tool, meant to be used by call center people. Internet Explorer was the official in-house browser, so the application was coded with IE in mind. FEMA apparently decided to make the application public with the advent of last year's Florida hurricanes, and Quealy noted that they had hoped to test a universally supported application just before Katrina hit.As you may know, Hannibal is in Louisiana right now assisting with relief efforts, and we'll continue to bring updates as we get them.

new orleans news

New Orleans LA post-Katrina Intel Dissemination Wiki!
This wiki, a community-editable website, was setup to factor the tons of random bits of information flowing out of New Orleans in totally disorganized chunks, and being repeated around the internet in various forms. Blogs are not up to the task of distilling this info in a useful way, so we've setup this ad-hoc project at to try and keep track of all of this.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

new orleans musicians: update

WWOZ, 90.7 FM, New Orleans. Due to HURRICANE KATRINA we signed off on August 27th at midnight. Until we can build new temporary facilities (hopefully in October), we have a temporary stream called "WWOZ In Exile."
[ FXH is listening online to
KBON, 101.1 FM, Eunice, Louisiana, (Eunice is a town of about 11,000 about 100ks from Baton Rouge and 230 ks from New Orleans. KBON has community announcements for volunteers to help with food distribution to refugees, great adverts for local businesses like chicken farms plus 24 hours of "your variety station with a Louisiana flavor!" Cajun, zydeco, swamp-pop, blues, country, blues, oldies and gospel. ]

From Chuck Taggart's great Gumbo Pages:
We're very concerned about the safety and whereabouts of pianist and composer Roger Dickerson, who is a close friend of my aunt. He lived on Metropolitan Drive in Gentilly, and hasn't been heard from. PLEASE leave a comment or email [chuck] at [gumbo] dot [org] if you hear anything about Roger.

Still looking for Antoinette K-Doe. Alex Chilton, who lived in the 9th Ward and refused to leave, hasn't been heard from, and there are many people who are worried about him. So many others ... I'll post updates as I get them, and please leave a comment if you hear anything.

UPDATE: Via Ben Sandmel: "Not 100% confirmed but heard that [Antoinette]'s in the lounge, guarding it with a gun, was offered a ride out in a boat but declined. She has lots of food and drink so I guess she's OK, relatively. More ASAP... "

UPDATE: Via Craigslist:
New Orleans own Blues Guitarist, Blind Snooks Eaglin, needs a home for him and his family who have lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina. We are 12 in all, please help. You may contact us at

Here's a list so far of New Orleans musicians that have been confirmed as safe:

Steve Allen, Theresa Andersson, James "Satchmo of the Ghetto" Andrews, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Johnny Angel, Marcia Ball, Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes, Rebecca Barry, Harold Battiste, Russell Batiste, Tab Benoit, Better Than Ezra, Terrance Blanchard, Eddie Bo (plus sister Veronica and his band), Bonerama, John Boutté, Russ Broussard, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Henry Butler, Grayson Capps, Ricki Castrillo, Evan Christopher, Jon Cleary, Cowboy Mouth, Susan Cowsill, Davell Crawford, Jack Cruz, Dash Rip Rock, Jeremy Davenport, Theryl "Houseman" DeClouet, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Michael Domenici, Fats Domino, Dr. John, Snooks Eaglin (and family of 12, now homeless), Lars Edegran, Nancy Edwards, Charlie Fardela, Jack Fine (of the Palmetto Bug Stompers), Pat Flory, John Fohl, Andy Forrest, Gina Forsyth, Pete Fountain, Derrick Freeman, Jonathan Freilich (N.O. Klezmer All-Stars), Peter Fuller, funky Meters, Galactic, Steve Goodson, Tim Green, John "Papa" Gros (and the whole Papa Grows Funk band), James Hall, Corey Harris, Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Corey Henry, Andi Hoffman, Peter Holsapple, The Hot Club of New Orleans, The Iguanas, Burke Ingraffia, Benny Jones Sr., Leroy Jones, Kirk Joseph, Joe Krown, Julia LaShae, Tim Laughlin, Washboard Chaz Leary, Bryan Lee, David Leonard & Roselyn Lionheart (David & Roselyn), Herman Leonard, Lil' Rascals Brass Band, Eric Lindell, Jeremy Lyons, Ronald Markham, Jason Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Irvin Mayfield, Tom McDermott, Humberto "Pupi" Menez (and aunt Caridad Delatorre), Charles Louie Moore, Tom Morgan, Chris Mule, Kenny Neal, The Neville Brothers, Charmaine Neville, Ivan Neville, Carlo Nuccio (post-storm okay, post-flood unknown), Anders Osborne, Panorama Jazz Band, Joshua Paxton, Michael Pearce, Dave Pirner, George Porter Jr., The Radiators, Jan V. Ramsey & most of OffBeat Magazine staff), Rebirth Brass Band (all members), Marcus Roberts, Coco Robicheaux, John Rodli (N.O. Jazz Vipers), Biff Rose, Wanda Rouzan, Dixie Rubin, Kermit Ruffins, Scott Saltzman, Mark Samuels (Pres., Basin Street Records), Will Samuels, Ben Sandmel, Jumpin' Johnny Sansone, Alexandra Scott, Mem Shannon and the Membership, Derek Shezbie, James Singleton, Johnny Sketch, Michael Skinkus, Robert Snow (N.O. Jazz Vipers), Brian Stoltz, Marc Stone, Bill Summers, Ken Swartz, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Rick Trolsen, Johnny Vidacovich, Rob Wagner, Mark Walton, Melissa Weber, Mike West, Dr. Michael White, Marva Wright, Linnzi Zaorski.

Friday, September 02, 2005

antoine "fats" domino aged 77 rescued new orleans

see that his grave is swept clean

R.L. Burnside Dead at 78
Legend's brand of Delta blues spoke to hard times

Blues legend R.L. Burnside died today, September 1st, at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He was seventy-eight.

Born in Harmontown, Mississippi, Burnside became one of the perennial forbears of the Delta blues, with his thick, rhythmic slide style and graphic lyrics reflecting his life surrounded by poverty and violence. Burnside, himself, did jail time for murder.

He learned the blues from neighbor Fred McDowell and played for years as a star attraction in ramshackle southern clubs (some of which he owned) before critic Robert Palmer featured him in the acclaimed 1992 documentary Deep Blues. The same year, Burnside signed to Fat Possum Records and released Bad Luck City.

During the Nineties, Burnside ventured off the track of traditional acoustic blues when he collaborated with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on 1996's A Ass Pocket of Whiskey. The album brought Burnside a new audience of indie-rock fans.

"People are just now beginning to realize that the blues is the roots of all the music," Burnside told Rolling Stone in 2000. "That's where the music all started from."

Burnside returned to his musical roots and released six more albums, most recently 2004's A Bothered Mind.

He is survived by his wife and twelve children.

By: JESSICA ROBERTSON (Posted Sep 01, 2005) Rolling Stone