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  1. #1

    Default Red Cross barred from New Orleans

    A statement from the American Red Cross website:
    Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?

    • Access to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.
    • The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.
    • The Red Cross has been meeting the needs of thousands of New Orleans residents in some 90 shelters throughout the state of Louisiana and elsewhere since before landfall. All told, the Red Cross is today operating 149 shelters for almost 93,000 residents.
    • The Red Cross shares the nationís anguish over the worsening situation inside the city. We will continue to work under the direction of the military, state and local authorities and to focus all our efforts on our lifesaving mission of feeding and sheltering.
    • The Red Cross does not conduct search and rescue operations. We are an organization of civilian volunteers and cannot get relief aid into any location until the local authorities say it is safe and provide us with security and access.
    • The original plan was to evacuate all the residents of New Orleans to safe places outside the city. With the hurricane bearing down, the city government decided to open a shelter of last resort in the Superdome downtown. We applaud this decision and believe it saved a significant number of lives.
    • As the remaining people are evacuated from New Orleans, the most appropriate role for the Red Cross is to provide a safe place for people to stay and to see that their emergency needs are met. We are fully staffed and equipped to handle these individuals once they are evacuated.
    So while people continue to sit and wait for evacuation, the Red Cross cannot provide food or shelter because it might hamper the evacuation? People are dying from exposure, hunger and thirst while waiting for evacuation, but the government is concerned that feeding and sheltering these people would hamper?

    The Red Cross does an impressive job of whitewashing and spinning positively what is truly a frustrating position they have been put in.

  2. #2
    Didaskalos Guest

    Default Re: Red Cross barred from New Orleans

    I can't pretend to understand the decisions of those in charge. What good is it to avoid hampering their evacuation if they die while waiting?

    Let the National Guard do what they do but for they sake of those still suffering, please let organizations like the Red Cross do what they do.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Red Cross barred from New Orleans

    My goodness. I understand they don't want to encourage people to stay - but how are those who want to get out supposed to have the energy to keep going with no water or food?

    I too have to admit that the Red Cross is impressively trying not to play the blame game.

  4. Default Re: Red Cross barred from New Orleans

    All week, I was incredulous. I must have said a hundred times - where is the Red Cross?

    Even the tsunami coverage showed immediate and better assistance than what we are seeing here.

    I kept thinking, something is missing - it was the usual sight of the Red Cross! Are they kidding? They didn't want to encourage people to stay? How about encouraging people to live?
    " You've Been Thunder Struck ! "

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