This is the best thing Homeland Security has ever done.
The Yves St. Laurent and Tommy Hilfiger labels may be phony, but the thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims getting knockoff items seized by federal customs officials probably don't mind.
Displaced survivors in the Houston Astrodome can choose from counterfeit and abandoned clothing, toys, and even dog food.
More than 100,000 items were quickly taken from warehouses and more will follow, said Kristi Clemens, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection division.
The agency has some 1 million items stored, and Customs officials are going through their inventory to see what else would be useful. While the initial shipment went to Texas, officials are looking toward a wider distribution, Clemens said.
For humans, virtually anything that you can wear is available: underwear, jeans, baseball caps, T-shirts, shoes and socks. For dogs: much needed food. For children, toys. For everyone: clean sheets and blankets.
Clemens said officials are looking for locations to deliver items in Louisiana and Mississippi, and then will scout for shelters in other states.
Whoever thought of that deserves a raise.
Meanwhile, the Houston City Council has approved $10 million in disaster relief money.
The money, which would come from a street and bridge construction fund, might be used to pay for the personnel, equipment and supplies to help the tens of thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Mayor Bill White said that the city has spent less than $1 million so far on ramping up shelters and other services for evacuees. He said he'd also secured millions of dollars in funding pledges from private sources.
"If something happens, we need to be able to act quickly," he said.
The City expects to be mostly if not fully reimbursed by FEMA for these expenses.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 06, 2005 to Hurricane Katrina
Our own city will need to be very resourceful NOW in its Hurricane Storm Surge preplanning and future execution of the evacuation of all our people (those with cars and those without).
Because NOW we need to revise our understanding and planning for Hurricane Storm Surges as Katrina's Storm Surge went 100 miles inland.
Why did it go so far inland? Why did it do so much damage?
Newer Information about Storm Surges will mean that we all have to evacuate in enough time.
Published: 2005/08/05 02:20:41 GMT
(last year) Hurricane Ivan caused more than 100 deaths and left a trail of devastation as it swept over several Caribbean islands and part of the United States.
As it moved over the Gulf of Mexico, it triggered sensors deployed by the Naval Research Laboratory to measure water pressure.
Scientists at the Washington-based laboratory in the US used the data to calculate the extreme waves created under the eye of the storm.
The distance between the crest of the biggest wave and its trough was 91 ft (27.7 metres) but they suspect the instruments missed some waves that were as tall as 132 ft (40 metres).
The waves were bigger than expected, suggesting theoretical models of waves whipped up by hurricanes may have to be revised.
"Our results suggest that WAVES IN EXCESS OF 90 FEET ARE NOT ROGUE WAVES BUT ACTUALLY ARE FAIRLY COMMON DURING HURRICANES," lead author Dr David Wang, told the BBC News website.
He said that since hurricane activity is predicted to increase over the next few decades, more research like this needs to be carried out.
A meteorologist stated that though Katrina reduced its wind strength before landfall, its wave strength, once formed at the height of the storm, remains at the topmost strength and size. It does not dissipate like the wind.
The high winds act like a centrifuge raising waves higher at the fastest winds in the center. And the low pressure at the center of a hurricane bulges the ocean upward so that waves at the center of a hurricane create a slopping mountain with a type of peak.
The meteorologist estimated that Katrina's highest waves may have been 100 ft to 120 ft tall.
The only thing you can do is evacuate in as orderly a maner as possible, without leaving people to fend for themselves in a killer storm surge. This requires a plan put into fast action.
The other thing you can do now and long term is stand up for science as a method of understanding and solving our problems to save ourselves.
Climate experts have been in agreement since the late 1980s about global warming. Not just in calm agreement, but jumping up and down alarm raising agreement.
We are already in the 6th, some say 5th, largest extinction event NOW without another day passing. Possibly 30%-40% of birds are already gone. Our number one job long term has to be to stop the methane release in Alaska and in Siberia...or else.
We need to reverse global warming to prevent our own extinction ...if we haven't waited too long while witnessing the malicious crippling of science...