September 17th, 2008

OMG

Mmmmmm, sweet, sweet internets.

So, we figured out that since our internet connection is through the phone line, and said phone line has been working without a problem, we could hook my father's computer and the router up to the generator.
And Jenni said, Let there be Interwebs. And lo, it was good.

Youth Minister Mike and his beagles are gone; the beagles are with another family from the youth group, and Mike is in Kansas finalizing the sale of his house and getting ready to move out of our place into his own apartment. I will miss the beagles terribly; their poop and piercing barks, slightly less. Mom and Emma have hightailed it out of Houston for now, and will be at a nice little hotel until Friday or Saturday (I do not know which). I stayed behind to take care of the dog, keep gas in the generator, consume the food in the fridge, and make sure Dad is fed and has clean clothes. It's looking like yume_no_kakusei might be staying with me for a few days, too. Party at my house!

(No, seriously, just give me a call or a text and there can be party times.)

Our area was really, REALLY lucky -- a few trees down, most of them not on houses, and some downed power lines, none of which are still live. There was minimal flooding, and our house is high up enough that it only seeped in a little tiny bit around the edges of the living room.
Really, the biggest hurdle of the storm was keeping everyone in a pleasant mood and making sure they got along. My grandparents are cantankerous and ornery, and it's easy to have short fuses in a stressful situation. But everything worked out. There were no major arguments, no shouting, all was good. Which worked out well, since there was a lot of stuff to do.

Oh god, a bee got in here (the door is open 'cause it's lovely outside) and Belle is trying to eat it. Butterdog, I promise you it will not be fun times if you chomp down on a bee. Also, it will make apiphile angry.
OMG

Helping Houston (and Galveston, and Orange City, and La Porte, and ...)

From cmpriest:

Via CNN: The Houston Food Bank is “utterly overwhelmed with people asking for help,” its president, Brian Greene, said Tuesday. The food bank needs 500,000 pounds of food a day for the next six weeks to satisfy the “staggering” needs of Texans who have no food or water after the storm, he said.

“People don’t grasp just how many people live here,” said Greene, who was executive director of New Orleans’ Food Bank when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005. He lost his home in Katrina, and lived at the New Orleans food bank for weeks using a garden hose as a shower. Most of the Houston food bank’s volunteers’ homes were damaged and they don’t have power.

“It’s a very similar situation that I saw following Katrina: when the caregivers themselves [are] victims, it just becomes difficult on a far larger scale than you would think,” he said.


If you’d like to help — and oh holy crap they need some help — here are some links to get you started:

The Houston Food Bank. “The Houston Food Bank is “utterly overwhelmed with people asking for help,” its president, Brian Greene, said Tuesday. The food bank needs 500,000 pounds of food a day for the next six weeks to satisfy the “staggering” needs of Texans who have no food or water after the storm, he said.”

The Houston SPCA. “Teams from the Houston SPCA loaded tens of thousands of pounds of crates, food, litter, water, newspapers, cleaning and medical supplies, bowls, blankets and other supplies and headed for Galveston. The closer they got to Galveston, the more tragic the devastation …”

The Capital Area Food Bank (Austin). It’s my understanding that this food bank has also been chipping in to help out in Houston, and now it too is wholly depleted. Most-needed items: bottled water, granola bars, canned meats (pop-top lids), peanut butter, diapers & wipes (adult and baby), personal care items (toothpaste, toothbrush, feminine products, soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc.). This food bank is also taking donations for the survivors of Ike. Edited to add: For every $5 donated to the Austin Capital Area Food Bank, $20 worth of food will be used for evacuees and victims.

The American Red Cross of Central Texas. “The American Red Cross of Central Texas, the City of Austin, and Austin Independent School District are following the Capital Area Shelter Hub Plan (CASHP) and have received over 6,000 evacuees from Hurricane Ike. Over 22 shelters were opened in Travis and Williamson Counties. Currently, many evacuees have returned home or have moved to shelters in different parts of Austin, though we continue to shelter at least 2,000 evacuees in Austin currently.”

The Austin Humane Society. “To date, AHS has provided Emergency Pet Sheltering Services to 148 pets (dogs, cats, turtles, birds, guinea pigs and even an iguana) from evacuees staying in emergency shelters. 59 have been reunited with their owners and 89 remain in our care.”

Hands On Central Texas. Looking for Disaster Response volunteers for its 211 Texas program. “Description: 2-1-1 Texas, a program of United Way Capital Area, provides free statewide, 24-hour access to health and human services and disaster information through its multilingual helpline.”

Via Weather Underground. “A group of wunderground members are spearheading their own Hurricane Ike relief effort, aimed at providing assistance and supplies to people that are not in the mainstream relief areas. They’ve already raised $5000, and the first relief truck with supplies is on the way to Texas. Deductions are tax-deductible, and can be made in several ways: Patrap’s wunderblog, www.stormjunkie.com, www.portlight.org.

The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. “Collections resumed Tuesday after a four-day hiatus due to Hurricane Ike, so donations are especially needed now to replenish the blood supply and ensure that blood is available for patients in need….Special extended hours will be observed at ten Neighborhood Donor Centers, which will open at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. to give donors adequate time to get home before the local curfew takes effect. A small number of mobile blood drives also will be open to the public on Wednesday.”