Warning: this is a no-edit zone…
As many of you know, I’ve been tied up for the past few days running a list of hurricane victims–a gathering place where writers/others can find out who’s still not accounted for and who has checked in and is okay–though some are definitely homeless now. And at least one, who wasn’t in a flood zone, flooded, so now will be paying for an inhabitable house for 30 years.
It’s been a real rollercoaster of a day.
My aunt, a resident of Pass Christian, which has been pretty much leveled, evacuated to Monroe, Louisiana. She had a 2nd heart attack last week, and had been out of ICU and then the hospital for two days when she had to evacuate.
Her daughter, two granddaughters, one son, and one grandson were with her. At home was an ex-husband of forty years with whom she remains close. A son. Sisters and a brother, neices and nephews and their children and cousins and, well, a lot of people important to her. She learned her ex was alive. Had heard from no one else, but saw film footage of the area where her son was. Not a single building is standing.
She evacuated quickly. With a weeks’ worth of meds. She needed refills and went to an ATM–her bank is one that allows use around the world. It refused to take her card. Her bank isn’t processing.
She then goes to the Red Cross. They tell her to go to any drug store and they’ll recognize her Medi-care. She does. They don’t. LA doesn’t recognize MS medicare. She’ll have to pay for it.
She writes a check. The druggist knows she’s a refugee, and refuses to take the check. “I’m sorry. Your bank isn’t there anymore. I can’t take this check.
She calls me in tears. I assure her she’ll get her meds, not to worry. I sent her daughter back to Red Cross to tell them she’d been refused, and they gave her a voucher. I don’t know yet if the drug store accepts Red Cross vouchers, but if it doesn’t, I might just get to Monroe on steam–which is a good thing since getting gas for cars around here right now is pretty tricky.
This treatment for a heart patient, seventy years old, fresh out of ICU and put through hell in this killer storm with a missing son and tons of other missing family members. The more I thought about it, the madder I got.
The letter writing began at the top and worked down to the trenches.
I’m pretty peeved that our statues allow us to send humanitarian aid OUTSIDE the U.S. but not inside it. We can get aid to a point on the other side of the world in three days, but Congress can’t get off its ass to approve aid for four states where people are dying waiting for a drink of water in five days.
I wonder. If disaster struck D.C., just how long would those on the Hill take to sign that request? I sincerely doubt they’d refuse it. I sincerely doubt they’d “take it under consideration” for a full day.
I’ve been investigating the challenges and I have a workable solution:
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida need to cede from the union. If they’re not a part of the U.S. then they can get gobs of assistance–food, water, medicine, help rebuilding the infrastructures–everything. No problem.
Everyone is blaming Bush, but he doesn’t make the laws or appropriate the money. That belongs to Congress. These laws need to be changed. NOW. And they could be if it were a priority for those on the Hill. I wonder if they’ve ever been hungry or thirsty. Or needed medicine and not had it.
If not and they should face a disaster and find themselves in that position, I hope to hell they have a niece who can help them. Otherwise, they’ll be fresh out of luck.
Better bless them. Just in case…