Patrap's WunderBlog

All Saint's Day

By: Patrap, 4:29 PM GMT on October 29, 2008

Field Notes on All Saints' Day, 1985 and 1986

By Rosan Augusta Jordan and Frank de Caro








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Field Notes on All Saints' Day, 1985 and 1986

By Rosan Augusta Jordan and Frank de Caro

There is a story--maybe true, maybe apocryphal--told to us by a student about some Catholic schoolgirls from Baton Rouge who are attending a retreat at a retreat house near Lacombe in St. Tammany Parish. It happens to be the day after Halloween, so perhaps the spirit of mischievousness is still in the air, and that night the girls decide to escape their confinement in the retreat house and slip out for a little romp in the nearby woods. Suddenly, as they round a bend in the trees, they find themselves staring at an incredible sight. Just ahead of them is a cemetery full of people, the tombs and grave markers bright white and lit up by hundreds of tapering, white candles glowing eerily against the gloomy backdrop of the glowering Spanish moss-hung woods and a dark bayou. Terrified, thoughts of midnight ghosts and goblins, maybe even tales of secret voodoo ceremonies popping into their heads, the girls retreat to their rooms very, very quickly.

But what they inadvertently encountered---if the story recounts real events at all--was only the custom of marking All Saints' Day, November 1, by going at nightfall to newly cleaned and flower-decorated graveyards and placing lighted candles on the graves to honor the dead. This ritual still has great vitality in Lacombe, and it is practiced in several other Louisiana communities, though it is little known in other parts of the United States (where All Saints' Day is nonetheless a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation and marked in other ways).

Now it is 1985 and we are heading for Lacombe two days before All Saints', rolling down I-12, that little fragment of Interstate that just runs across the Florida Parishes from Baton Rouge to I-10 and I-59. The road has the blandness of most Interstate highways, smooth traveling but little in the landscape lapping the four-lane to really tell us where we are except somewhere in the American countryside. Thus it is hard to think we are moving toward singular and visually dramatic behavior, actions traditional to a local context off the cord of Interstate, though part of a greater cultural complex whose parameters we know in broad outline.

All Saints' Day, we know--including Halloween which precedes it (and takes its name from being the Eve of All Hallows, as All Saints' is more commonly known in England)--is perhaps the oldest continuously celebrated holiday in the Western world. It stems, ultimately, from a holiday in the ancient Celtic calendar called Samhain (pronounced something like Sah-ween), which was one of the "cross-quarter" days of the Celts. These were the days which fell exactly between any seasonal solstice and equinox and mark the transition to a new season. In traditional cultures, liminal time periods, those that lie on the borders between seasons of the year or "seasons" of life, are often thought to be dangerous or in some way powerful times. Samhain was the Celtic New Year, marking the border between the old year and the new. It was also believed to be the time when the souls of everyone who had died that year went to the other world. In this and other cultures this time of year was associated with the presence of spirits in the physical world, an idea which carries over into our Halloween, of course. The ancient Celts lit bonfires on Samhain, possibly to light the spirits' way to the next world or possibly to keep them away from humans. That use of fire would conceivably be the ultimate origin of lighted jack-o'-lanterns for Halloween and for the use of a mass of candles in cemeteries on All Saints' night in Louisiana and in Mexico (where they play an important role in celebrating the Dias de las Muertos, the "Days of the Dead," the important holidays surrounding All Saints').

As Christianity gradually spread throughout Europe, the church evolved the policy of coopting pagan festival days, incorporating these into a Christian context. The pre-Christian holiday of November 1, in part devoted to dead souls, became the Christian All Saints', honoring those who had died and were in heaven, thus nearly fusing together existing practice and Christian belief. This was accomplished by Pope Gregory IV in the ninth century. November 2 later became All Souls' Day, dedicated to those who had died in the faith but were expiating their sins in purgatory.

As a Christian holiday, All Saints' has been celebrated in different ways in different places. In southern Italy, people returning from cemeteries on the day stopped at inns for merrymaking (in a spirit perhaps not unlike that of the New Orleans jazz funeral). In Mexico, the holiday as brought by the Spanish blended with a pre-existing Meso-American festival for the dead, and today the Days of the Dead (which provide some of the backdrop for the John Huston film Under the Volcano, based on Malcolm Lowery's 1947 novel) are celebrated with a gusto that may strike Americans as bizarre. Not only are graves elaborately decorated but food is brought to the cemeteries for the dead and also placed on altars prepared for spirits visiting their former earthly homes. Children and adults alike buy an incredible array of skeleton toys, and people buy or exchange with friends candy skulls with their names on them. In various parts of the country, especially Oaxaca and Michoacan, there are night-time vigils with thousands of candles in the local panteones.

All Saints' has long been an important day in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana, brought from France as La Toussaint (a name for the day which is still used in French-speaking and French-influenced areas of the state). The above-ground cemeteries of the Crescent City, themselves such a distinctive feature of the urban landscape, were virtually mobbed on All Saints' in the 19th century and earlier decades of the twentieth century. The wood engravings of the nineties and the photographs of the thirties show cemetery aisles packed with people, tombs festooned with flowers or beaded immortelles. It was a time for families to get together and for general socializing, a festive day for most. Vendors lined the streets selling tamales, popcorn and pralines, or perhaps la biere creole, a beer brewed out of pineapple pulp and fruit juice, according to Gumbo Ya-Ya.

Today in New Orleans All Saints' is more subdued but still an important day for visiting and decorating cemeteries. A modest but steady stream of people makes its way to family tombs in Lafayette or St. Louis No. 1 or Cypress Grove, and Save Our Cemeteries, an organization devoted to the study and preservation of the Crescent City's historic graveyards, has taken to stationing its members in several of the older cemeteries to pass out information and solicit memberships. Of these older cemeteries, St. Roch's, probably the best kept up, most retains the older air of All Saints' hustle and bustle. Once at the heart of the Ninth Ward's life, it is still visited by many former residents of the neighborhood who have moved to Gretna or St. Bernard Parish or other suburbs. Practically every grave and every niche in the wall "ovens" have flowers. People greet each other, chat with each other, or stop to joke with St. Roch's indefatigable sexton, Albert Hattier, about his own recently completed tomb, which sits prominently guarding the gate to St. Roch's No. 2.

But it is only in a few of Louisiana's rural communities, like Lacombe on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, and Lafitte, on Bayou Barataria, where the sublime night-time vigils, once more common, still take place to give All Saints' an especially distinctive aspect. In both of these places, as well as in many others in South Louisiana where All Saints' is observed without the candlelight vigil, the week before is a time of intense preparation. Undergrowth, weeds, and any cemetery trash are cleaned up, and tombs and graves, most of which have copings or slabs or in some other way conform to the South Louisiana style of raised grave structures, are painted (once with whitewash, today more likely with latex).

Two days before All Saints' in Lacombe in 1985, Hillary LeFrere labors to finish a structure on his brother's grave in the LaFontaine Cemetery. This cemetery is practically right on highway 190, a few hundred feet from the Lacombe post office, and could hardly be more picturesque: on a slight rise, fronted by a low but stately wrought iron fence, and roofed by wonderful, giant oaks. One substantial grave structure has been formed of a rectangular cinder block border about two feet high with earth in the middle. One of those tombstones the federal government provides for veterans has been cemented to the foot (Mr. LeFrere had to cut off a huge chunk of this one, because they are made to go deep in the earth, not sit atop south Louisiana style graves), and all that remains is to afix the cross which Mr. LeFrere has made himself by pouring cement into a cruciform mold. Further along in the next row, one grave is simply a mound of earth. It is that of Mr. LeFrere's mother, who died this year; according to tradition here, nothing is done to a grave for a year after burial. In the next row Mr. LeFrere's brother is cleaning an older grave. Soon the only thing left to be done will be the spreading of the sand which traditionally has been put around the graves to heighten the sense of neatness and reflect the light of the candles. This year, however, there is some anxiety about the sand. The parish has always provided it and may not be able to afford to now. No one is sure if or when it will arrive.

The LaFontaine is a family cemetery, one of a number of such family graveyards in the area. In the communal Williams and Osey Ordogne cemeteries there is activity also. Both of these are set back in the woods and reached by a short walk from nearby roads. The Ordogne is off Davis Road (better known locally as Fish Hatchery Road), the Williams not far from Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. About a dozen people are in Williams, a few socializing after completing their work. The sound of a truck out on the road sparks interest. Maybe it's the sand, finally arriving. But whatever it is, the truck does not stop here.

The country around Lacombe, a town of 5,000 about a fifteen minute drive from the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, is woodsy with a mixture of fragrant, tall pines and moss-dripping oaks, and houses cozily ensconced under the trees. The land is different in Lafitte, south of New Orleans in the southern end of Jefferson Parish twenty minutes from the West Bank, more open, with houses and docks and moored commercial fishing vessels almost crowded along the banks of busy Bayou Barataria. The cemeteries here are small and mostly line the banks of the bayou too, several of them narrow wedges between water and road. Years ago the only access to them was by the water route or the narrow footpath that rims the bayou's side.

Now on the day before All Saints' most of the work has been finished here. The graves are mostly gleaming white, and flowers in pots sit on a few. But in the Berthoud Cemetery on Fleming Cemetery Road there is a steady if modest stream of comers and goers, many with flowers, to visit graves for last minute puttering. Rosaline Encalade inspects her husband's grave and then goes to the other side of the cemetery to start painting another, which belongs to people who have been unable to come themselves. While their parents do some last minute inspecting, two children run up over the Indian mound which is the set-piece here, an old, iron fence-enclosed grave on its summit, the other graves ringing its base. The Berthoud Cemetery must be one of the most picturesque spots in the state: a secluded place, the Indian mound, moss-dripping trees, the immaculate graves set in somewhat irregular patterns, and tombs in an array of styles, some of them sloping down toward almost mysterious, swampy ground, all set against the backdrop of the bayou itself. Indeed, according to Frost Fleming, on whose land the cemetery sits, the graveyard has often attracted teenagers from all over who want to hold spooky, nocturnal beer parties there, and he keeps a careful eye out for mischief. But right now the only people here are those who have come to tend it lovingly. The tending and visiting continue on All Saints' Day itself, and then as dusk falls on that day the cemeteries come intensely alive with light and with people.

The Williams Cemetery back in Lacombe is probably the most dramatic. The long, white candles, lit one by one on a multitude of graves, quickly seem to become a great flaming mass. The light colored sand brightens the effect, and the wall of high bamboo that virtually surrounds the place seems to shut out the exterior darkness and turn the space into an intensely glowing little room. The people who keep arriving from the road first pass through a dark field, then catch the flow of light through a narrow entrance in the hedge, then pass into the lighted "room" as into another world.

The cemetery is jammed with people. In Williams their faces are mostly black, for in Lacombe the custom of lighting candles for the dead has been retained most vigorously by blacks and by Creoles of color (many of whom also claim Choctaw ancestry, as Lacombe was once home to a group of that tribe; Father Adrien Rouquette, the Creole poet and missionary to the Choctaws, probably played a role in the development of the All Saints' celebration here, helping to fuse the Catholic holy days with an Indian celebration of the dead). The atmosphere is entirely festive. The annual event brings family and friends together and they visit with each other and socialize, waiting for the local priest to arrive. When he comes, accompanied by several altar boys, he blesses the graves, speaks a brief homily on the meaning of All Saints', and moves on to the next cemetery. There are said to be as many as twenty in Lacombe, most of them small family affairs, where candles are lit. When the priest leaves, back into the darkness, the socializing resumes.

Away to the south in Lafitte the scene is re-enacted, but in a quieter, more subtle way. The cemeteries do not seem as jammed, and the candles, in contrast to the white tapers of Lacombe, are routinely of the votive type, short, squat, held in clear or colored glass. The weather is warm and at the Berthoud Cemetery the mosquitoes swarm in airborne armies; people do not linger long over their candles here. Yet it is still an important community event, and at the other cemeteries here people gather and talk and flinch in unison when a gust of breeze threatens to blow out their flickering candles. At the Coullon Cemetery the members of a New Orleans television crew are poking their floodlights and minicam around, recording the scene for broadcast. They pause at one tomb where a group of kids has gathered and the interviewer asks them, isn't it scary to come to the cemetery at night like this? The kids reply, no, of course not, though they can't quite explain why. And, of course, it isn't. The event is a peaceful and pretty one, the candles cast a warm and attractive, not a somber, glow on the graves, which are a link to the communal past. The people chat with family and neighbors in a quiet, dignified and obviously happy way. This particular All Saints' night they keep on doing so until an unexpected shower blows in, rain and wind snuffing out candles and scattering people to their houses, though with the satisfaction of having performed the ritual for another year.

The Feast of All Saints continues to be commemorated because it is part of a still-strong south Louisiana religious tradition (in Lafitte, the priest visits the graves as in Lacombe, and Mass is celebrated in one of the cemeteries, though in the afternoon, not at night as once was the case), and because it is a way of showing respect for the departed. Some may feel especially close to the spiritual world on All Saints' Night. One lady at the Berthoud Cemetery spoke of the photograph said to have been made of the giant live oak there which, when developed, showed an image of Christ's face in the bark, and she recalled also the time she had been lighting All Saints' candles here and a dark stranger whose face she could not see followed behind her and told her she was doing God's good work; when she turned around to thank him he had disappeared. At one time it may have been believed locally that the souls of the dead returned to the cemeteries on this night. But if this was ever a widespread belief, it is something which people today recall, if at all, as "a legend" from past time, and the dead now "return" only in memory and in honor.

We wonder, will the All Saints' tradition as it is found in Lacombe and Lafitte continue into the future? Probably it will. Tradition itself can be a powerful force for its own continuance. People go on doing things because they are traditional and people respect the conservatism of that. Plus, this is a society where family ties are still very strong and All Saints' reinforces that by stressing the ties to deceased members of the family group and the community. Beyond that, these people obviously enjoy getting together in the cemeteries. Today, they are also aware that they are maintaining an unusual, distinctive tradition, and that gives it an added attraction. They know they have a lovely custom which is pretty to look at and a good thing to keep going for posterity, and which now interests others from beyond the local community.

Editor's Note: This custom remains strong in both Lafitte and Lacombe.



This article was originally published in the 1996 issue of the Louisiana Folklore Miscellany and is reprinted with permission. Dr. Rosan Augusta Jordan and Dr. Frank de Caro are folklorists who taught folklore in the Department of English at Louisiana State University and are now in New Orleans.


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Hurricane Preparation..

By: Patrap, 1:11 PM GMT on October 23, 2008

Hurricane Preparation

Naval Safety Center
Link

LT Jason Dalby, VFA-86

With hurricane season upon us again, it's time to dust off that family disaster plan, or in many cases, create one. Keeping your family safe during a hurricane starts with proper planning. One in six Americans live along the eastern seaboard or the Gulf of Mexico, making hurricane preparation a must for many service members and their families.








Evacuation Considerations for the Elderly, Disabled and Special Medical Care Issues Link

Your Evacuation Plan Link


Disaster Supplies Kit
Link

NOAA Alert Weather Radio's: Link




History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

5
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS TIPS



Hurricane hazards come in many forms: storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. This means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes all of these hazards. Look carefully at the safety actions associated with each type of hurricane hazard and prepare your family disaster plan accordingly. But remember this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.

You should be able to answer the following questions before a hurricane threatens:

*
What are the Hurricane Hazards?
*
What does it mean to you?
*
What actions should you take to be prepared?

Hurricanes and Your Health and Safety


* The great majority of injuries during a hurricane are cuts caused by flying glass or other debris. Other injuries include puncture wounds resulting from exposed nails, metal, or glass, and bone fractures.
* State and local health departments may issue health advisories or recommendations particular to local conditions. If in doubt, contact your local or state health department.
* Make sure to include all essential medications -- both prescription and over the counter -- in your family's emergency disaster kit.


* Hurricanes, especially if accompanied by a tidal surge or flooding, can contaminate the public water supply. Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. You cannot assume that the water in the hurricane-affected area is safe to drink.
* In the area hit by a hurricane, water treatment plants may not be operating; even if they are, storm damage and flooding can contaminate water lines. Listen for public announcements about the safety of the municipal water supply.
* If your well has been flooded, it needs to be tested and disinfected after the storm passes and the floodwaters recede. Questions about testing should be directed to your local or state health department.

Water Safety

* Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.
* If you don't have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.
* If you can't boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.
* If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.

Food Safety

* Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water.
* Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
* Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling; leakage; punctures; holes; fractures; extensive deep rusting; or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.
* Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and retort pouches (for example, flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches) can be saved if you do the following:
o Remove the labels, if they are the removable kind, since they can harbor dirt and bacteria.
o Thoroughly wash the cans or retort pouches with soap and water, using hot water if it is available.
o Brush or wipe away any dirt or silt.
o Rinse the cans or retort pouches with water that is safe for drinking, if available, since dirt or residual soap will reduce the effectiveness of chlorine sanitation.
o Then, sanitize them by immersion in one of the two following ways:
+ place in water and allow the water to come to a boil and continue boiling for 2 minutes, or
+ place in a freshly-made solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available) for 15 minutes.
* Air dry cans or retort pouches for a minimum of 1 hour before opening or storing.
* If the labels were removable, then re-label your cans or retort pouches, including the expiration date (if available), with a marker.
* Food in reconditioned cans or retort pouches should be used as soon as possible, thereafter.
* Any concentrated baby formula in reconditioned, all-metal containers must be diluted with clean, drinking water.
* Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, and utensils (including can openers) with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse, and then sanitize them by boiling in clean water or immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available).
* Thoroughly wash countertops with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse, and then sanitize by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available). Allow to air dry.

Frozen and Refrigerated Foods

* If you will be without power for a long period:
o ask friends to store your frozen foods in their freezers if they have electricity;
o see if freezer space is available in a store, church, school, or commercial freezer that has electrical service; or
o use dry ice, if available. Twenty-five pounds of dry ice will keep a ten-cubic-foot freezer below freezing for 3-4 days. Use care when handling dry ice, and wear dry, heavy gloves to avoid injury.
* Your refrigerator will keep foods cool for about four hours without power if it is unopened. Add block or dry ice to your refrigerator if the electricity will be off longer than four hours.
* Thawed food can usually be eaten if it is still "refrigerator cold," or re-frozen if it still contains ice crystals.
* To be safe, remember, "When in doubt, throw it out." Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.

Sanitation and Hygiene

It is critical for you to remember to practice basic hygiene during the emergency period. Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected:

* before preparing or eating
* after toilet use
* after participating in cleanup activities; and
* after handling articles contaminated with floodwater or sewage.

If there is flooding along with a hurricane, the waters may contain fecal material from overflowing sewage systems and agricultural and industrial waste. Although skin contact with floodwater does not, by itself, pose a serious health risk, there is risk of disease from eating or drinking anything contaminated with floodwater.

If you have any open cuts or sores that will be exposed to floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and applying an antibiotic ointment to discourage infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.

Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas. Wash children's hands frequently (always before meals), and do not allow children to play with floodwater-contaminated toys that have not been disinfected. You can disinfect toys using a solution of one cup of bleach in five gallons of water.

Immunizations

Outbreaks of communicable diseases after hurricanes are unusual. However, the rates of diseases that were present before a hurricane may increase because of a lack of sanitation or overcrowding in shelters. Increases in infectious diseases that were not present before the hurricane are not a problem, so mass vaccination programs are unnecessary.

If you have wounds, you should be evaluated for a tetanus immunization, just as you would at any other time of injury. If you receive a puncture wound or a wound contaminated with feces, soil, or saliva, have a doctor or health department determine whether a tetanus booster is necessary based on individual records.

Specific recommendations for vaccinations should be made on a case-by-case basis, or as determined by local and state health departments.

Mosquitoes

Rain and flooding in a hurricane area may lead to an increase in mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise and sunset. In most cases, the mosquitoes will be pests but will not carry communicable diseases. It is unlikely that diseases which were not present in the area prior to the hurricane would be of concern. Local, state, and federal public health authorities will be actively working to control the spread of any mosquito-borne diseases.

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, use screens on dwellings, and wear clothes with long sleeves and long pants. Insect repellents that contain DEET are very effective. Be sure to read all instructions before using DEET. Care must be taken when using DEET on small children. Products containing DEET are available from stores and through local and state health departments.

To control mosquito populations, drain all standing water left in open containers outside your home.

Mental Health

The days and weeks after a hurricane are going to be rough. In addition to your physical health, you need to take some time to consider your mental health as well. Remember that some sleeplessness, anxiety, anger, hyperactivity, mild depression, or lethargy are normal, and may go away with time. If you feel any of these symptoms acutely, seek counseling. Remember that children need extra care and attention before, during, and after the storm. Be sure to locate a favorite toy or game for your child before the storm arrives to help maintain his/her sense of security. Your state and local health departments will help you find the local resources, including hospitals or health care providers, that you may need.

Seeking Assistance after a Hurricane

SEEKING DISASTER ASSISTANCE: Throughout the recovery period, it is important to monitor local radio or television reports and other media sources for information about where to get emergency housing, food, first aid, clothing, and financial assistance. The following section provides general information about the kinds of assistance that may be available.

DIRECT ASSISTANCE: Direct assistance to individuals and families may come from any number of organizations, including: the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other volunteer organizations. These organizations provide food, shelter, supplies and assist in clean-up efforts.

THE FEDERAL ROLE: In the most severe disasters, the federal government is also called in to help individuals and families with temporary housing, counseling (for post-disaster trauma), low-interest loans and grants, and other assistance. The federal government also has programs that help small businesses and farmers.

Most federal assistance becomes available when the President of the United States declares a �Major Disaster� for the affected area at the request of a state governor. FEMA will provide information through the media and community outreach about federal assistance and how to apply.

Coping after a Hurricane Everyone who sees or experiences a hurricane is affected by it in some way. It is normal to feel anxious about your own safety and that of your family and close friends. Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event. Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover. Focusing on your strengths and abilities helps you heal. Accepting help from community programs and resources is healthy. Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping. It is common to want to strike back at people who have caused great pain. Children and older adults are of special concern in the aftermath of disasters. Even individuals who experience a disaster �second hand� through exposure to extensive media coverage can be affected.

Contact local faith-based organizations, voluntary agencies, or professional counselors for counseling. Additionally, FEMA and state and local governments of the affected area may provide crisis counseling assistance.

Minimize this emotional and traumatic experience by being prepared, not scared and therefore you and your family will stay in control and survive a major hurricane.

SIGNS OF HURRICANE RELATED STRESS:

* Difficulty communicating thoughts.
* Difficulty sleeping.
* Difficulty maintaining balance in their lives.
* Low threshold of frustration.
* Increased use of drugs/alcohol.
* Limited attention span.
* Poor work performance.
* Headaches/stomach problems.
* Tunnel vision/muffled hearing.
* Colds or flu-like symptoms.
* Disorientation or confusion.
* Difficulty concentrating.
* Reluctance to leave home.
* Depression, sadness.
* Feelings of hopelessness.
* Mood-swings and easy bouts of crying.
* Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt.
* Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone.

EASING HURRICANE RELATED STRESS:

* Talk with someone about your feelings - anger, sorrow, and other emotions - even though it may be difficult.
* Seek help from professional counselors who deal with post-disaster stress.
* Do not hold yourself responsible for the disastrous event or be frustrated because you feel you cannot help directly in the rescue work.
* Take steps to promote your own physical and emotional healing by healthy eating, rest, exercise, relaxation, and meditation.
* Maintain a normal family and daily routine, limiting demanding responsibilities on yourself and your family.
* Spend time with family and friends.
* Participate in memorials.
* Use existing support groups of family, friends, and religious institutions.
* Ensure you are ready for future events by restocking your disaster supplies kits and updating your family disaster plans







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Good Works...,changing Lives.

By: Patrap, 9:46 PM GMT on October 20, 2008

Boys Hope Girls Hope Of New Orleans..Link

NECO members, the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the United States (ICCUSA) and AIG together raised and
donated over $400,000 to rebuild BHGH, Boys Hope Girls Hope homes in New Orleans.

NECO Link

NECO builds strong leaders for the future

NECO's provides significant resources to programs and organizations that have proven their
effectiveness in developing today's young people into tomorrow's leaders. NECO works
with Boys Hope Girls Hope to provide a bright future for academically capable and motivated
children.



The mission of Boys Hope Girls Hope is to help academically
capable and motivated children-in-need to meet their full
potential.
Just over a year ago, NECO members were introduced to an international,
nonprofit organization called Boys Hope Girls Hope that, like NECO, believes
that all children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.




The mission of Boys Hope Girls Hope is to help academically capable and
motivated children-in-need to meet their full potential, as they become men and
women by providing value-centered, family-like homes, opportunities and
education through college. Operating in 16 U.S. cities, Boys Hope Girls Hope
strives to create a true family for its scholars. This was never more evident than
in its response to Hurricane Katrina. And NECO was there to help.

Boys Hope Girls Hope of New Orleans suffered the loss of both its homes as a
result of Katrina. Fortunately, the experts agreed the boys house was suitable
for restoration and this past August, the boys enthusiastically reclaimed the
home they evacuated.



The damage sustained by the girls home was so severe that restoration was
not an option. Boys Hope Girls Hope has acquired the property next to the
existing home and the plan is to clear the houses on both properties, making
way for a new girls home on the combined property. The Home is now under construction, but for now, the girls have settled into a rented house near their school,
enjoying their first sense of normalcy in a while.

The office has relocated to the One Shell Square building downtown and
resumed its normal buzz of activity. Recent fundraising events have included
the Race Judicata and a gala in October.

"Because of the generous support of the NECO family, the Boys Hope Girls
Hope family in New Orleans not only survived Katrina but is thriving today,"
says Paul Minorini, Boys Hope Girls Hope President & CEO.

The staff, Board Members, volunteers and friends of the program have been a
tremendous example of "men and women for others" in that they have stood by
the scholars, even as they coped with personal losses related to Hurricane
Katrina. Many have said it was possible only because of the support they were
receiving from so many people, like the members of NECO, who reached out
to them.

NECO continues to work with the AIG and
ICCUSA (Ireland Chamber of Commerce,
USA) to build homes for underserved youth
in New Orleans and elsewhere. BHGH
supports these teenagers through high
school and college, assuring that they
will become useful and educated
citizens.

..............................................................................

To inquire about co-investing with Boys
Hope Girls Hope, contact NECO at
212-755-1492.For more information
about Boys Hope Girls Hope, please visit
www.boyshopegirlshope.org Link

Honoring our diverse past, advocating for positive change in the present,
and building strong leaders for the future.



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Rock on......

By: Patrap, 4:06 PM GMT on October 18, 2008

Im just sitting here watching the Wheels go Round and Round..



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The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.