Twelfth night kicks off Carnival
By: Patrap, 6:45 AM GMT on December 31, 2009
Twelfth night kicks off Carnival and honors Joan of Arc's birthday with festival and parade
By Molly Reid, The Times-Picayune
January 06, 2010, 5:50AM
If you're in the French Quarter Wednesday Night -- Epiphany -- don't be surprised if you see women dressed in medieval garb on horseback and a throng of followers accompanied by bagpipes and Gregorian chants.
It's not a Renaissance fair come to town; it's Joan of Arc's birthday.
The Maid of Orleans, so named for her figurative leadership in France's tide-turning battle against the English at Orleans during the Hundred Years' War, turns 598 on Jan. 6, and for the second year local St. Joan fans will turn Decatur Street into a moving tableau of her life.
The procession is one of two events that help kick off Carnival season on Twelfth Night. The other is the Phunny Phorty Phellows streetcar party, which rolls on Wednesday on the St. Charles Avenue line.
See more Twelfth Night events in New Orleans
For fans of Joan, however, events have grown to include the Joan of Arts Fete on Sunday, featuring costume workshops, a free French class, Medieval chamber music, theatrical performances, a silent auction and panel discussions all celebrating St. Joan.
"She's just such a naturally dramatic character that everyone can really relate to, " said Amy Kirk, founder and leader of the Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc.
Joan of Arc Last Year,Inaugural Procession
Though torrential rain put a damper on the 2009 procession through the French Quarter to the Joan of Arc statue near to the French Market, the response at the event let Kirk know she had the makings of a phenomenon on her hands.
"It ended up being very magical, " Kirk said. "When we got to the Joan of Arc statue, there was this whole group of people that I was not expecting, about 300.
There was a lot of interest. I got a surprising amount of e-mails from people locally and nationally, writing really long e-mails about what Joan meant to them. There's quite a bit of Joan in the city, and there were ones who came forward and said, 'I'm named after Joan!'"
Kirk applied for and received a $2,500 grant from the Arts Council of New Orleans to finance the next event, and she spent the year seeking support from Joan admirers, from academics to devout Catholics and arts lovers.
* Follow Mardi Gras on Twitter, become a fan of Mardi Gras on Facebook
"There was enough of that kind of encouragement from people in the arts community, people in the religious community, people in the literary community, " Kirk said. "I mean this has attracted so many kinds of people."
To keep interest alive, Kirk organized several programs appealing to different types of current and potential Joan fans. A book club started over the summer has met every other month to discuss a different nonfiction work about her, and in November a group of New Orleans Center for Creative Arts students performed scenes from George Bernard Shaw's play "St. Joan." After going to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival in Hammond to attract potential tourists to the event, Kirk met a Tulane University professor who happens to study medieval wine as a hobby and signed on to organize a wine tasting for the fete.
"There's so many different entry points for Joan, " Kirk said. "She's cool because she's got this pop culture thing, but then I've got these old ladies who come to me who've written songs for her. I've been trying to consider every point of entry."
The Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc will gather Jan. 6 to form a moving tableau of Joan of Arc's life, going from the statue of Bienville on Conti and Decatur streets to the statue of Joan of Arc near the French Market.On Wednesday, the krewe will gather at the statue of Bienville at Conti and Decatur streets and proceed down Chartres to St. Louis Cathedral, where a costumed Joan of Arc will re-enact the finding of her sword at the chapel of St. Catherine de Fierbois in France. In addition to the main Joan, three other Joans in the procession will portray her as a warrior, as a prisoner and as the gold statue in the French Quarter.
The procession will be led by bagpipers and feature assorted costumed krewe members, including fire dancers and a group of tourists who stumbled upon last year's parade and vowed to come back dressed as Benedictine monks singing Gregorian chants. The costume workshops Sunday are open to anyone who needs help fashioning a costume, Kirk said.
Because it is Carnival, there must be throws, and Joan's have a saintly theme. Members will hand out items such as hand-painted Joan of Arc medallions, magnets featuring the saints and prayer cards.
That the krewe has expanded so much over the past year is no surprise to Kirk, who chalks it up to the sustained appeal of her patron saint.
"It shows you what's possible when there's this dynamic leader, " she said.
All Pics from Patrap,Joan of Arc Parade,French Quarter,Jackson Square 6 Jan 2010
Joan of Arc 2010 on Royal Street Tonight
Statue of Joan of Arc,St. Peters St.
Joan of Arc directly in front of the Doors to St. Louis Cathedral tonight at 6:15 CST
Patrap Finds his Joan of Arc on Royal Street,view begins in Jackson Square and I walk down Royal to "Catch "the Parade.
Lotsa Candles and Happy Families tonight too.
A freeze warning means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or
highly likely. These conditions will kill crops and other
Be particularly careful with portable heaters... there is a
danger of fire or poisonous fumes.
Pets are also subject to the extreme cold. Keep pets indoors as
much as possible. If this is not possible... make sure outdoor
pets have warm dry shelter... and provide sufficient food and
fresh unfrozen water.
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The Boxer Day Tsunamni,5 years later.
By: Patrap, 4:44 AM GMT on December 26, 2009
Prayers mark tsunami's fifth anniversary
Published: 3:55PM Saturday December 26, 2009
Source: Reuters/Newstalk ZB
Reuters: Acehnese journalists attend a prayer for their colleagues, who died during the 2004 tsunami
Thousands of saffron-robed Thai monks chanted and prayed for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami as Asia marked the fifth anniversary of one of history's worst natural disasters.
The gathering of monks in Ban Nam Khem, a small fishing village on Thailand's Andaman Sea coast that lost nearly half its 5,000 people, was one of hundreds of solemn events across Asia in memory of the towering waves that crashed ashore with little warning on December 26, 2004, killing 226,000 people in 13 countries.
Six Kiwis were killed in the disaster.
"All souls from all nationalities, wherever you are now, please receive the prayers the monks are saying for you," said Kularb Pliamyai, who lost 10 family members in Ban Nam Khem.
In Indonesia's Banda Aceh, survivors gathered in neighbourhood mosques or homes on the eve of the anniversary to remember those killed by a wall of water as high as 30 metres triggered by an undersea earthquake off the island of Sumatra.
Indonesia was the worst hit with the number of dead and missing over 166,000.
Massive reconstruction aid in Banda Aceh has rebuilt a new city on top of the ruins, and many survivors are only now putting memories of the waves behind them.
"The psychology of the Acehnese people is starting to recover after five years," said Eva Susanti, who lost 125 members of her extended family in the Banda Aceh area.
Some locals such as Taufik Rahmat say they have moved on, helped along by new homes in the Banda Aceh region following one of the largest foreign fund-raising exercises.
But still pockets of people in his village remain homeless.
"Not all elements have been fulfilled, I think about 80% to 90% of the people still don't have proper housing," he said.
Frightened of the sea
Thailand's Ban Nam Khem village is a shadow of its former self.
Its once-thriving centre of dense waterfront stores, restaurants and wooden homes is gone, replaced with souvenir shops, a wave-shaped monument and a small building filled with photographs of the tsunami recovery effort.
Many former residents are now too frightened of the sea to rebuild close to the water.
"I still feel bad about what happened. People from all over the world were killed here. It's their misfortune," Kularb said.
In Thailand, 5,398 people were killed, including several thousand foreign tourists, when the waves swamped six coastal provinces, turning some of the world's most beautiful beaches into mass graves. Many are still missing.
In Patong, a Thai beach resort village bustling with tourists, local artists performed traditional Thai songs in a pavilion where tourists gathered to look at photographs of the tsunami's damage.
A candlelight vigil was planned for evening.
Almost all of those killed were vacationing on or around the southern island of Phuket, a region that had contributed as much as 40 percent of Thailand's annual tourism income.
Aid drying up
Tsunami aid efforts have mostly finished, said Patrick Fuller, Tsunami Communications Coordinator at the Red Cross.
"A lot of the physical reconstruction has ended. There are some major infrastructure projects that are still going on. There are some road projects, longer term projects. But all the housing projects are pretty much wrapped up," he said.
The Red Cross built 51,000 houses over the past five years, mostly in the Maldives and Indonesia.
But locals say they need more than new buildings, clean-water plants and other infrastructure.
"The economy has not recovered," said Rotjana Phraesrithong, who is in charge of the Baan Tharn Namchai Orphanage, opened in 2006 for 35 children who lost parents in the tsunami.
Dozens of small hotels and resorts are up for sale in Thailand's Phang Nga province north of Phuket whose forested coastline includes Ban Nam Khem and the serene 19-km Khao Lak beach, two of Thailand's worst tsunami-hit areas.
"More than 100 of these small hotels and retail tour operators are looking to sell their operations because they can't obtain loans from banks to keep going," said Krit Srifa, president of the Phang Nga Tourism Association.
"Many small operators are still in debt after renovations since the tsunami and many just haven't recovered financially."
On Khao Lak beach, where the tsunami killed more than 3,000 people, there's little physical evidence of it aside from occasional Tsunami Hazard Zone signs and colour-coded evacuation maps.
A symbol of the catastrophe, the Sofitel Magic Lagoon where more than 300 guests and staff died, re-opened last month as the 298-room JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa.
In Patong, tourism is down but few blame the tsunami.
"The only time people seem to talk about the tsunami is in December during the anniversary," said Pattahanant Ketkaew, a 27-year-old manager at Phuket2Go tours near Patong beach.
"Tourism is off but that's because of the global economy."
The earthquake even changed the Earth's Rotation
The 2004 Boxing Day tsunami approaches a beach in Thailand Photo: AFP/GETTY
A mother grieves over a Lost Husband in Sri Lanka
May the lost be remembered today,..for "calamity knows no Borders,only men's mind's and map's do."
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Three Wise Men
By: Patrap, 1:55 AM GMT on December 19, 2009
Wise Men and Women Still Seek Him Today
Three Wise Men From Iran Visited Jesus From old Persian language, a priest of Zarathustra (Zoroaster). The Bible gives us the direction, East and the legend states that the wise men were from Persia (Iran) - Balthasar, Melchior, Caspar - thus being priests of Zarathustra religion, the mages. Obviously the pilgrimage had some religious significance for these men, otherwise they would not have taken the trouble and risk of travelling so far. But what was it? An astrological phenomenon, the Star?
The Holy Epiphany - by Lewis Williams
While oftentimes conflicting lore muddles the story of the Magi, those bearing gifts for the Christ child are Caspar of Tarsus, Melchior of Persian and Balthazar of Saba. Weary from desert travel, the Magi humbly offer their gifts. Caspar is young, European and offers gold. Gold finances the Holy Family's coming flight to Egypt and also symbolizes Christ's immortality and purity. For his generosity, Caspar receives the gifts of charity and spiritual wealth. Melchior is middle-aged, Persian and offers myrrh. Myrrh is a fragrant gum, which the ancient Israelites believed to strengthen children. This symbol of Christ's mortality was blended with wine and offered to him on the cross, and also mixed with aloes to wrap his body for the tomb. Melchior receives the gifts of humility and truth. Balthasar is elderly, Ethiopian and offers frankincense. Frankincense is a resin used in incense for worship and also symbolizes prayer and sacrifice. Balthasar receives the gift of Faith. And Christ, humbling himself to become man, offers us the greatest gift of all, the light that forever burns in the darkness.
Iranian Portrait of the Maji
3 Wise Men of the East, also called Magi, or Three Kings of the Orient. In Matthew, noble pilgrims followed a star to Israel to pay homage to the newborn Christ Child (See Pilgrim). They asked King Herod the Great for assistance in finding the child. Herod could not help them but asked the men to return with news of the child. Warned in a dream, they did not return to Herod.
Marco Polo's version relates the version of the story prevalent in Iran in the middle of the 12th century with specific references to places in Iran making it very interesting reading. I also looked up Magi in the dictionary and learnt that it is indeed plural for magus, meaning "a: a member of a hereditary priestly class among the ancient Medes and Persians; b often capitalized : one of the traditionally three wise men from the East paying homage to the infant."
Here is the Ronald Latham translation:
In Persia is the city called Saveh, from which the three Magi set out when they came to worship Jesus Christ. Here, too, they lie buried in three sepulchres of great size and beauty. Above each sepulchre is a square building with a domed roof of very fine workmanship. The one is just beside the other. Their bodies are still whole, and they have hair and beards. One was named Beltasar, the second Gaspar, and the third Melchior.
Messer Marco asked several of the inhabitants who these Magi were; but no one could tell him anything except that they were three kings who were buried there in days gone by. But at last he learnt What I will tell you.
Three days farther on, he found a town called Kala Atashparastan, that is to say Town of the Fire-worshippers. And that is no more than the truth; for the men of this town do worship fire. And I will tell you why they worship it. The inhabitants declare that in days gone by three kings of this country went to worship a new-born prophet and took with them three offerings -gold, frankincense, and myrrh - so as to discover whether this prophet was a god, or an earthly king or a healer. For they said : 'If he takes gold, he is an earthly king; if frankincense, a god; if myrrh, a healer.'
When they had come to the place where the prophet was born, the youngest of the three kings went in all alone to see the child. He found that he was like himself, for he seemed to be of his own age and appearance. And he came out, full of wonder. Then in went the second, who was a man of middle age. And to him also the child seemed, as it had seemed to the other, to be of his own age and appearance. And he came out quite dumbfounded. Then in went the third, who was of riper years; and to him also it happened as it had to the other two. And he came out deep in thought. When the three kings were all together, each told the others what he had seen. And they were much amazed and resolved that they would all go in together.
So, in they went, all three together, and came before the child and saw him in his real likeness and of his real age; for he was only thirteen days old. Then they worshipped him and offered him the gold, the frankincense, and the myrrh. The child took all three offerings and then gave them a closed casket. And the three kings set out to return to their own country.
After they had ridden for some days, they resolved to see what the child had given them. They opened the casket and found inside it a stone. They wondered greatly what this could be. The child had given it to them to signify that they should be firm as stone in the faith that they had adopted. For, when the three kings saw that the child had taken all three offerings, they concluded that he was at once a god, and an earthly king, and a healer. And, since the child knew that the three kings believed this, he gave them the stone to signify that they should be firm and constant in their belief.
The three kings, not knowing why the stone had been given to them, took it and threw it into a well. No sooner had it fallen in than there descended from heaven a burning fire, which came straight to the well into which it had been thrown. When the three kings saw this miracle, they were taken aback and repented of their throwing away the stone; for they saw clearly that its significance was great and good. They immediately took some of this fire and carried it to their country and put it in one of their churches, a very fine and splendid building.
They keep it perpetually burning and worship it as a god. And every sacrifice and burnt offering which they make is roasted with this fire. If it ever happens that the fire goes out, they go round to others who hold the same faith and worship fire also and are given some of the fire that burns in their church. This they bring back to rekindle their own fire. They never rekindle it except with this fire of which I have spoken. To procure this fire, they often make a journey of ten days.
That is how it comes about that the people of this country are fire worshippers. And I assure you that they are very numerous. All this was related to Messer Marco Polo by the inhabitants of this town; and it is all perfectly true. Let me tell you finally that one of the three Magi came from Saveh, one from Hawah, and the third from Kashan.
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Happy 17th B-day Patrap Jr.
By: Patrap, 10:04 PM GMT on December 12, 2009
Today you turn 17 Son.
May this Day bring you Joy,and Happiness.
We Love you with all our heart.
You and your music have grown so much.
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By: Patrap, 5:50 PM GMT on December 01, 2009
Naval Safety Center
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 and their families.
Evacuation Considerations for the Elderly, Disabled and Special Medical Care Issues
Your Evacuation Plan
Disaster Supplies Kit
NOAA Alert Weather Radio's
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.
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.
* 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.
* 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.
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.
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.
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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The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.