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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I apologize to my loyal readership (both of you!) for being off line lately. Hurricanes have been much on our minds here. Fortunately, the real hurricane missed us -- Katrina was just a minor wind event in central Alabama. I wish I could say the same for friends down along the coast. My own personal and professional whirlwinds have kept me from posting lately, however.

Please pray for the millions affected by this storm!

The military's Joint Task Force Katrina includes Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. (Four amphib carriers on the way -- big generators, as Yes would say.) Our base is being readied as a FEMA staging site, as it was during Hur. Ivan. I don't need to reiterate what everyone has seen on the news, of course, but what's happening in New Orleans may give us a small taste of what a terrorist nuclear event might look like in a major city: three-fourths of the population gone (thank God just evacuated in this case!), the quarter remaining in need of rescue, basic shelter and sustenance (and probably soon to be ill as well), most of the city's smaller structures destroyed, most of the major ones still standing but heavily damaged, the government unable to respond to localized emergency needs or to secure what's left from feral swarms of looters (many of whom -- not to excuse them -- are just looking for food and drink that will spoil anyway). I don't intend to be callous here, but there are many valuable lessons about crisis response, damage mitigation, and homeland security that we can probably learn from this. Since it's happened anyway, let's (us'n's in the gub'ment, anyway) learn we can from the experience.

In the realm of good news, a correspondent at Responsive Obedience reports that one of Vita ab Alto's friends and Official Spiritual Advisors, Nolan Dynamite, is safe, sound, sans a big tree, and no doubt busily feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, and doing all that other voodoo that he do so well down on Mobile Bay. (Bow to Jeff of The Armchair Coach for the news.)

We have other friends and relatives down in the worst-hit areas that we still haven't heard from. If anyone from the Prattville or Responsive Obedience crowd is reading this: has anyone heard from or about Ron & Gail Baughman? Their home and church are right on the MS-AL border near I-10, so they would have been directly under the eastern eyewall when the storm passed. Needless to say, there's no communication with that area and the roads are impassable. We'd appreciate any word.

In terms of relief, we're giving to the Red Cross and UMCOR (check out the "materials needed" page). The Red Cross site is very slow, so be prepared to wait. This is good news, I think. Samaritan's Purse also comes highly recommended.

And please don't forget to pray.


: That was thankfully quick! Nolan writes:

Thanks for the prayers and concerns, and thanks, Jeff, for the update. Life here is going to be fine. I actually stayed for this one, and now I know why people evacuate! I've just talked with the insurance agent, and the ball is rolling on the major clean-up (100 ft. tree in the backyard). For the folks in Pratt-vegas, Ron and Gail evacuated but are home now. They had trees down and some minor damage, but they will be fine too. More to come (including pictures)

Yea! Please let your collective fandom know what y'all, the Baughmans, et al, need....

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