When I started this blog on the eve of Hurricane Katrina's landfall it was titled "Live from Louisiana: A Hurricane Blogger's Personal Journal". After Katrina went on to be the biggest disaster in contemporary U.S. history, I changed the name of the blog to "Hurricane Katrina"...and then eventually settled on "Beyond Katrina: The Voice of Hurricane & Disaster Recovery".
While recovery continues to date, about a year ago I found that I had Katrina fatigue and that I really couldn't talk about the issues publicly anymore. For the reason, over the past year or so, the blog has more or less functioned as a news aggregator. However, inasmuch as today is Katrina's third anniversary and I'm facing the eve of another potential Louisiana land falling cane, I feel moved to ramp up the personal blogging again. Thoughts are I'll do it as a series at this blog in honor of the pubs original title. So here's the first post in the series:
It's mass insanity here in Baton Rouge and across the state today as Louisiana prepares for the possibility that Gustav will make landfall somewhere on our coast. We're all experiencing a time warp - it's dejavu all over again. As was similar for Katrina we're moving into the week-end (same time frame three years later) in a great deal of anxiety and anticipation.
I have heard from all of Beyond Katrina's contributors and stakeholders over the course of the past few days. My wonderful and talented PR strategist, Rebecca Rainer just emailed and reminded me that I need to eat my wheaties if I'm gonna make it through this marathon. Paul Greenberg and Itouched base few days ago. He writes, "We're all pretty nervous here in New Orleans right now. I'm going to Morgan City on Friday night for the Shrimp and Petroleum festival, and if I have to evacuate I'll go from there, I guess toward Lafayette. UGH!". Rick Portier is about to head out on storm coverage assignment at ground zero, should Gustav truly make it's way here. Matthew White, who is situated at the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, (right where Katrina made its second landfall at the Pearl River La/Ms border) is making evac plans as we speak. And Maida Owens (who works for the state) said every body seemed a little manic yesterday as folks rushed plans to completion before leaving for the Labor Day Holiday.
The theme that runs through most of these conversations is DREAD. While we Louisianians are seasoned veterans when it comes to the canes, it's just too soon. Our memories of Katrina and Rita are still so fresh and indelibly etched into our brains. And while we're all aware that this could be a total bust - Gustav could land anywhere - we still have to go through all the motions - we have to act as if. Storm prep and particularly EVACS are just no fun...