The regional catastrophe ushered in by Hurricane Katrina just a few short days ago is increasingly difficult to fathom. Federal disaster declarations now cover 90,000 square miles in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. That approximates the total area of Great Britain. The area is so large, military recon platforms are being deployed now to try to gauge where search and rescue operations are most needed.
The scope of issues faced by everyone in the area is overwhelming. Unfortunately, chaos is increasingly the rule. Ruthless crime and thuggery have taken over in New Orleans, while those who are not directly involved in inciting anarchy find themselves in a life and death plot worthy of an "Escape from New Orleans" movie.
If the murderers and gang bangers aren't having their way with the innocent, the disease-breeding conditions and the environment rife with destruction and despondency are. Things are only getting worse in the area and there's still not a clue as to even the number of those who have paid the ultimate price.
We urge anyone reading this to find it within themselves to contribute to the recovery effort anyway they can ... to include sending money to the American Red Cross.
I want to point out to any of you who are in the affected areas--in addition to our donating materials and supplies to the area, we at Safecastle LLC are offering discounted prices on virtually all of our products to residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
The Fear of Gasoline and Oil Shortages
Those of us elsewhere in America are nowhere near as desperate as those in the disaster area. Yet, we're beginning to feel some personal pain. The temporary loss of the refineries and other critical pieces of the oil-producing and pipeline infrastructure in the stricken areas are causing unprecedented price rises at the gas pump. Some areas are rationing available supplies while others are quite simply running out of gas.
This is causing a rippling wave of anxiety through the land and widespread panic is not far off the radar screen. When the gas supply is at risk and our mobile way of life itself is threatened, people everywhere are forced to assess their ability to cope. Thus, lines at not only the gas stations, but runs on food and supplies of other types are possible.
I personally do not yet subscribe to the view that we are on the verge of a national emergency that could create a broad and deep internal crisis of confidence. But certainly things do bear watching.
I fully encourage folks to try to stay ahead of the curve wherever they live, making sure you have adequate supplies and fuel stored away now, just in case it is needed in the foreseeable future.