Sunday, September 04, 2005

Katrina Relief

I'm sure you are aware of many honorable charities for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Here is an effort that I have chosen to help. Deep South Camp, a Christian Camp near Slidell, Mississippi which will be used to house victims from Hurricane Katrina. Not only will the camp provide food and clothing, but spiritual encouragement as well. Contributions should be directed to Southside Bible Chapel and labeled "relief fund".

Please prayerfully consider a contribution to this effort.
Southside Bible Chapel
attn: Relief Fund
P.O. Box 61565
Lafayette, LA 70596-1565

Please remember the victims in your prayers.

Below is an update of South Carolina's efforts to assist those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Disaster assistance is managed by the SC Emergency Management Division (EMD) through an agreement among the southeastern states termed the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). Under EMAC, states in need put out requests for assistance to every state in the compact. Each state then offers available resources at cost. The state in need then chooses which offers to accept. Generally, offers of assistance from states closer to the disaster area are chosen first because of shorter travel time and cheaper shipping and travel expenses. At this point, most requests for assistance have been fulfilled by states closer to the disaster area by the choice of those states in need.
There has been a request for South Carolina to accept between 5,000 and 10,000 ill and infirm refugees and their families for an unspecified amount of time. A triage center has been set up at the Columbia airport in preparation for their expected arrival to begin later this weekend. There is a multi-agency effort underway to house and sustain those folks.
A quick note about law enforcement assistance:
Louisiana has requested that states only assemble and send a self-sustaining task force made up of 5 strike teams of 21 officers each, 10 cars, communications equipment, and food, fuel, and shelter for 72 hours. Smaller, more piecemeal teams create a logistical strain in equipping and sustaining them. SLED and SCDPS are working with the Emergency Management Division to assemble a task force of state and local officers to meet this requirement.
Below is a breakdown of what is being done at an agency level:
SC Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services:
* SCDAODAS, along with the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and DHEC are coordinating efforts to assemble a team of counselors and medical personnel to provide assistance to the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.
SC Dept. of Corrections:
* SCDOC has been in contact with the DOC commissioners and other leadership in Louisiana and Mississippi and has not yet heard from Alabama. SCDOC is ready to send crews or equipment as needed.
* At the request of Louisiana DOC Commissioner Richard Stalder, SCDOC is leading a Cabinet-wide effort to collect non-perishable food items to be shipped by truck at the end of next week.
* SCDOC has offered to take in as many as 600 inmates
SC Department of Health and Environmental Control:
* DHEC has contacted the public health departments in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi to offer support. DHEC is in the process of mobilizing a field hospital/medical team, with the Anderson COBRA team (a special unit for Chemical, Ordnance, Biological, Radiological weapon of mass destruction response). DHEC nurses, a DHEC Physician and logistic support staff will accompany the emergency medical services, law enforcement, hazmat and rescue personnel from Anderson for this mission.
* At this time, DHEC anticipates mobilizing a second field medical unit, in cooperation with Charleston COBRA team.
* In addition, we are identifying volunteer personnel among DHEC staff in all public health, environmental and administrative disciplines for possible service on these and other missions.
SC Department of Licensing Labor and Regulation:
* SCLLR has an emergency plan in place with SCDHEC to provide for continued medical care for patients shipped from the disaster zone with their Louisiana health care providers. SCLLR is working to expedite licensure procedures for displaced professionals seeking to relocate to South Carolina.
SC Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism:
* No official requests have been received by SCPRT, but the National Association of State Park Directors has asked the State Park Service to stand by and assist, if possible, when Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi ask for help.
SC Department of Probation Pardon and Parole:
* SCPPP has been in contact with their counterparts in Mississippi and Louisiana. Those authorities are currently in the process of assessing the impact to their respective areas and advise that it may be up to a month before they can determine the extent of the damage and the need for assistance.
SC Department of Public Safety:
* The agency is working with SLED to fulfill a request for a Task Force of officers (5 strike teams of 21 officers each = 105 officers) to send to the Gulf. This would be a combined effort of state and local law enforcement.
* Working with DHEC on triage at the Columbia airport. They are coordinating with Red Cross for shelters for the families. DSS will provide staff to meet with refugees on TANF eligibility for those coming in. The expected number of refugees that DSS will process is 8,000. The refugees will begin to arrive later this weekend and continue until Tuesday.
* Currently there is an EMAC request for task forces composed of 5 law enforcement strike teams: that entails 20 officers, 10 cars, 1 supervisor and a car interoperable communications, and self-sustainment (fuel food shelter, etc.) for 72 hours. The deployment would be for 14 days. Currently one team of half SLED personnel and half Highway Patrol personnell is being formed and another team is being formed by the Charleston Sheriff's Office. Deployment has not been requested at this time. A number of various type units around the state from local agencies are seeking to respond and they are being asked to work with in the EMAC/EMD plan and only respond upon request and approval. We don't have control of this. In all cases, it is imperative that we maintain a certain level of resources in the state while helping the Gulf area.
Dept. of Natural Resources:
* SCDNR Director John Frampton has contacted his counterparts in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to offer assistance. They advised that they would contact us if they could determine their needs. Frampton also talked to Ron Osborne at the EMD yesterday and advised him that DNR had staff and equipment that could go to any of the states.
* 40 officers and 20 flat bottom boats are leaving tonight 9/2/05 for New Orleans. The plan is for a 10 day stay.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Gas Prices

-Congressman Gresham Barrett has stated that Congress may temporarily lift the gas tax which is currently $ 0.40 per gallon.

-Also to report instances of price gouging, follow this link: