Although Hurricane Katrina hit Florida and then the Gulf Coast at the very end of August - the devastation left in its wake only becomes truly clear well into the first weeks of September and still goes on for many families well into 2006.
With recent floods, earthquakes, forest fires and droughts... there are so many people worldwide that need our help to rebuild their homes.
The devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina was an act of nature of incredible proportions highlighted by the sheer size of the area and number of towns hit by the storm.
How We Can Help
This is one tragedy that will require an ongoing global effort to help survivors - through hurricane disaster funds.
Immediate help is required through the many charity organisations that are providing help and assistance throughout the huge affected area - An area as reported by CNN to be about 144,840.96 square km. - an area larger than the size of Great Briton!.
Help is needed now for the thousands of displaced families, and there are hundreds of organisations in place who depend on donations to hurricane Katrina disaster funds to supply the necessary immediate food and care, here are just a few.
At the moment and certainly for the next few weeks - these organisations are working around the clock, together with the different government agencies to save lives.
Moving people away from affected areas is paramount to enable these organisations to adequately provide care and help prevent the spread of diseases.
We watched in horror - together with people from around the world as Hurricane Katrina neared the Gulf Coast on Monday the 29th August.
Hurricane Katrina was downgraded to a catagory 4 and then appeared to be slightly changing course, this gave false hope to many of us watching and perhaps to those living there - that it may not be as bad as predicted.
Unfortunately all wishful thinking was washed away in the days and weeks ahead as we were all shocked to see images of whole neighborhoods flooded with water up to and over the eaves of homes.
In other areas without as much water damage, houses were simply blown away and only the cement outline of foundations are left.
The Days and Weeks Ahead
Nearly one week after Hurricane Katrina passed over the US Gulf Coast and changed the course of so many lives and took the lives of so many other - the recovery process is ongoing with people still trapped in their homes.
It is now clear to the whole world watching and praying for all those people who have lost their homes and lost loved ones, that their very survival over the next few weeks is the concern of all of us - with lack of food and water and the spread of disease a real concern.
Water left by Hurricane Katrina is not receding as fast as any of us hoped, residents who were trying to hold out in their homes are running out of food and water and now need to be rescued.
Our prayers go out to the Mayor of New Orleans, the Police, Fireman and all of the Rescue workers who are working around the clock on all of the different fronts of the rescue efforts.
At some point many people will want to go back home, even if there home has severe wind or flood damage, many may want to see it for themselves, to help them come to terms with what has happened and see if there is anything left of their past to recover.
Improve or Rebuild
The unfortunate truth is that the thousands of homes affected by flood damage in such an extreme way - water up to the eaves and running through timber framed houses for days and weeks - will probably have to be torn down and re-built. In fact in most cases it will be cheaper to start again.
Whether victims of this natural tradegy want to return or decide to stay in the areas that they have been evacuated to, they are virtually going to have to start again, wherever they are.
Hurricane Katrina has caused immediate - long term -massive housing problems, how can we help...
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is one of the organisations we have listed above that is probably going to take on a whole new meaning for those that have lost their homes around the Gulf Coast.
This is an organisation that specialises in improving the living conditions or provide housing for people all around the world by both building and improving homes.
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organisation that is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide. You can learn from their Web site how you can volunteer, donate or apply for assistance under their housing schemes.
Here are their details again if you feel able to contribute and be a real part of a long term solution for people who have lost everything, their homes and all of their belongings - to help them start to rebuild their lives... Every dollar counts...
The total estimated cost of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina is said to be much more than double that of Hurricane Andrew and that was just under $50 billion.
Our thoughts and prayers are with
all the people of the US Gulf Coast.
Last Modified: January, 2006
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