Lest we get caught up in FEMA-bashing, individuals affected by Katrina are in crisis management and plowing forward as best they can — while living an unimaginable nightmare. A good high school buddy of mine is a pediatric intern in New Orleans. Here’s the latest second-hand report from his sister:

Keep my brother and his fiancé in your thoughts and prayers as they try to get out of New Orleans. Both were essential medical and could not evacuate. Celeste is in the hospital that they can’t get to that is flooded with no power, no running water, and certainly no air conditioning. They have been peeing in cans since the sewage is backed up. She may still have a car if it is on a high enough deck, but she can’t get it out anyway with the flood waters. Her hospital got the word today that it is going to be air evacuated with staff and patients to Baton Rouge, where life is certainly better and cleaner.

Tom can’t leave his hospital to get to her, but he is fine and dry, just no air. He has been through a practice run on this one since he lived in the South Pacific for 2 1/2 years. He says that this is far and above worse than anything he went through with typhoons and all. They got the word tonight that Tom’s hospital is evacuating, but Tom has no idea where they are sending him. He has a bedroom at the hospital anyway and has had sleep. He is in the ICU unit of the pediatrics ward, so I think that he may have to travel with his patients, thus leaving his only possession, his car at the hospital. Looting is rampant and he has the hospital guards checking on
his car. It has no damage, but has the silver that Mom left him in it. They figure that they have lost everything in the apartment. They figure that there is no apartment if reports are accurate.

There is no telling how fast anything will be back to working levels in that poor town. But, most importantly they have their health and those that love them rooting for them!