Katrina, One Week Later

Like everyone, I’ve been reeling from the horrors of the disaster in the southeastern U.S. I go back and forth between feeling for the thousands of Americans who continue to suffer and die, and outrage at the lack and lethargy of the federal response. And like everyone I know, I wonder, “What can I do?” My wife and I have made one substantial (by our standards) donation already, and I’m sure we’ll contribute more.

We all do what we can, and partially in reaction to other ideas floating around, I thought that I and others could put together something online — something done in audio. One idea was a podathon: a live audio stream with call-in and feeds from other podcasters. I’ve got the facilities here in Studio 2, so I queried a few friends and associates to get some feedback.

But after 48 hours of consideration, I’ve decided it’s not such a good idea after all. Yes, it might make me feel better for doing something in this situation, but would it really help those in need? I think not. If anything, it might divert attention from activities that are more likely to benefit them. For example, Webcasters.org has a page of links to the audio streams of Gulf Coast broadcasters, many of whom are offering direct informational services to those in the area. I’d like to encourage everyone to support the broadcasters and emergency-response organizations that can really make a difference.

Update: Kevin Devin has posted a Call to Volunteers on his blog:

According to SANS – Internet Storm Center, the Red Cross has put out a call for volunteers for SysAdmins, Network Engineers, and InfoSec Specialists.

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