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Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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As coherent as I could manage
msauvage purple
cleolinda
quizzicalsphinx: "Just came out of the hardest-hit area of Tuscaloosa. My neighbourhood is completely not there anymore. This was already one of the poorest areas of town and they are going to need massive help for months, at the very least. I don't know how else to say it. It's just not there anymore."


Gawker: The Terrifying Mile-Wide Tornado That Just 'Obliterated' Tuscaloosa. 

Slate: Tornado outbreak now the worst US natural disaster since Katrina. "The death toll from Wednesday’s storms seems out of a bygone era, before Doppler radar and pinpoint satellite forecasts were around to warn communities of severe weather. Residents were told the tornadoes were coming up to 24 minutes ahead of time, but they were just too wide, too powerful and too locked onto populated areas to avoid a horrifying body count."

Obama on Alabama tornado damage: 'I've never seen devastation like this.' The current headline is, "Twister deaths now at 329, worst since 1932." The last I saw, we're at 238 for Alabama alone, with some 1700 injured, and up to a million without power, although Alabama Power hopes to have that restored to "95% of affected customers who can receive it by end of day on the 4th.".

RT @whitehouse: The President in Alabama: "We're Going to Make Sure that You’re Not Forgotten"  (Photo/transcript)


I kept trying to put together a post of some kind, but I just felt so overwhelmed. I just couldn't sustain a single train of thought very long. Which is stupid, because it passed us by. We're fine. I spent all of Thursday watching disaster coverage on TV (I hate to say it, but: Fox News had the best coverage. They just sat there for hours talking to mayors and running eyewitness videos), and then I couldn't watch anymore.

I've gone through a bewildering number of "how to help" posts, and it's occurring to me that there are two kinds of people who are going to want to help: those of us in town who want to know what we can ransack the house for and where to take it, and those of y'all who, God bless, aren't even anywhere near Alabama and just want to give something. "Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10" is the quickest suggestion I've seen, and God bless the smartphone age for it.

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If there's anything I can add to this, or anything I can do here on LJ, let me know. I haven't heard of any fandom charity efforts yet, but will link to them once I hear.


ETA: Again from quizzicalsphinx: the toughest blog post about the aftermath that I've seen. "No way of getting to them. Nobody coming for them."

ETA: @clex_monkie89: Anyone who wants to help with setting up a help auction comm: http://clex-monkie89.livejournal.com/877988.html




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My parents called me at 5 a.m. on Thursday and told me they'd spent the night in the basement of their wrecked house. At first light, they made their way out and tried to find a way to contact me. They met their back-to-backyard neighbor over the shattered remnants of an 8-foot stucco wall. He had a charged cell phone and managed to squeeze a call out to me. We talked for maybe 2 minutes, just long enough for them to tell me there were 5 trees on the house, it was unlivable, and to please call someone, anyone, to come GET THEM OUT. I didn't hear from them again for 12 hours. I spent the next two frantically calling family friends who lived in town. In the end, my childhood friend drove in to rescue them. She ended up parking TWO MILES away and hiking in through Alberta City, past utter destruction and a steady stream of refugees. My parents packed up enough things for a day or two and hiked back out with her. All of them later told me they saw horrible, horrible things on that walk and wish they could blank it all out. My parents are now staying with family friends across town while they try to put the pieces back together.

Oh my God--I am glad that they are now safe.

Thanks for the signal boost, Cleo. My friend teaberryblue has a signal-boost button on her entry here and is offering art and cute icons for proof of donations.

Things here in Tuscaloosa are still bad, but progress HAS been made. We can get calls in and out, for one thing. A lot of us have power again. Water restrictions will probably end tomorrow. Considering how total the destruction is, this much progress is really incredible.

The next time you see an Alabama Power truck, thank those people. They work miracles.

For those in Tuscaloosa: Yes, volunteers are being turned away in certain areas of town. THERE'S A GOOD REASON. They are trying to get into areas that are dangerous, either because of work being done there or because looting has happened there. The volunteers can come back later, when those areas have been better secured. As for those of you wandering town taking pictures, I get why you want the pics. However, you are causing problems. You are wandering through someone's work area. I promise, there will be many opportunities to gawk at rubble for many, many weeks to come. Now? Not the time. Go home.

Really, that's the bottom line here right now. If you don't have a pressing reason to be out, don't be. If *anything* happens to you...car accident, tree falling on your head, mugging...there is no one available to come help you. You need to stay home as much as possible until we enter the recovery phase. Just get somewhere and be still, please.

To all those who have donated, THANK YOU. I personally know people who have food tonight because of you. I have a woman sitting at my kitchen table RIGHT NOW who has received help due to your donations. You are giving all of us here hope, and it means the world to us. THANK YOU.




Glad you're safe. I miss seeing you in my LJ timeline.

Yeah, and we just set up our own. We're trying to figure out if we're going to move forward or not.

I know what you mean about being overwhelmed even when an event didn't touch you directly. Thank you for posting all the links for places to donate or help all the same--and I am so glad you're safe.

My parents lived in lower Alabama for 8 years (and my mom got her Ph.D at Auburn), so I've spent most of the past decade keeping tabs on the state of things there. This takes the cake, though.

Being so far over in CA, I'll only useful in donating money, so I'll go do that. Thanks for the links, Cleo.

I;d heard about the tornadoes on Thursday but didn't know about how destructive they were until last night while watching some of the coverage. I started to cry seeing the victims go through what used to be their homes.

All of you are in my thoughts. *hugs*

First of all, dear God I'm glad you're okay.

Do you know if there's any way to donate material items from a distance - in my case, shipping a box of clothing and non-perishable food from California - or would that be too much of a headache and should we stick with monetary donations instead?

Either way, thank you for spreading the word.

Does anyone know if there is a way for people from overseas to help? I'm in Germany and don't have a credit card or anything but I'd really like to donate something! Does it work if I text the Red Cross?

Let me ask around, brb.

Motherfuck some tornadoes is what I'm saying.

HI! I'm posting with an internet connection made up of a can on a string!

Just donated.
I lived in Alabama (Decatur) for a few years. I'm in Indiana now - we got the northern edge of the giant storm system that did all this. So I'm feeling a weird sense of double dodged-the-bullet survivor's guilt right now.

We are in Huntsville, and after Huntsville Utilities said that it would be 3-4 days minimum before power would come back to the city, we headed to West TN to stay with family. The first night, my MIL fixed us a beef roast dinner and the whole dinner, all I could think about is everyone back home eating crackers in the dark. And they were the lucky ones because they had a dark house to sit in.

On our way to the interstate, we drove by Harvest which was hit with a F4 Wednesday. Good God. It was 8 miles from my house. The survivor's guilt is overwhelming. And what was even scarier is that with the size and scope of these tornadoes, no one above ground was safe.

I am just heart-broken for everyone who has lost their lives, their loved ones, and their homes.

Kate

I'm really glad you're okay, Cleo. :)

I'm in Australia, so about as far away as is possible, but I wanted to help spread the word, so I posted on my journal to help spread awareness. In it, I have linked to this post of yours; I hope that's okay.

I have quite a few friends all scattered around the US, so hopefully they will be able to help spread the word (and help in other ways), too.

Holy shit. Red Cross ahoy!

*zips over to donation site*

Heard this on NPR:

http://www.npr.org/2011/05/05/136030424/ala-mayor-discusses-recovery-efforts-after-last-weeks-storms?ft=1&f=2

Loved how much support this place is getting (Jason Biggs?), and so looked it up:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Campbell,_Alabama

Again, any support that can be gotten for this area - let's bring it!