Sunday, October 09, 2005

Red Cross wrap-up

Well the shelter I was at was the last one in town to be shut down and that happened by Friday noon. We were down to just twelve people before shutdown and there were more volunteers than evacuees it seemed. All the people got settled either in hotel rooms for the next 30 days paid for by the Red Cross, they went home to rebuild, or settled in the area where they evacuated to.

Unfortunately on Thursday the hotel operation hit a snag in the Mississippi town of Brookhaven as the Hilton affiliate chain Hampton Inns tried to evict one evacuee family. Not sure if it was ever properly resolved, but all I have to say to Hampton Inns I will never stay at their hotels. They got the worst kind of PR from ABC and Yahoo, who carried news of this fiasco.

The only truly negative thing I have to say about the Red Cross, besides the seemingly never ending communications snafus, is their policy of allowing their volunteers, on the volunteers' day off, from other areas to go sight-see the devastation of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They tried to cover their reputation by telling these disaster tourists to carry a case of MREs and a case of water with them in their Red Cross cars when they went down to these areas to give out to anyone. Am I being overly sensitive on this matter or does this strike people as really bad manners that could backfire?

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