Thursday, October 13, 2005

Setting Up...

September 22

Setting up a shelter for 350 is amazing work. I did wake up at 6:30 this morning and spent most of the day doing nothing (except working on Clapotis). Then when about three or four PM hit there was action! We went over to Southern University and helped to set up the shelter - basically from scratch.
We helped to put cots together in a large gymnasium. Supposedly there were about 260 cots there with bedding. Most of the cots were awful - metal poles and canvas about six inches off the ground - just like the one in the picture but ours were blue. Imagine sleeping on that for even one night! They were also a great challenge to put together! However there were lots of enthusiastic volunteers there to help and we set that place up in just a few hours!

At the beginning of the evening the plans were that we were setting up a long term shelter for people who were evacuating from Rita but then three hours later the plans changed. Now the Cajundome in Lafayette had to evacuate it's evacuees and some of them would be coming to our shelter (they had so many people in Cajundome they had to be spread among many different smaller shelters).

I didn't stay the whole night but did stay for part of the arrival. It was amazing to see people coming in. Families and single people. So many children. All had to go through a metal detector and the line to get in stretched down the sidewalk form the door. So many people. Now we just wait for the storm.

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