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Places To Ride
300,000 households uprooted by Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita have filed change-of-address
forms for mail delivery.
New Orleans suburbs
Analysis of U.S. Postal Service data
by Paul Overberg
(see story "Katrina, Rita Victims
Settle In Elsewhere" printed
31 Oct. 2005 in USA
Victims Recover From Katrina
Katrina did quite a number on New Orleans and
nearby communities. Water as deep as 16 feet swamped
vast portions of the city for several weeks. Months
after the disaster, thousands have yet to return
because there's little to return to and no place
the 1.34 million families that applied for FEMA
assistance with expenses due to Katrina, almost
300,000 have changed their addresses to cities
far from their homes. About 70,000 have relocated
within a 2 hour drive of their former residences;
however, the rest are hundreds or thousands of
of the Katrina evacuees have lost just about everything.
In New Orleans alone, over 130,000 people lost
their homes, jobs and/or their means of transportation.
Many cannot afford to replace the cars that they
lost to flooding nor do they have the credit to
buy another car. Without transportation, the prospects
of getting a steady job are dim.
losses like these,
a bike can be the bridge to a new future. Bikes
are cheap to maintain and allow evacuees to save
money otherwise spent on fuel for their car or
auto insurance. Realizing the difference a bike
can make, community organizations around the country
are providing used bikes, bike parts and mechanics
B, a non-profit organization in New Orleans
dedicated to helping those in need.
you want to make a difference in the lives of
those hurt by Katrina, there are a variety of
things you can do. The easiest is to donate that
old bike you no longer ride (you know, the one
gathering dust in your shed, garage or carport).
That bike can be the bridge that gets an evacuee
to work or school.
victims now dispersed throughout the USA, chances
are that hundreds are now in metro areas in your
vicinity (see the NY
Times map of the Katrina diaspora). Many that
were displaced by the storm are poor, have limited
connections in the communities where they ended
up and thus are unlikely to be aware of community
services where they can obtain a bike at a nominal
charge or possibly for free (such as a local bike
co-op, the Salvation Army, or Goodwill).
are some of the local community organizations
currently accepting donor bikes for Katrina.
donating an old bike, here are some other ideas
how you can be a catalyst to help those affected
by this disaster.
1. Contact a bike co-op, bike shop or local disaster
relief office to help Katrina victims that have
relocated to your area.
2. Launch a public awareness campaign to inform
others in your area of the transportation needs
of Katrina victims.
3. Launch a local campaign drive for donor bikes
for Katrina victims.
4. Launch a local campaign drive for donations
to buy bikes for Katrina victims.
If you know of any organizations that are working
to provide basic, reliable transportation to Katrina
victims (besides those listed here), tell me about
their efforts so I can promote them here. If they're
raising funds, I'd like to talk with them about
donating a portion of proceeds from sales of bikes
at RideTHISbike.com to it. If they're looking
to buy bikes for Katrina victims, I'll provide
our bikes at a deep discount. Be part of the solution;