On this very day ten years ago, I reported to my office as a member of the local Red Cross staff responsible for attempting to organize resources for a hurricane response that promised to be life changing for all in its path. That morning started around 5:00AM as I prepared for a long day of work of putting valuable and limited resources into place for the response that would begin once the storm passed through the area.
The day before had been equally long. As a sort of vacation from the work of the Red Cross, I was in Atlanta, GA for a leadership conference with Amnesty International for whom I volunteered as an organizer in Mississippi. Around lunch time, I received a text message from my best friend saying, “You’re landing is going to be a bit wet” or something to that effect. Immediately I raced to the nearest television to get the latest weather forecast and tracking for the storm named Katrina. (This was a world before the smartphone was ubiquitous and information was not yet held in the palm of our hands.) Though I do not know it for a fact, I am pretty sure that I went rather pale when I saw the track the storm was taking. It was coming right for the Mississippi coast, and I knew that I had to find a way to get back to Mississippi as quickly as possible. Continue reading