A young colleague of mine is taking a crew of his high school
students to New Orleans to help rebuild. I can't go due to health
reasons, but have given him several hundred dollars worth of tools,
both electric and hand tools, all in excellent/new condition. They
will be left there when they have to leave.
If anyone is aware of what might be needed in particular, please let
me know ASAP. No need to go overboard with suggestions, but there
must be real documented needs in this area. So please avoid an entire
Here's some ideas from what I've heard from some that have been there and
helped with clean-up and some rebuilding (rough construction)
Small First Aid kits with tweezers, scissors, aspirin, cold/hot pack,
Safety glasses / goggles
Water bottles (full of course)
Energy bars (ones that don't melt)
Extension cords (100' heavy duty)
Last year I served with the American Red Cross in N.O. I was right in
the middle of many trashed neihborhoods. I'm sure much has changed by
now, but any tools to remove & rehang drywall, tools to fix or replace
doors, garbage cans, paint brushes & rollers. Many houses I seen had
everything from 4 foot above the floor removed. The basic process is
to remove flooring, molding, drywall & insulation. Scrub and wash
studs, & rebuild. So, basic hand tools, utility knifes, and finishing
tools would be great for many,many families. Others need a bull
Beyond the obvious items to bring to aid in repair . . . be sure to bring
whatever you consider appropriate for self-protection . . . A lot of the
less than desirable residents have returned . . . these people do not view
you as a "helping hand" . . . Although it depends greatly on the area you
are working in . . . . Just a thought . . . I live less than 50 miles
north of New Orleans & have worked the area for months as a claims adjuster
. . . . some of our people have had problems . . .
I"ve spent several weeks down there (Biloxi, Pass Christian). Dry
wall lifts to help amateurs hang dry wall on ceilings. Dry wall
drivers. Drywall T-squares. Anything to do with drywall. Insulation
staplers. A voltage meter to test outlets and tools to replace them.
The charity organization I worked through had some of everything but
not enough of anything to cover all the houses they were assigning
In my case, the sponsor had a couple of superintendents running the
volunteer crews. If you can get them on a cell phone a few days ahead
of time they will be able to tell you what the assignments will be and
what they are short.
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