September 7, 2005


Donations at $500 Million, and Climbing: Americans' giving for hurricane relief dwarfs first week's tallies for 9/11 and the tsunami. (Sharon Bernstein and Amanda Covarrubias, September 7, 2005, LA Times)

Americans are opening their pocketbooks so fast and so wide in the wake of Hurricane Katrina that donations have already dwarfed the first week's efforts to help victims of last year's Asian tsunami and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

By Tuesday evening, U.S. charities had raised more than $500 million in cash and pledges — more than twice the $239 million donated in the 10 days after Sept. 11, and more than three times the $163 million raised in the nine days after the tsunami that hit countries along the Indian Ocean last Dec. 26.

The American Red Cross had raised $409 million by Tuesday afternoon — five times the $79 million that came in during the first week after the tsunami, the agency said.

The Salvation Army had raised $51 million — six times the amount the charity took in for tsunami relief and more than it collected over the last five years combined.

The outpouring of gifts eased the concerns of some charity groups that donations might not be so robust because so many Americans had given money earlier this year for tsunami relief.

NPR was playing a bit yesterday with Europeans whining about the rich United States receiving aid from them and a British general explaining that no country would ever keep the number of MREs and things like pumping equipment on hand to deal with something like this.

MORE (via Brit):
What's in emergency ration packs? ( Jonathan Duffy, 9/07/05, BBC News Magazine)

The UK is flying half a million military ration packs to the disaster zone in the southern states of the United States.

The high-calorie packs are standard issue for the British Armed Forces on operations and, it's claimed, contain enough food to last one person 24 hours.

They include some typically British dishes, such as corned beef hash, Lancashire hotpot and fruit dumplings in custard, as well as some more adventurous options like vegetable tikka masala and spicy vegetable rigatoni.

Each pack contains up to 4,000 calories - the recommended daily consumption is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men - and is "designed to feed a young man aged 18 to 30 who has been involved in active operational duty," says Brian Sheehan of the Defence Logistics Organisation.

"You're looking at them getting a massive energy burst."

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 7, 2005 12:00 AM

They say Hell is a place where the politicians are French, the policemen are German and the cooks are British, so I guess New Orleans is a third of the way there at least. British MREs, the mind reels.

Posted by: joe shropshire at September 7, 2005 2:23 PM

I'll bet they have vindaloo somewhere - John and Teresa Heinz-Kerry would know.

And, for a few bucks, they might even find some etouffe.

Posted by: ratbert at September 7, 2005 4:27 PM

Just be thankful that haggis-hunting season is over.

Posted by: Brit at September 7, 2005 6:08 PM

What, no Spotted Dick?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 8, 2005 1:02 AM