The GUARDIAN got three calls Wednesday regarding a “huge influx” of disaster refugees coming to Idaho. The most common figure was 5,000.
One source was a BSU staffer who was informed at a faculty meeting to expect new students on Monday.
Another source was the Boise schools where teachers were cautioning students to be tolerant because the people from the South would, “talk funny.”
The third source said Mountain Home Air Base would be taking the refugees because they had the facilities.
It is obvious to us that someone in authority really really wants to help. Idaho has been able to round up a few elderly strays, but despite best efforts of officialdom, we can’t get a big bunch of victims into our green pasture. There has also been a lot of wasted efforts and false alarms.
Idaho Fish & Game officials spent the past weekend readying flat bottom boats for shipment to Louisiana in response to a national request. Before they could load the boats, the request was canceled due to overwhelming responses from other states.
The problem is that we all sincerely WANT TO HELP the Katrina victims, but our efforts might not really be needed. National news reports talk about experts from police and fire departments across the USA reduced to directing traffic or passing out printed flyers for FEMA.
The cable networks are showing camps full of firemen from throughout the country sitting around craving action, but receiving no assignments. New York PD arrived with lights flashing on SUVs in a parade that provided a good photo op, but not much else.
The Red Cross and other relief agencies need cash donations to stock the shelters. Send them cash if you want to feel good. But even that gesture has local Red Cross officials worried that needy people in Idaho will be short changed.
There is a danger of ending up like the family who loses a loved one and the neighbors all come by with lots and lots of food as an expression of sorrow. More often than not there is far more food than any grieving relatives could ever consume. The gesture is sincere, makes the giver feel better, but in reality a lot of food and effort is wasted.
The GUARDIAN cautions that now is the time for Idaho citizens and governments to simply standby, take a deep breath, and respond to actual requests for assistance and respond in a timely fashion.
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