Major Impact

Editor' Note: since this article was written, more storms, and more damage have hit Florida, making the situation on the ground there all that much worse... ~ Stephen

"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

That quote, though from the WWII era, still has a great deal of meaning today. However, it's not the Germans nor the Japanese that we need to help with this time. Now it's Mother Nature.

Folks, I'm sure you've been following the news and watching fearfully as three major hurricanes have tracked through Florida, (though at the time of this writing, hurricane Ivan is just off the south side of Cuba). However, if you aren't from Florida, you probably have a bit of trouble comprehending the immense damage and destruction.

A category three hurricane has sustained winds of 111-130 mph. Those are very frightening numbers. Yet many of us don't have any real idea of what those numbers really mean.

Winds of 111-130 mph will strip foliage off of trees or completely uproot them. Thick trunked-trees can be broken. Mobile homes are easily destroyed. Vehicles are overturned and sent sliding down roadways. Road signs fly; so do people.

The storm surge is between 9 and 15 feet. Damage is done to retaining walls. Roadways are flooded as are homes in low-lying areas. Electricity is lost, phone lines are often lost. Roofs of houses and schools and often the storm shelters themselves start to fail, meaning that pieces of them start to fly off, leaving occupants exposed and vulnerable.

Scary, isn't it? And Floridians have dealt with this three times in the past month. That's a record, and one I'm sure they really didn't want to set.

Now is the time for all good webmasters to come to the aid of their community. That's right, the adult webmaster community needs to come together to aid its own. Take some time and extend a helping hand to those who need it.

There are many ways in which you can help. Those of you with a spare bedroom or a spot on the floor with some pillows and clean sheets and a blanket can offer displaced Floridian webmasters a safe place to be while Florida tries to sort things out. Those of you who have some spare time can volunteer your energy and time to assist the Red Cross in aiding those whose homes have been lost or damaged, giving them a hand to get back on their feet.

Those of you with the desire to help but without the spare time can donate to the relief fund of whatever charitable organization you favor. It doesn't have to be a great deal. Every dollar helps.

Got some canned food? Maybe a case or two of drinking water? Drop that off at the nearest collection area to be sent to Florida. Blankets, clothes, teddy bears, pet food and other such items can be dropped there as well.

Right now, Florida exists in a state of emergency. Millions of people are without power, and thousands are without homes. What little is left to some of them is being stolen by the ever-present scourge of looters.

It doesn't matter what you do to help as long as you do something. These are some of our own who really do need the assistance. Let's give them whatever we can to ensure that they can again find some normalcy in their days and comfort in their nights.

Take care of yourselves! ~ Tala

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