We're all accustomed to seeing reports of natural disasters on television and in newspapers and magazines. We look at the pictures and think "Oh, those poor people". But while we feel awful for them, we're warm and safe in our homes or offices.
I've been very lucky in my life. I've been in storms that frightened me, but once they were over, life went back to normal. On a Friday evening in January 2007 an ice storm hit Springfield. The power went out about 6 PM, but we were confident it would be back on shortly. We got out candles and flashlights and waited.
The power remained out all weekend. Our cordless phones were useless and the cell phone batteries soon ran down. We had one corded phone that worked so we knew that the outside world was aware of our situation. We were lucky, we had a gas fireplace that kept the house warm enough for us to stay there, but we felt cold all the time.
When the power came on twelve days later, things quickly got back to normal. The people of Joplin have lost everything. Their houses are not standing, they are not safe and unhurt. Life may never get back to normal for some of them. If you can help, please do. You can contact the American Red Cross or whatever your favorite group is and they'll tell you how you can help most.
Tank is having a blanket drive, Project TOTO, for the suddenly homeless and frightened animals in Joplin. On his blog you can find the details. He's asking for people to send fleece blankets to:
The Joplin Humane Society
Animal Adoption and Resource Center
140 E Emperor Lane
Joplin, MO 64801
Everyone who participates can proudly display the Project Toto badge on your blog or web page.