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USA and Hurricane Katrina and Rita

When families return home after a disaster they are nearly always disoriented, depressed and out-of-pocket. A map that is easy to read and able to guide them to the nearest source of practical help, be it food, water, shelter, is almost always most helpful.

GMA volunteer Elisabeth Huff handing some returnee maps to Miss Tiffany at Slidell Police Station. Policemen will give the maps to Slidell returnees.

GMA volunteer Elisabeth Huff handing some returnee maps to Miss Tiffany at Slidell Police Station. Policemen will give the maps to Slidell returnees.

The Board of GMA therefore felt that a rapid on-going deployment to New Orleans and it's related areas was necessary, particularly in view of the fact that as an American NGO, it was important to make maps in 'it's own back yard.' It sent volunteers Rupert Douglas-Bate, Elisabeth Huff and Heather Carlisle to the region to organise data collection and mapping. They worked closely with other aid workers in the region to achieve this, including American Red Cross and Americorps.

Since arriving on September 7th GMA has defined the type of maps required as being 'disaster response for the people returning home' and not 'disaster assessment maps for the humanitarian decision makers', which is already being well served by FEMA, NASA and other agencies.

The maps being created simply show where victims may obtain food, water, shelter, medical, employment and other vital support. Between 7th September and 20th October, seven detailed maps have been made and 50,000 copies distributed in Slidell, Bay St. Louis & Waveland; Pass Christian, Biloxi, Dedeaux; central New Orleans with Algiers and Jefferson Parish, in New Orleans. Concerning disaster recovery for Hurricane Katrina, this represented a pioneering effort as no other group was creating and mass-producing maps for disaster victims, rather than just disaster response personnel.

(Historical enquiry: A group of unknown humanitarian mappers from the Keys, arrived in the Florida City post Hurricane Andrew and made maps similar to those made by GMA, post Katrina. GMA would very much like to make contact with the leaders of this group and discover the nature of the maps they made, were they for disaster relief, disaster response, disaster evaluation, disaster rehabilitation or disaster mitigation ?)

GMA has also supplied maps to the American Red Cross drivers, in an informal partnership with the mapping cell from the Parish of St.Tammany. All of the maps have been received with a great deal of enthusiasm.

All of the maps have been received with a great deal of enthusiasm.

New Orleans Residents

New Orleans Residents

 

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Global MapAid c/o TEN
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Global MapAid does not normally operate a returns procedure for donations. However in exceptional circumstances, at the Board's discretion, donations larger than US $1000 might be returned.