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Hurricane Relief - What Would You Bring?

Cliff posted about 9 years ago | from the gulf-assistance dept.

Editorial 534

andyring asks: "In a few weeks, I will be going with a group from my church down to some of the hardest-hit areas in Louisiana and Mississippi to volunteer in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. We will be there six days, and have 10 people going so far. At this point, I don't know much more than we'll be in either Slidell, La. on the northeast shore of Lake Ponchartrain, or Pass Christian, Miss., right on the Gulf Coast near Gulfport/Biloxi. Not knowing what we'll be faced with, and having somewhat limited room for supplies, tools and equipment (probably a U-haul trailer), what would you bring on a journey such as this? Any Slashdot readers between Lincoln, Neb. and the New Orleans area interested in contributing to our effort, such as donations of equipment/supplies/tools/etc?"

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Hmmm (4, Informative)

cloudkj (685320) | about 9 years ago | (#13681171)

First things that come to mind are some comfortable shoes, and clothes you wouldn't mind getting dirty in.

Re:Hmmm (-1, Offtopic)

gergnz (547809) | about 9 years ago | (#13681184)


Boots not shoes. (4, Informative)

nlinecomputers (602059) | about 9 years ago | (#13681239)

Comfy shoes implies to me your typical sneaker/running shoe. Bad idea. You may be stepping in alot of debris. Things that can be sharp like glass, nails, and so forth. You'll want a sturdy set of work boots. Perhaps even steel toed shoes. Bring a hard hat as well for the same reason. You'll do them no good if you get injured trying to help them out.

Re:Boots not shoes. (3, Informative)

jafiwam (310805) | about 9 years ago | (#13681292)

If you have them;

Combat Boots. Sure you look like a goth poser, but I have personally spent several days in my jungle boots including showers, walks and drinking with no ill effects.
(dry your socks, but otherwise the boots never let me down)

Re:Boots not shoes. (5, Informative)

twilightzero (244291) | about 9 years ago | (#13681358)

From the perspective of someone who currently works for Habitat for Humanity and has a lot of experience on this sort of thing, I would highly reccommend steel toed boots. The hard hat I tend to be a bit less picky on, as they'll only really help you in places you don't have to bend over much and will be ducking under things. I'd say throw a few in just in case but usually I just go with a regular cotton bucket hat.

As far as tools and things, here's the (non-definitive) list that I would reccommend:
-Shovels (1 per person, round point)
-Crow bars/wrecking bars
-Breaker bar (looks like a giant steel pole with a point or chisel on the end)
-Hammers (lots)
-Nails (several boxes each of 8 penny, 16 penny, 16 penny duplex)
-Good cordless tools with plenty of backup batteries (I'd reccommend at least 18 volt if you can get them, get enough batteries that you can charge at night)
-Generator if someone owns one already (very handy)
-Wheelbarrow or two
-Sawzall or equivalent tool of destruction (2 if you can get them)
-LOTS of good leather gloves (go for full leather, do not get fabric-backed or cotton jersey. They just won't stand up. You can get decent leather gloves here [] at $22/dozen)
-LARGE water cooler - I'd reccommend a good Rubbermaid or Igloo jobsite cooler with associated plastic/foam glasses

That's a good start for a list. If you want more advice drop me an email with SLASHDOT in the title at the email addy on my account. I've done quite a lot of this sort of work before. Wish I could come with you but I'm stuck here :\

Safety Supplies (4, Informative)

dschl (57168) | about 9 years ago | (#13681362)

Steel toe / steel shank, and the boot should go above the ankle. There will be plenty of trip hazards, and you'll be out of action with an ankle injury in low-cut footwear. Safety glasses / goggles are mandatory, as are leather gloves. First aid kits and someone trained in first aid is also a good idea for any jobsite.

Worksites are dangerous. I can only imagine the carnage if you set loose a bunch of weekend warrior office workers with power tools and hurricane-damaged buildings. Make sure you have someone experienced in the type of work to provide a full daily orientation, along with tool and worksite safety training, and supervision to ensure that you don't injure yourselves. You don't want to add to the problem by becoming a burden on local medical resources, rather than helping out as you had planned.

You need some idea of what you'll be doing before you can properly plan. Will you be clearing damage, and demolition? Then you'll want chainsaws, chop saws, wrecking bars, etc. Will you have electricity (generator or powerlines), or will you want to bring as many gasoline powered tools as possible. But most importantly, you need some people who know what they're doing. Plan your work. Prethink each task before starting it. Stop and think (Exxon safety slogan) during each task.

Re:Boots not shoes. (3, Insightful)

Furmy (854336) | about 9 years ago | (#13681367)

You'll want a sturdy set of work boots. Perhaps even steel toed shoes.

Absolutely - if you don't have any, check with local EMS/Police services to find out what they wear. You're looking for something safe, lightweight, good ankle support, and waterproof.

Bring one of these [] for yourself, and recommend that each group member brings their own.
Bring one of these [] .
These are great too [] , you'll want dry feet.

Some sort of protective glove [] . Leather/Kevlar etc are all good. Bring a box of nitrile gloves [] too.

A headlamp [] is a great thing (this one has a dual-bulb system).

All this stuff is for you.
If you're looking for stuff to bring for other people down there... bring money. Go there, find out what's needed, drive away, buy the stuff they need, and bring it back to them.

Also for you, bring some beer.

Good luck.

Re:Hmmm (4, Informative)

maotx (765127) | about 9 years ago | (#13681284)

Don't forget a radio. From what I hear the Freeplay lifeline radios [] are great.
They do not require any batteries, picks up AM, FM, and Shortwave, designed to withstand "harsh conditions", and is powered by solar and/or wind-up. That and if you purchase one they automatically donate another to the Freeplay Foundation [] to help orphaned children in Africa.

Next step up would be to have a ham license so you could talk back. an emergency I'm not sure how strict the FCC would be if you didn't have one.

Re:Hmmm (2, Informative)

Tiger4 (840741) | about 9 years ago | (#13681383)

Several changes of clothes. It is hot and humid, but that will change soon, so bring a mix of warm and cool weather things. Bring things you don't mind getting dirty in, but that wash up easily. You don't know where your nearest laudry will be.

Mosquito repellant and sunscreen. Lotion. A hat/cap/visor. Sun glasses, if you are so inclined.

Gloves and boots. Goggles might be handy, depends on what sort of labor you plan on doing.

A journal and pen. Not a PDA and stylus, a real book and a pen. You may want to make notes for your memoirs and you don't know when you can get to batteries or ac power. A camera would be good too. take the cell phone camera just in case though.

Some trashy novels. You may have some boring down time.

Canteen/thermos. Depends on how used you are to heavy labor, if that is what you'll be doing.

Multi-Vitamins. Mega doses, just in case.

Satellite uplink phone with modem/ethernet attachment for the laptop so you can stay in touch with Slashdot. And the porn sites.

Single dollars for the stripper bars that are reopening in 'Nawlins. They were some of the first businesses to reopen. Life is getting back to normal ;-)

what would you bring? (5, Informative)

wingman358 (912560) | about 9 years ago | (#13681185)

I'd check out the Red Cross website or something. Or perhaps you could check this [] out, some good ideas there.

Another good website (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681207)

Please consider Donating Here []

Re:Another good website (3, Informative)

maotx (765127) | about 9 years ago | (#13681327)

Please consider Donating Here

Very clever using a katrina domain name. Good reminder to all of us to be cautious of donation sites. Just because the site says it is for Katrina does not mean it will be honored.

For those wondering what the troll is about, the link redirects to And for those who are lucky enough to not know what that is but curious, it is a site that contains a picture of three older guys performing homosexual acts on each other. NSFW and quite disgusting.

Re:what would you bring? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681368)


Here's what you need:

Gift Cards. Walmart, Target, Home depot, Lowes, Ace, etc.

Soda, lots of it.
Food, Either Pizza, or sandwich.

Here's what you don't need:

Clothes. Canned Food. Bottled Water. (While these may seem like essentials, these people have been getting them from pretty much everywhere. It sucks)

easy (1)

Eric604 (798298) | about 9 years ago | (#13681186)

wind powered generators.

What would *I* bring? (3, Insightful)

blackmonday (607916) | about 9 years ago | (#13681187)

Well, since you asked what *I* would bring, I would bring some Lucinda Williams records along with whatever supplies I took. Hew songs extensively canvas the Louisiana spirit, and It would remind me of what a great part of America that really is. Start with "Crescent City" off her self titled album.

Is this like one of those.. (1)

ciroknight (601098) | about 9 years ago | (#13681341)

..trapped on a desert island things? In that case I'd bring: a power boat, lots of gasoline and enough food and water to survive the trip home.

Really? Not true. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681188)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Some supplies (4, Funny)

TEMM (731243) | about 9 years ago | (#13681190)

Lets see... Hammers, Nails, Chainsaw, good old handsaw, axes some saw horses stuff you dont need electricity for.

Re:Some supplies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681394)

bags & boxes to carry all the loot.

Essentials (4, Insightful)

crimoid (27373) | about 9 years ago | (#13681191)

Personally I'd bring...

Shelter (canvas tents, large)
Tools (Tarps, gloves, hand saws, hammers, crowbars)
Large Commercial-grade trash bags
Cheap duffle bags / backpacks

Re:Essentials (2, Informative)

trewornan (608722) | about 9 years ago | (#13681378)

Survival guides tend to prioritze the basic necessities as:
  1. Warmth / Shelter
  2. Clean water
  3. Signalling
  4. Food
Food last because you can survive for a long time without it. But the area is now past the point where basic survival is the problem, rebuilding infrastructure is another matter. What would you put first in a prioritised list of infrastructure? Personally I'd say sewerage then electrical power.

2 Things (1)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | about 9 years ago | (#13681194)

1. Swiss Army Knife (or a Leatherman) 2. Fresnel Lens

Why, what else?!?! (5, Funny)

MightyMait (787428) | about 9 years ago | (#13681198)

All your favorite Linux distros so you can "secure" all the Windows machines you find.

Re:Why, what else?!?! (1)

computerdude33 (890573) | about 9 years ago | (#13681244)

Try securing Keesler AFB. The hospital just got new Dells and they got flooded (Aww...)

Doesn't matter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681202)

It's all going to get stolen by the apes down there.

TWO WORDS. (5, Funny)

eosp (885380) | about 9 years ago | (#13681203)

Duct tape.


Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681262)

and WD40.


Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681308)

and WD40.

and KY jelly. Just in case you get lost on the bayou and some friendly local asks you to squeal like a pig.

take a brick wall, baseball bat (5, Informative)

puzzled (12525) | about 9 years ago | (#13681206)

    You'll need a brick wall to bang your head and a baseball bat might help with federal officials. I volunteered, I rounded up some donated equipment for wireless ISPs who flocked to the area, and they totally got the run around from FEMA. A group of twenty five traveled to Kelly AFB on their own dime to lay in a phone system for evacuees and SBC had done the deed two days before they got there. FEMA coordination indeed!

    If you're doing bricks & mortar stuff you'll probably get a lot further, but the technology relief stuff is just a joke - its going to be total pork barrel for the Haliburton sized companies of the world.

    Good luck!

Re:take a brick wall, baseball bat (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 years ago | (#13681263)

FEMA is being seriously hampered by homeland security.
It seems adding another layer of management didn't help anything, who would have thunk ?

Re:take a brick wall, baseball bat (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | about 9 years ago | (#13681291)

If you believe Wikipedia [] , just about everything project down there will be "pork barrel", as it is localized spending being footed by the entire population.

Furthermore, just because a company is big, it doesn't mean they're bad or inefficient(though often it can be the case). Companies don't grow to that size by being incompetent and performing poorly (although they sometimes do).

Sure, I'm sure smaller firms could do the same job for less, but thats where lobbyists come in.

You reckon? (1)

Goonie (8651) | about 9 years ago | (#13681302)

You obviously haven't come across Telstra [] then.

Slidell? (1)

dr_dank (472072) | about 9 years ago | (#13681210)

Given the deep hate of spam around here, I don't imagine you'll need to bring much to make a stop by Ronnie Scelson's [] house to point and laugh.

The only thing you need... (1)

syndicate0198 (917449) | about 9 years ago | (#13681211) the Bible. Just keep praying and preaching and everything will turn out fine.

Our prayers are with you.

Re:The only thing you need... (3, Insightful)

johnMG (648562) | about 9 years ago | (#13681279)

Don't bring your bibles. These people need real actual help, they don't need folks coming down there with ulterior motives trying to convert them.

It's very typical of christians to seek out folks who're really suffering, and offer them help in a veiled attempt to bring them "into the flock". Not saying that's you, just making a general observation.

Consider bringing stuff you think the youngest children will need. Kids suffering is the worst.

Re:The only thing you need... (5, Insightful)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | about 9 years ago | (#13681328)

Don't bring your bibles. These people need real actual help, they don't need folks coming down there with ulterior motives trying to convert them.

Don't you think maybe there are some folks over there who already are Christians and would like a copy of the bible to replace one that was destroyed?

Why go? Bush has it all covered. (-1, Flamebait)

Elad Alon (835764) | about 9 years ago | (#13681297)

I trust George. Good old George is taking care of things. Don't go there, you'll just get between his legs. God bless George.

Why Is This On Slashdot? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681213)

I feel for people and their mission to bring relief to the hurricane victims, but what does this have to do with slashdot? This is a left-wing geek website for talking about computers, toys, and cries of censorship and conspiracies.

I seriously doubt most people on this forum would have any real clue to answer this question correctly. All your going to get is a bunch of pimply-faced teens who think they know what you should do, but really, they're just talking out of their asses.

Slashdot is not the place to get this question answered. The responses would likely cause further confusion for you. Why don't you talk to the Red Cross, Salvation Army or some other aid organization first?

Re:Why Is This On Slashdot? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681282)

what you mean just like your self? if you had eyes and read the comments people on here have already gone down there. go back to your room of masterbation and self hate you fucking chunky bitch.

Everything you will need for 12 days, plus (4, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about 9 years ago | (#13681214)

Everything you will need for 12 days, plus everything you will be bringing on top of that to help out. This includes food, water, shelter, fuel, a spare tire for the U-Haul, etc..

The very worst thing you could do would be to arrive there and become part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

It might also help if you got an invitation from officialdom, with some idea of where they think they need to put resources first, so that you maximize your value, and have written official sanction to even be in the area you can show to the guards at the blockades.

-- Terry

Re:Everything you will need for 12 days, plus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681313)

Read your post out of the context of this conversation... Sounds like instructions for how to play things cool in a militarialy occupied country.

Personally, I don't think the "efficiency" and "effectiveness" of the Feds is worth trading away our property rights. In the past, people responded to this by having members of the community ban together and fix things. Now we need a federal agency?

Sorry, just venting.

Meh... (2, Funny)

computerdude33 (890573) | about 9 years ago | (#13681225)

I already live here, so please, feel free to bring along a *AHEM50inTVAHEM* so I can watch TV like a king.

(*Disclaimer: I do live in Mississippi [Ocean Springs])

Here's what I'd bring (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681226)

First things that come to mind are some comfortable shoes, and clothes you wouldn't mind getting dirty in.

I'd check out the Red Cross website or something. Or perhaps you could check this [] out, some good ideas there.

Well, since you asked what *I* would bring, I would bring some Lucinda Williams records along with whatever supplies I took. Hew songs extensively canvas the Louisiana spirit, and It would remind me of what a great part of America that really is. Start with "Crescent City" off her self titled album.

Lets see... Hammers, Nails, Chainsaw, good old handsaw, axes some saw horses stuff you dont need electricity for.

Personally I'd bring...

Shelter (canvas tents, large)
Tools (Tarps, gloves, hand saws, hammers, crowbars)
Large Commercial-grade trash bags
Cheap duffle bags / backpacks

oh, and poop bags for my doggy.

smoke grenades... (1)

Sefert (723060) | about 9 years ago | (#13681227)

...and anything else you might need to beat a hasty retreat from the idiots who were choosing to loot and pillage instead of helping people get off roofs. Might Kevlar be useful?

Am I the only one? (0)

Lord Bitman (95493) | about 9 years ago | (#13681229)

Am I the only one who lost all sympathy for katrina victims once people started talking about rebuilding?

This is not a troll, this is a question. Why should anyone support people who want federal aid in order to continue living below sea level?

Re:Am I the only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681254)

If you don't rebuild, there will be nothing for the terrorists to knock down..

Re:Am I the only one? (2, Insightful)

XMyth (266414) | about 9 years ago | (#13681255)

Yes, you probably are the only one. The areas affected in Mississippi (and may of the areas in Louisiana, like Slidell) aren't below sea level. Do you really expect New Orleans (the area below sea level) to not rebuild? That's ridiculous. It's not just hundreds of thousands of people's homes, it's also their work, friends, family, expect EVERYONE to just pack up and leave?

But, to answer your question again, I'm sure you're not the only one actually. There are lots of ignorant people in the world. Especially on Slashdot.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

bob zee (701656) | about 9 years ago | (#13681285)

Yes, there are lots of ignorant people. The ignorant people are the ones that keep rebuilding BELOW SEA LEVEL.

Re:Am I the only one? (2, Insightful)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 9 years ago | (#13681305)

Where I live there is a 200 yr Flood Plain, and you cannot get a building permit to build
in it , and that is that .

In california they are required to build to earthquake standards .

The same should go for all hazardous zones .

Japan is often hit by Typhoons, big ones, and they long ago mandated buidling codes .


Am I the only one-thinking of myself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681319)

"This is not a troll, this is a question. Why should anyone support people who want federal aid in order to continue living..."

a) Below sea level (global warming will help here)

b) Tornado ally (every state in the union's had one)

c) Burning hills, mud slides and earthquakes.*

d) Hurricane lane (Guam included)

e) Mississippi flood plain and branches.

F) Deep freeze northeast (how quickly people forget the 'year of the deep freeze' along the entire east coast)

f) Volcano cook off, Hawaiian style.

And these are just the *natural* disasters.

*and for those of you who think this is just a west coast thing? Just wait till the New Mandrid fault slips.

The "are you a script" word for today is caught "unaware".

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

XeNoSCr (919062) | about 9 years ago | (#13681365)

No, you're not the only one. It seems silly to me to take the money from the government to rebuild something that is most likely going to be destroyed again. Nothing there is going to be insurable. In that sense, it makes none.

Just to be safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681230)

I would bring a lot of beer to drink since I'm sure the water isn't potable.

Oh wait it's a church....purification tablets then. :)

self defense (0, Flamebait)

bob zee (701656) | about 9 years ago | (#13681231)

a gun. that is would good ol' bob zee would bring. a gun.
for defense, of course!
shoot the ATF.
shoot the crackheads.

bob zee has really bad karma. i wonder why...

For moving equipment? (1)

Azarael (896715) | about 9 years ago | (#13681237)

A wheelbarrow might be handy, maybe you could strap it on top of the trailer. It would be handy for moving your gear other stuff around in places where you can't fit a vehicle.

Random Volunteering, aka Getting In The Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681238)

Are you just randomly turning up to volunteer?

If not, contact them NOW and ask them if they need any volunteers, and where you should go to be able to help the most.

But right now the whole area is a big sponge for big business to get money from the government (i.e., your money) to fix the area up. So basically your money goes to big business, and a disaster area gets kinda fixed up.

Maybe you should just plant bombs all along the levee and put the city out of its misery.

don't go (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 years ago | (#13681242)

clearly you do not undertstand what a disaster is like, and have little or no training. Stay away, or send people who know what they are doing.

Your intentins are good, but if you don't have training you will be a hinderance and a liability.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681267)

AMEN! If you have to ask a question like this, on Slashdot of all places, then despite your wonderful intentions you're probably going to be in the way at best, and at worst cause more problems than you'll fix.

The word of the day is: deprive

Re:don't go (2, Insightful)

Azarael (896715) | about 9 years ago | (#13681288)

I disagree, look at who some of the so called experts are anyway. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to clear smaller debris and help people sort out their belongings. Just use common sense, make sure you deal with the people that own any property you're working on and stay far away from any situations you don't feel comfortable with.

Re:don't go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681356)

clearly you do not undertstand X, and have little or no training about X. Stay away, or send people who know about X.

Yes, because this mindset has helped us get where we are now!

gear to build a solar water still. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681245)

You don't know if there will be fresh water there. You may have to make your own. Bring these:

tarps (2)
latex or vinyl tubing

Dig a pit with a raised portion in the center. Line the pit with one of the tarps. Use rocks along hte edges to hold it in place. Put the bucket in the middle, on the raised bit. Run the tubing from the bucket to outside the pit. Add another tarp stretched over the top. Secure with rocks. Put a rock in the center so that it is depressed in a cone shape, with the point over the bucket.

Add water to the area around the bucket (take care that the water level doesn't reach the base of the bucket). Let it sit all day. As the water evaporates (aided by te heat of the sun) it will collect on the upper tarp and drip, via that cone shape into the bucket. You can then get the water through the tube.

Re:gear to build a solar water still. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681309)

Ummmm, won't the water collected in this device have the runoff of the toxic sludge in it? Just curious...

Re:gear to build a solar water still. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681391)

lol what?

A short list from personal experience (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681246)

You will want a few useful things. This is my experience based on working with the feds:

You'll want shelter, either provided to you or taken with you.

You'll want food and something to cook on. A propane camp stove would be perfect. Coleman makes a nice 2 burner stove. Food should be as nonperishable as possible.

Clean clothes and comfy shoes are a must.

If you want power for cell phones, GPS, 2 way radios, etc, I would suggest getting one of those emergency car starters. These are sealed lead acid batteries and usually have about 20Ah in them as well as a 12V plug. Some even have a 110V inverter built in.

Make sure you have some place to sit. Milk crates, camp chairs, whatever. It will make a difference. Trust me.

Purell or other water-less hand sanitizers. These are a life saver.

Bring your own water, as water there is likely to be contaiminated.

Minimal set of cook ware for cooking. Think stuff you NEED (pots, pans) and think light!

Don't forget extra batteries. This has screwed me over so many times.

Aside from all that, anything that is needed for you to actually do your job!

SKTFM knows best... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681248) []

Good series on basic urban survival, but the man has more stuff to add to it in a few months time as it goes on. Season one is done.

Personally; A pair of kevlar renforced combat boots with the care kit (hitech magnums are good), a water filteration system (bottle type), a camel back, webbing, multitool, a sizeable and very thick hunting knife (6 inches long, 3 inches serrated, and it needs to be 1/4th an inch thick, steel) with care kit, a tent, a shortwave radio, a laptop with wifi, 2 batteries, and a library of software on a CD spindle, a good backpack, a good bag, a tent (he shows you how to build and pack one in the series) with sleeping bag, $1000 cash, a good powerful LED flashlight and a good refillable lighter, 2 changes of military clothing, a collapsable bucket, kevlar reinforced gloves, and if they'd let me, a 9mm handgun with space for 3 clips on the ebbing and a flare gun. The most important part of all of that, however, is a good hatchet for breaking down doors and the like if you need to although at this point I'd figure what you're probably going to be doing is dropping off water and food, cooking, putting up temporary shelters, those kinds of things.

Don't forget the handyman's secret weapon! (1)

saskboy (600063) | about 9 years ago | (#13681249)

If Red Green [] taught you anything, it's that you need to take Duct Tape with you EVERYWHERE you go, especially if you'll be fixing things.

A good flashlight and a multitool (1)

Compulawyer (318018) | about 9 years ago | (#13681264)


Flashlight: A small LED Light. This one [] fits in the palm of your hand and comes with 5 extra batteries.

Multitool: One of these [] should do nicely.

Re:A good flashlight and a multitool (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | about 9 years ago | (#13681296)

Here's this for a weird hobby... I collect LED flashlights... A company called Coast has a bunch of great lights, all fairly expensive considering the tech. They're much brighter and better than traditional lights. Great suggestion.

Adams said it best (5, Funny)

Valarauk (670014) | about 9 years ago | (#13681265)

A towel is about the most massively useful thing your going to be able to bring.


Water (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681266)

Water Filtration kits.

and lots.

Among other things I'd bring: (1)

Work Account (900793) | about 9 years ago | (#13681275)

- jumper cables
- 4000 lb come along winch
- road flares
- fuel siphon
- 5 gallon jerry can
- XM radio
- Garmin GPS
- detailed area maps
- ice scraper
- collapsable Glock e-tool/shovel
- full spare

Re:Among other things I'd bring: (1)

Progman2000 (626305) | about 9 years ago | (#13681322)

Don't forget a bunch of spare batteries for the GPS and radio, plus one or two extra truck batteries (you never know...), and a Glock 21 with ammo.

I'll be the dumb one and ask... (1)

SkippyTPE (318952) | about 9 years ago | (#13681363)

why bring an ice scraper to a place that hasn't seen snow in years?

Bring what you need to sustain yourself... (2, Informative)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 9 years ago | (#13681281)

because your labour is going to be your most valuable contribution. It's easy to give money and materiel, but they need "boots on the ground" to physically help with clearing out the damage and to rebuild. I wish you luck and God speed on a noble effort. Regards,

Why not just have FAITH ???? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681293)

Are you saying GOD isn't doing a good job ????

Hmm (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | about 9 years ago | (#13681300)

You really should be asking the people setting up the trip this question. They should have a good idea what's there. Some things I can think of are batteries, weapons, two-way radios, shortwave receivers, food (maybe some MREs), water, trash bags, maybe a bunch of cheap cell phones to hand out (you can get these at Goodwill or some thrift store), medical equipment, flashlights, a laptop, a satellite dish, some wireless routers, a bunch of copies of the bible, a copy of Linux, and a copy of Wikipedia.

Cash (1)

churchie (665573) | about 9 years ago | (#13681304)

I'm going to be in Pass Christian, MS tomorrow night doing the same thing with my church.

Here's what I'm bringing:
A small day pack.
Self-inflating camping mattress
Work Gloves
An axe
A flashlight
Towel, and other personal items
Cash for meals for the trip down and back
MREs for while I'm there
Old jeans, old tennis shoes, and that Slashdot t-shirt I never wear anymore
A few cases of bottled water, for myself and to give to others
A lighter
A few decks of cards
A Bible

Of course, when I get there, I'll remember what I forgot to bring. Right now, churches need cash the most, and lots of it.

Just bring what you folks bring... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681307)

A bible and a dedication to saving souls instead of bodies. When the suffering are dead, they won't need 'em anyways. Hell, why bother going down there at all? Just pray for them from your safe little church, and called down curses on the ungodly folks that brought this on themselves. Why don't you leave the helping hands to people worried about folks on Earth?

DEET! (1)

YodaToo (776221) | about 9 years ago | (#13681310)

You also need some mosquito repellent with the highest concentration of deet you can find. We're in west-nile land down here my friend.

Stay home, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681311)

Not knowing what we'll be faced with, and having somewhat limited room for supplies, tools and equipment (probably a U-haul trailer), what would you bring on a journey such as this?

Stay home, for god's sake. "Not know what we'll be faced with"? Are you completely daft? Not knowing what you're going to be faced with indicates, as well, that you have no idea what you're going to do there. Oh, you're going to 'provide aid', the sort of vacuous non-thing that just gets you in the way. "Limited room for supplies?" It doesn't even sound like you have enough room for supplies for yourselves, let alone anybody you might think you wish to aid.


A topo map (1)

VonSkippy (892467) | about 9 years ago | (#13681312)

Bring a topo map and show those morons where high ground is.

Consult with someone who has been there (1)

lolits (691186) | about 9 years ago | (#13681315)

Don't know your politics, and it actually doesn't matter, except don't be put off by the place the following info comes from. There is a woman who posted about her experiences in Slidell and Bogalusa here [] at DailyKos. She spent quite a while there, has many contacts, and has given advice to others about what's needed. I feel sure she would answer if you tried to contact her, and that her advice would be very relevant.

Off the top of my head (2, Informative)

deadline (14171) | about 9 years ago | (#13681316)

Of the top of my head if I were going a damp place to work where the infrastructure was unknown:
  1. Get a tetanus shot
  2. Bring a good water filtration kit (the kind you take camping)
  3. toilet paper
  4. A good first aid kit with plenty of antibiotic cream
  5. sunscreen
  6. itch/rash cream
  7. mole skin for blisters
  8. bug repellent
  9. Pepto-Bismol (in case you eat or drink the wrong thing)
  10. duct tape, plastic tarps, and rope
  11. coffee (if you drink it)
  12. obvious things like cloths, tools, tents, food

First thing in my bag: (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | about 9 years ago | (#13681320)

A shotgun. 2nd thing: 10 cases of shells.

Start by figuring out what your are going for (3, Insightful)

originalhack (142366) | about 9 years ago | (#13681324)

Amazingly enough, the purpose of your visit impacts what you need to bring quite a bit. I doubt they need random people turning up. There are certainly plenty of people whose regular jobs have disappeared for a while. Figure out why you are going, then confirm that it really needed, then pack accordingly fro a combination of your mission's needs and FULL self-sufficiency.

Speaking from experience bring GAS! (1)

Juise (565567) | about 9 years ago | (#13681330)

Having just been down to MS after Katrina hit to help out family and friends, make sure you have enough gas to make it from Jackson to your destination and back! Things may be a little better or possibly a little worse now. But as soon as I hit Jackson gas became very scarce. Clean drinking water was also very hard to find.

I wish you best of luck,
GOD bless.

Remington 870 (1)

Private Taco (808864) | about 9 years ago | (#13681337)

The 12 gauge model, cut down to 18 inches.

Don't evangelize to people you help (1)

Fen14 (917322) | about 9 years ago | (#13681342)

Most people here are Universists/atheists, including me. Mentioning it is with a church is a mistake, at least here.

Essentials (1)

bbrack (842686) | about 9 years ago | (#13681343)

For the residents:
Shoes, clothes, books, tools - should be enough to get you started

For you:
Here's a short list of what I'd consider essential for demolition and cleanup work (I did this kind of work for ~5 years, but don't assume that this is comprehensive)
Comfortable clothes that you don't mind being ruined, large selection of tools (at a minimum, I'd recommend hammers (30oz framing hammer), drill, circular saw, chainsaw, reciprocating saw with lots of exta blades, wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes (not a leaf rake, the more sturdy kind), sledgehammers, crowbar, prybar, pitchfork, good pair of work gloves, large trash bags, cooler/thermos for water and face masks (surgical kind - good for keeping dust off)
Past the basics, I'd recommend a generator (only if there is no power), air compressor, nail gun, jackhammer, and any other heavy demolition/cleanup type equipment you can get together

Even though this is slashdot, I'd probably recommend against taking any tech gadgets with the desire to any work with them

I'd also make sure that officials know you are coming and can direct you to areas where you can assist in the cleanup

Don't bring anything. Moral support is mailable. (1)

Cutriss (262920) | about 9 years ago | (#13681348)

You're in Nebraska. It'll take you a day or better to get down to the coast. Presumably you're going in a caravan. IE - multiple vehicles. Plus you're towing a trailer. Lots of gas. *Lots*.

Save that money and send it to a foundation or fund that's already working in that capacity. You're only going to get in the way. It's not like there's a great need for people to come down and fix homes or help with cleanup. The people in Pass Christian and Hancock County lost *everything*. Not just their homes, but their jobs and their ways of life. Getting them up and running is going to take more than a hammer and some nails.

If you *really* want to help, buy some trailers and have them delivered to random people on the coast. My family lives in Waveland and are in need of at least three trailers. FEMA won't give them the time of day, and meanwhile, the wealthier people on the beach got their trailers from FEMA in relatively short order.

A plunger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681353)

Enough said.

As a resident of South Mississippi... (1)

Khaed (544779) | about 9 years ago | (#13681357)

Bring people who can swing a hammer. Hammers, nails, two-by-fours, roofing shingles -- food and water seem to be in hand, there are stores open and people still giving away free food. Housing is really the major problem at this point.

However, that's not to say water wouldn't help. Gallon jugs are cheaper, so I'd go for those and some sort of sealable containers people can take with them, like to build. (Bottled water is insanely high priced.) As for food, I'd suggest things that don't need refrigeration, but this may be obvious. ;) If you bring canned food, bring non-electric canopeners. Pet food is apparently a big deal, too.

Canvas tents would be good. Water purifying tablets. Duct tape was suggested and may be a good idea. Batteries, for people to power radios with. Many areas have no phone/power/net even now. If space allows, small fans that can be plugged into generators -- the heat is just awful.

condoms. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681359)

bring a truckload of condoms to keep those morons from breeding.

If you want to do something good (1)

cyclop (780354) | about 9 years ago | (#13681360)

Push your bloody rich government to help and take care of these people -it's their duty to do it, AFAIK- and be a volunteer in some third world country that really needs volunteer people.

Don't Ask Us, Ask Your Sponsor! (1)

Skjellifetti (561341) | about 9 years ago | (#13681366)

Your group should already have made contact with another church in the area and asked them for sponsorship and a project that your group could contribute toward. The sponsoring church and project will dictate what you need to bring. If you did not do that already and expect to just jump in a truck with a vague plan to offer your help, then you are fools who are not needed in the area. Stay home. In any case, this was a really, really dumb question to be asking slashdot.

But if you decide to go anyway, bring a pair of heavy duty work boots, gloves, and a hard hat. The area is a disaster site that will soon be on its way to being one BFC (Big F'ing Construction) site. It won't be a playground.

I'd bring (1)

DaveCar (189300) | about 9 years ago | (#13681370)

The Army. With fricking lasers.

Oh wait, they're all in Iraq. Never mind.

Er, a good book?

A sure way to go to hell.... (1)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | about 9 years ago | (#13681373) to arrange for your church's website to be slashdotted.

After having been down there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681375)

Take a bright personality and a sense of humor. Also, be sure above anything to coordinate with federal and local officials to whereever you are going. Don't plan on saying in any buildings near the disaster area. I had to commute almost 300 miles a day just to get to my worksite. All hotels in the area are likely to be booked by FEMA or evacuees so get reservations ahead of time. And probably most importantly. Make sure you actually have a goal for going down there instead of just "10 or so people going to deliver supplies" because you only need 2 people tops to deliver supplies. And who are you going to give them to? Do you have any contacts in the area? Cellphones? Also be advised that electrical companies are the ones clearing brush but if you start touching peoples private property without permission you may get a bullet in the head. It's happened a lot. These people have lost everything, especially their tolerance for other people.

Church's chicken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13681376)

I hope you're talking about Church's Chicken, cause all other church's suck balls.

Geek fantasy (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | about 9 years ago | (#13681388)

Having done some cleanup work after Andrew...nah, that was completely different...

To all those folks having Mad Max and Postman and Tank Girl apocalyptic delusions, beware. Louisiana is hot and humid. It's not, as a bunch of posters seem to think, going to be a camping trip. It won't be some Fallout II New Reno environment with ammo and hidden loot in destroyed buildings. Supplies that are useful on a camping trip may not be quite as useful in a flooded city.

Bring a towel.

No seriously. Bring those moist towels (e.g., baby wipes), bring gloves, sturdy shoes, lots of clean socks, clean underwear, talcum powder, antiseptic, bleach, toilet paper, soap, sunblock.

Bring a towel. They can be moistened and placed on your head. This really helps to keep cool. No kidding.

Bring some hard candies, breath mints, antiseptic (iodine is good).

Disposable cameras, latex gloves, breathing mask and antiseptic.

Bring some sort of anti-histamine and allergy medication, ibuprofen, and antiseptic.

GPS? Walkie talkies for the group.


I'd take a bottle or 2 of antibiotics. (1)

sm00f (819489) | about 9 years ago | (#13681392)

I'd take a bottle of antibiotics with me, if you go to any of the previously flooded areas its crawling with nasty stuff.
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