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Gustav and Katrina's online echoes

I've seen a few people try out loud to remember who that guy was during Katrina who live streamed from downtown New Orleans, powered by a generator and defying calls for evacuation. The specifics are a little hazy in my memory but I'm pretty sure that was the Interdictor - and the live stream is back. Watching it now, it's basically two guys drinking and goofing around, occasionally remarking on changes in weather conditions. I think the idea is that we'll eventually start to see things get hairy. One of the guys, Greg Ledet is also updating a blog.

Speaking of remembering back to Katrina blogging, I was poking through the Clicked archives from then to see who else from those days might be blogging Gustav. GulfSails is sticking it out again. Eric Berger's SciGuy blog is storm tracking again with an eye for the folks in Houston.

And while I'm mentioning looking through the Katrina blogging greats, there was one single photoblog that stood out in my mind beyond the others: Operation Eden. I had to dig a while to find it in my post from September 28 but I'm glad I did because it lives up to my memory of it and frankly you'd be well advised to start with his September 2005 archive page and work your way through. The photographer is Clayton James Cubitt, and while his Operation Eden blog is pretty much idle (with the only recent new item being an anniversary post the other day), his Tumblr blog is rich with Gustav info and Twitter stream is rife with links and personal insights. Not as visually arresting as his photoblog but powerful in its immediacy none-the-less. NOTE: You may see other Cubitt links in his bio or elsewhere. Be aware that many of his professional and artistic photos are sexual in nature, or may contain some nudity. If you're a grown-up and can handle these things, his work is a valuable lesson in light and perspective.

During Katrina, so many people were displaced so quickly that finding anyone after the storm passed was sheer chaos. News sites, msnbc.com included, set up massive databases where people to log in and report there whereabouts or else post names of people they were looking for. I can tell you from experience it was a pain to police for bogus entries (if I had a nickel for every time I deleted George w. Bush from the missing persons list...) but so heavily trafficked that I'm confident it was a valuable resource to some people. So it's nice to see FEMA setting up an official such system on their own this time around, called the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System.

The New Orleans Metblogs page has some reporting from hold-outs. It's funny to see how many media people are doing essentially the same thing I'm doing to score bookings for various talk shows:

"I'll be doing Q-and-As this evening and early tomorrow morning with BBC-Ireland and with an Australian network (thanks Joe). I was also interviewed today by the Miami Herald and by Warren Levinson of the AP. Ari Shapiro of NPR also ate here (twice!) today."

Rick Sanchez over at CNN is feeling no shame about booking straight from his Twitter stream (nor should he feel any shame, that's the point of the thing.)

That link to Sanchez is him pitching to The Oil Drum blog, which is doing a fascinating job monitoring damage projections of the oil facilities in the Gulf. I imagine that'll transition to actual damage assessments once the storm passes.

First band of Gustav arrives in New Orleans and wow that is a really literal band.

Here's something I always thought we'd see more of. It's a link to a Yahoo Pipes page that is aggregating all of the Craigslist feeds for Gustav housing and support. I haven't mentioned Pipes in a while but it's a really great way to build little Web apps if you don't have the time or ability to code it yourself.

BlogOfNewOrleans.com currently has a lot of accounts of evacuation gone wrong but there's at least one contributor still in New Orleans so it'll be good to check back with the new day's light to see how things look.

Weather Underground has this pretty wicked map.

Gustav resources online

"Blackwater is compiling a list of qualified security personnel for possible deployment into areas affected by Hurricane Gustav. Applicants must meet all items listed under the respective Officer posting and be US citizens. Contract length is TBD."

(via this entry on the military/security support for the Gulf region)

I was trying to watch local video for a while but since I'm also surfing around I can't really watch so I switched to WWL radio which was listed as "news/talk" on this big list of New Orleans radio stations. (Note the lightning bolts mean they have online streams.)

Last one to leave, take the entire company with you:

Today, all of the company's approximately 50 PCs and servers are backed up to a main server, which is then backed up to a 1TB USB-connected drive that goes out the door with the last employee who is evacuating in the event of an emergency, he said. That employee also takes an "emergency box" that includes additional DVD backups.

Here's an amazing collection of Gustav tracking maps. Somewhere out there, someone whose job it is to design these just fell off his chair into a puddle of his own drool at the sight of such a thorough review.

On my "to read" list:

Tangentially related, world-famous street artists Banksy recently visited New Orleans for the Katrina anniversary. Via this blog with its fascinating little story about the graffiti scene there. Meanwhile, Banksy is moving across the south I guess because it looks like he hit Birmingham, Alabama as well.