|2008: One of the homes in New Orleans. The marks mean the date of search (top), the people who searched (left), number of people found (bottom), and any dangers present in the home (right)
Three years ago, I visited New Orleans for a conference and went for a run east of the French Quarter. I do not think I made it into the true 9th Ward, but I certainly got far enough to see some of the destruction left after Hurricane Katrina and the floods. I was sad to see that even after three years, block after block of homes were still abandoned, many emblazoned with the marks above from the search and rescue after the flood.
I returned to this area in April 2011 when I was in town for the American College of Cardiology and I have to say it felt like things were at least improved from 2008. The area is still very poor but more homes now appeared occupied and renovated, or at least freshly painted. With as many disasters as there are in the world, we cannot contribute to them all, but if you feel so inclined, Save NOLA is one of many campaigns with the goal of helping to rebuild the city.