I was just reading an email note from Pat Sabiston, executive director of the Publishers Association of the South. While I'd been hearing a few notes about Katrina, I hadn't begun to understand the impact it was having.
Rob Schauffler of Forest Sales & Distributing was still in the New Orleans area with a car that would not start. He and his wife were going to hide out in their attic from the armed gangs roaming the area. That's scary.
Several bookstores will have no inventory other than soaked and muddy volumes.
It could take two years or more for New Orleans to recover from the devastation of the flood. A million people are refugees. Many may no longer have houses they can come home to. Basic services will takes months or more to restore.
If you'd like to donate, contribute to your local or national Red Cross (800-HELP-NOW) or Salvation Army (800-SAL-ARMY). They can pass the money and help on to those who need it.
A number of publishers and other members of the publishing community have offered use of their offices or second homes to Southeast publishers who need a temporary place to operate their business. National Book Network has also offered to handle distribution or fulfillment for companies that need help.
If you'd like to offer any additional help, contact Pat Sabiston via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.