We don’t experience hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes.

We can count ourselves safe from the extremes of weather that television brings into our homes from around the world. We may experience cold, ice, high winds, but the disasters that reach out and touch others across the world, we are immune to. We can count our blessings for where we live.
Canadians are also being affected by Hurricane Katrina with the rising cost of gasoline. The reconstruction that will take place in the next two years across the three states should be good news for northwestern Ontario. Most homes that are now underwater will be leveled and rebuilt and many of those building components may well come from mills in our area.
The past two years, storms have inflicted horrendous damage to both Florida and now the gulf coastline stretching from Florida clean across the state of Louisiana and up through the Mississippi Valley. It’s an area that many Canadians migrate to every winter.
We could only sit by and watch as the exodus of vehicles and a half-million residents poured north and west out of New Orleans Sunday, trying to make their way clear of the coming hurricane. People understood how dangerous the hurricane could be.
Tuesday following the hurricane, we learned that the emergency officials had acted correctly in the call for evacuation. And the residents who heeded their advice were the safer for having done so.
Those residents may have been safe from immediate harm, but most will return and discover that many of their possessions will have disappeared to the storm. Some will discover that they have no home to return to. They may also discover that jobs will have disappeared as well, as industries and businesses struggle to rebuild.
The damage continued to rise on Tuesday with two of the levees that protect New Orleans failing and flooding the city. By noon on Tuesday, 80% of the city was under water. Late Tuesday, to protect the citizens of New Orleans, a total evacuation was being ordered. Across the three states of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama over 2 million customers were without power.
Aid and support will be required by the millions of residents of those southern states who welcome Canadians into their communities each winter. Feed the Children Fund, the American Red Cross and many other volunteer organizations are reaching out for assistance to begin putting hurricane victims lives back together. We showed our generosity to the tsunami victims. We can be generous to our American friends.
We remain safe in our part of the world and that safety allows us to be generous with help.

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