Yahoo comes through and so does Oprah
Hope is alive and well at the Houston Astrodome and Reliant Stadium. Hundreds and hundreds of Houstonians are volunteering for the huge task of providing hospitality, food, medical attention to our guests.
We received good news today that Yahoo is programming its Hurricane survivor site to search for the various data bases, not just its own. This is great…congratulations, Yahoo for using technology to imrpove efforts of locating missing family. Now we need CNN to not merely ask people to e-mail CNN, but rather ask the viewers to list their needs on the Red Cross site.
Oprah Winfrey came to our little tech room at the Astrodome in the early afternoon and had her cameras shooting her as she observed how we were helping people find loved ones through the Internet databases. She spoke with some of the families there……two cameras rolling, 3 producers surrounding and leading, 2 shotgun mikes, and all this with surprisingly minimal hassle. (You can tell they’ve done this before) Everyone in the room was very happy to see her. I think that she is capable of raisiing a lot of money, so hurrah! I guess her visit will be on the air tomorrow.
Oprah heard applause in the room surrounding a lady who, as it happened, had just located her son through our efforts. Oprah walked to the lady, held her arm and began to position the lady so that she could be on camera to be interviewed. The lady held back tears from her eyes, politely turned away from Oprah and then just slowly, tearfully, walked away from Oprah and towards the volunteers.
I was able to locate only two family members today. Really depresing. I don’t want to think the worse.
So here are two more good things. First, our mayor is not backing down from having commandeered the Houston Convention Center to house those who could not fit into the Astrodome and Reliant Stadium. He told the conventioners who were scheduled to use it, “sorry, this comes first.” He told those scheduled to use it that he would fight any legal suit they might bring against the city for breach of contract. I can’t imagine anyone suing.
Second, planners have set a deadline of two weeks to get everyone out of the Astrodome and housed somewhere. Great goal and something we can all work for. Let’s get it done. If you have any possibilities for housing or work, get in touch with the Red Cross.