Friday, August 04, 2006

The Raid - Part 1 Preparation


After if became apparent it would be a while before we could return to New Orleans we, like everyone else, began to try to contact people, in our case family was easy. I have no family in New Orleans. Her family is largely centered in New Orleans, with a lot of them on the Mississippi coast. Fortunately we were able to locate pretty much everyone right away. We were lucky, everyone knew where we were going, Atlanta. We have had an office there for a decade as well as a permanent place to stay.

We immediately decided to temporarily reconstitute our office in Atlanta, until we could decide when to return. Like everyone else we were searching for information. It was hard to come by, for one thing our primary mail server was in New Orleans. We were blind and so were most of our customers and friends, especially if they were still in New Orleans.

We decided it was necessary to recover some important things from our from our office in the CBD. We weren't sure we could get back into town or what we would find when we got there. She is very active in many professional and industry organizations. One in particular was very helpful. They immediately put up a list server with the email addresses of all of the New Orleans chapter members. Using the Internet to gather information and contact with a few people in New Orleans was extremely valuable for connecting with people, a few of whom had been or were in New Orleans. We used Google earth and a couple blogs like interdictor.
A picture began to emerge. It was both worse and better than the new reports. The CBD was not under water and there were roads into the city, we knew people who had traveled from Jefferson to Magazine Street and back. We decided to give it a try. We rented an SUV for its greater cargo capacity and ground clearance. We decided to stage our trip from Jackson and to make a day trip. Since the only road in seemed to be US Highway 51 through Manchac and then River Road or possibly Airline Highway.

We needed help She and I couldn't carry everything we needed plus we thought someone had to stay with the SVU. We enlisted one of our guys. He was in New York. The plan was to fly him to Atlanta and leave for Jackson from the airport.

The day before He was scheduled to arrive we picked up the SUV, a silver Chevy Tahoe. We packed the Tahoe with all manner of stuff, including cases of bottled water, a cooler with cold cuts, canned drinks and a few beers for the trip home.

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