I grew up in earthquake country (the Bay Area) and live in the hurricane zone so the disaster in Haiti punches my empathy buttons. Unlike those folks, I've been lucky. The worst thing that ever happened to me earthquake wise was a stack of books landing on my bed in my parents house when I was a surly teenager. (Getting hit in the head with a copy of Catch-22 did nothing to improve my disposition.) I was among the lucky in New Orleans too but was exiled from my home and city for weeks. I've made a modest donation and I hope that our readers will click on some of the links posted by Athenae yesterday or use the Google to find other ways to help.
Seeing the film of the collapsed buildings in Port au Prince, of course, reminded me of the post-Katrina devastation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As First Draft readers know, most of the damage in New Orleans was from the Federal Flood but places in Mississippi such as Waveland and Bay St. Louis were leveled by the storm. And whenever I think of that disaster and the flooded streets of Gentilly, the Lower Ninth Ward, Lakeview and Mid-City in New Orleans, I get Bruce Springsteen's My City Of Ruins in my head. It was written for his post 9/11 masterpiece The Rising but as with the best of Bruce's work, it's universal. It's Sam Cooke meets The Band meets the E Street Band.
I'd like to dedicate My City Of Ruins to the people of the epicenter of the earthquake, Port au Prince. Come on, rise up: