We here at Craigorina Chant do not believe in a passive approach to the world. So nature just kicked your ass. Got to do something about it. We work the problem. On the immediate help side please check out this list of charities to help with the aftermath. Lend a hand.
Now I know people say that "Everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it." But public policy really can do something about hurricanes and the damage they cause. Case in point: this Chis Mooney article from May that outlined the steps that could have been taken to prevent what just happened to New Orleans.
Second, think twice about where we are rebuilding. Does it really make sense to build stuff right in the same place where the next hurricane is coming? Do we want to spring for rebuilding $$$ every three years? The very last class I took in my Master's program was disaster planning for cities and the short version of that class was Don't build where the disaster is going to strike. For the longer version you either have to do the program or hire me as your consultant.
Finally, we have to think about global warming. Will global warming fuel more Katrinas? Time has a mixed report:
So is global warming making the problem worse? Superficially, the numbers say yes, or at least they seem to if you live in the U.S. From 1995 to 1999, a record 33 hurricanes struck the Atlantic basin, and that doesn't include 1992's horrific Hurricane Andrew, which clawed its way across south Florida in 1992, causing $27 billion dollars worth of damage. More-frequent hurricanes are part of most global warming models, and as mean temperatures rise worldwide, it's hard not to make a connection between the two. But hurricane-scale storms occur all over the world, and in some places including the North Indian ocean and the region near AustraliaÂthe number has actually fallen. Even in the U.S., the period from 1991 to 1994 was a time of record hurricane quietude, with the dramatic exception of Andrew.
The important thing to keep in mind is that we have a real impact on what happens. We are not helpless in the face of nature or unable to affect the world. So we need to talk about what we are going to do.