Second Line RescueImprovised Responses to Katrina and Rita

Second Line RescueImprovised Responses to Katrina and Rita

Barry Jean Ancelet, Marcia Gaudet, and Carl Lindahl

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781617037962

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

This book chronicles the brave and creative acts through which Gulf Coast people rescued their neighbors during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Ordinary citizens joined in with whatever resources they had. Unlike many of the official responders, vernacular rescuers found ways around paralysis produced by a breakdown in communications and infrastructure, and were able to dispel unfounded fears produced by erroneous or questionable reporting. The essays, personal narratives, media reports, and field studies presented here all have to do with effective and often ingenious answers that emerged from the people themselves. Their solutions are remarkably different from the hamstrung government response, and their perspectives are a tonic to sensationalized media coverage. The first part of the collection deals with Gulf Coast rescuers from outside stricken communities: those who, safe in their own homes and neighborhoods, marshaled their resources to help their fellow citizens. It includes some analysis and scholarly approaches, but also includes direct responses and first-hand field reports. The second part features the words of hurricane survivors displaced from New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities to Houston, Texas. In many cases, the “victims” themselves were the first responders, rescuing family, friends, and strangers. All of the stories reveal a shared history of close-knit community bonds and survival skills sharpened by hard times. The book is about what went right in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita—in spite of all that went so wrong.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Vernacular Responders

Storm Stories

Barry Jean Ancelet

My Hurricane Story

Robert LeBlanc

Dear Lynda

François Ancelet

An Interview with Glen Miguez

Glen Miguez, and Barry Jean Ancelet

Hurricane Gumbo

Mike Davis, and Anthony Fontenot

Government Gives Tradition the Go-Ahead

Jocelyn H. Donlon, and Jon G. Donlon

Images from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Dave Spizale, Barry Jean Ancelet, Mary Perrin, Sharon Suire, and Rebecca Broussard

Part 2 Vernacular Self-Rescue

Transforming Endurance

Carl Lindahl

Survivor to Survivor

Carl Lindahl

A New Orleans Life

Shari L. Smothers

Bridges of Katrina

Nicole Eugene

Josef Brown

Josef Brown

Chantell Jones

Chantell Jones

Angela Trahan

Angela Trahan

Sidney Harris

Sidney Harris

Vincent Trotter

Vincent Trotter

Glenda Jones Stevenson Harris

Glenda Jones Stevenson Harris

Charles A. Darensbourg

Charles A. Darensbourg

Epilogue

Carl Lindahl