I know it's hard for certain folks out there to resist harping at the President, and pointing fingers at the state and local officials for how they're handling things, and picking out every minute issue involved here, but for once I wished they'd put those fine minds to figuring out how to actually do something for the people affected by this disaster.
Like posting some simple, practical ways we can help our neighbors, our states and our country recover: Jon Hansen's put up a list of disaster charity phone numbers, and Alison Kent's got a fund raising drive rolling to help writer Larissa Ione (info also over at Stephanie Tyler's blog.)
I'm contributing to Larissa's drive, and I'm going to get together with my quilt conservators group and see if we can make some signature quilts and auction them off to benefit the Red Cross. Our mothers and grandmothers did the same thing during the wars to raise money for the RC.
Unhappy news: My cousin in the Carolinas reported that she was forced to pay $6.60 per gallon for gas today. We're pretty sure she got gouged, but with the way prices are skyrocketing, we may all be paying that before things level out.
Keeping this in mind, tonight at the dinner table we talked about making some immediate, serious changes in our household fuel consumption. It's not the price we're worried about as much as the supply. Last year during our season in hurricane hell, our gas stations ran dry several times, once for two weeks straight. I think it's also a way to respond to this disaster directly -- if we could all cut back a little, we wouldn't need so much fuel.
Our electric bill averages about $90 a month, and we're going to try to knock it down to $75 or lower by keeping lights off, adjusting our water heater and A/C, and limiting our appliance usage. I'm also checking out sites like Conserving Electricity to see where else we can save energy.
We're very lucky in that my guy's company pays the bill for his work vehicle and the gasoline he uses to travel all over the region, but he's still going to plan out his trips so he takes the most direct route. I'll drive only our compact car, which gets twice the gas mileage of our truck, and see if my neighbors want to carpool on school and grocery store trips. No more leisurely drives down to the lake for me, and if I can't take care of three essential errands in one trip, I'll wait to go until I can. If you're interested in keeping your consumption down, check out these tips on How to Conserve Gas.
Anyone out there have any other positive tips, ideas, or know of any worthy fund raisers?