Just an idea. Why doesn't someone create a database of homes, hotels/motels, churches, schools with rooms available to house the victims of Katrina for a month or two? Ordinarily "government" would do this kind of thing, but - um, pro'ly not now since it's in complete chaos. What about a website coordinated by some aid organization instructing people to go online, register your name, location, what kind of housing you can offer, length of time, etc. Then other aid organizations like the Red Cross, church charities, whoever, would guarantee financial or some other kind of support (clothing, transportation, employment, school, etc.) to each person/family relocated. The transportation industry (airlines, buses, trains, even taxi/limo services) would have to step up to get people to their new locations.
I know this is fraught with pitfalls, but smart people can work those out. I have heard so many people say "I have an extra room or two and would be glad to take in a family or an old person for a month or two."
And if not for Katrina - it seems to me that Homeland (In)Security should start building this kind of volunteer database right away so that during the next disaster - natural or manmade - people can be quickly and comfortably relocated. Just a thought. Shoot it down, if you must . . .
OK - seems the idea does have legs, thanks to MoveOn.org. Here's their website for Hurricane Housing.org. If you've got a spare room or have access to someplace that can house folks, do what you can!