If you're not already reading Hannah Meehan's food weblog, Hannah Cooks, you should be. But if you know anything about where her New Orleans-based uncle David Meehan is, please let her know on NOLA.com's Missing Persons entry.
On a related note: as you are all aware, I am a big zoo booster, and as Hurrricane Katrina unfolded, I was trying to see what was going to happen to the animals at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Happily, the Oceanium dolphins rode out the hurricane in hotel pools (photos here: here, here, here, here and here). Today, they were moved to the Gulfarium in Gainesville, FL. ("Dolphins Moved From Hotel Swimming Pool to Panhandle Marine Park," Gainesville Sun, Aug 31, 05). Unhappily, it's probably a permanent move: the Oceanarium was destroyed. ("Lordstown Grad Helps Save Dolphins," Tribune-Chronicle, Aug 30, 05)
And it looks like the Houston Zoo is going to be helping the Audubon Zoo if need be; I couldn't find a more recent cite confirming any zoo rescue teams. ("Houston's Raining Cats and Dogs in Katrina's Wake," Houston Chronicle, Aug 30, 05). Although Aug 30 stories had the zoo mostly unscathed, there's nothing reporting how it's faring in the flooding. ("City Is Damaged, Damp -- And Lucky," Baltimore Sun, Aug 30, 05).
So: although there's no diminishing Hurricane Katrina's impact on humans, let's not forget that other species got hit too. And if you're in a donating mood, the Houston Zoo could use your support. They're also offering free admission to anyone displaced by Hurricane Katrina, which is pretty solid. And although Florida's Gulfarium -- which was also hit by Katrina, for its second weather whammy in two years -- doesn't take donations, locals can always volunteer.
And if you really want to be optimistic, donate to the Audubon Zoo. I have faith that New Orleans will be habitable again; give the residents a zoo, to help them return to daily, civilized life.