Like citizens everywhere, we at The American Phytopathological Society (APS) have watched with great sadness and empathy the destruction that Hurricane Katrina has brought to people, property, and the environment in the Gulf Coast. APS has nearly two dozen members in the immediately affected area and more than 120 in the Gulf States. We know that most are safe but all are facing major disruptions in their lives.
In an effort to support those who have been most affected, APS is providing one year of complimentary membership to all of our current and lapsed members in the directly affected area. (This is an extension of our already existing hardship policy for members.) Additionally, these members will have free access to one year of the online journals Phytopathology, Plant Disease, MPMI, and the Plant Management Network. We hope this will help our colleagues get back on their "professional feet" and increase their access to networking with their peers, which will be critical for their recovery process. Additionally, if members have damaged publication collections covered by insurance they can contact APS PRESS for itemized replacement costs that they may then provide to their insurer. APS staff member Michelle Bjerkness will be serving as the contact for all APS activities in this regard. Please contact Michelle (+1.651.994.3853 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or are in need of additional service.
Beyond these efforts, we encourage all APS members who can to make donations to the American Red Cross or to other charities of their choice to continue to support the recovery efforts. A research-specific resource for those interested in offering assistance such as lab space, graduate student support, or postdoctoral facilities as well as for those who need assistance is ResCross, which acts as an emergency internet hub for research support. Visit www.rescross.net for details.
For the general public, our colleagues in the Delta region have done an excellent job of putting together resources for assistance specific to restoration and recovery. Here are some examples of sites that are now available:
• The Louisiana State University Ag Center features a Storm Recovery Guide for Homeowners as well as how-to information on cleaning flood damaged homes, avoiding mold hazards, and more.
• Extension Disaster Education Network links Extension educators from across the U.S. and various disciplines, enabling them to use and share resources to reduce the impact of disasters.
• Mississippi State University has designed a Disaster Recovery site with a vast array of resources from clean-up and repair to lawn and garden resources.
Our thoughts are with our colleagues as they rebuild their lives. We hope these resources will provide for an easier transition. If you have direct contact with anyone in the region, please make them aware of these resources and encourage them to contact APS.
John AndrewsAPS President