‘My name is Nicolas Strayham. I finally have been able to track down “those people” who brought the ShelterBoxes to my house. We had a distribution site in the driveway of our yard and a total of twenty of your boxes were dropped off there. You cannot understand how thankful we (my community) were for these boxes. We had 20 boxes, which was 40 tents. These tents made temporary homes for 40 families and friends. Since the first day we received the tents my goal was to find out who the tents came from and personally thank them. It was because of people like you that allowed us to satisfy our need for safety and shelter.’
Nicholas lived in Biloxi in Mississippi, one of the states in Southeast USA that Hurricane Katrina struck on 29 August 2005.
The hurricane force winds and massive storm surge slammed into Biloxi and other towns along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, causing scenes of destruction and flooding.
Listed as the fifth largest hurricane to hit the United States, Katrina began as a very low pressure weather system that strengthened into a hurricane as it approached the Florida coast on the evening of 25 August.
100,000 homes were left without power as it crossed southern Florida and it strengthened further as it veered inland to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, devastating areas along a 200 kilometres stretch of coastline that claimed 1,836 lives and left thousands homeless.
The storm passed straight through the city of New Orleans carrying a sustained wind speed of around 200 kilometres-an-hour, destroying many lighter buildings and causing extensive damage to others.
Read more and view Flickr slideshow of more images taken during ShelterBox’s response to Katrina, September 2005. here: KATRINA