Before Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the U.S., predictions that this storm would wreak unfathomable destruction on the Gulf Coast were prevalent throughout the media. On the morning of Monday, August 29, however, it seemed as if the worst-case scenario that people were predicting had been averted. While it was apparent that the hurricane would still cause massive damage and strife throughout the afflicted areas, it seemed as if the worst-case, "doomsday" scenario had not come to pass. We now know differently. On the morning of August 30, three different levee breaches on the Lake Pontchartrain side of New Orleans caused the city to become almost completely submerged underwater, with an estimated 80% of the historic city lying under the ocean's depths.
As you are no doubt aware of by now, Hurricane Katrina and the unfortunate series in its aftermath have left hundreds of thousands of lives in ruin, and has left thousands of casualties in its wake. While the storm may be over, and the immediate danger to many in the past as well, the road to recovery will still be a long one for many survivors. The response to this disaster has been overwhelming; both the American people and the international community have rushed to the support of those affected by Katrina, with the Red Cross alone reporting that $485 million in gifts and pledges were made to the organization as of September 7. But, a natural disaster of biblical proportions requires that support of the same proportions be pledged from those who are willing to give a helping hand. More funds are still needed to ease the survivors' suffering as much as possible by providing them with food, water, clothing, and other day-to-day necessities that one would usually take for granted, not to mention the massive effort that will be essential to clear the Big Easy of all of the infested, unsanitary water, and begin rebuilding the entire city.
This is where Gamers Relief comes in. The video game community is without a doubt one of the most rabid and expansive communities on the Internet, and with this in mind, Advanced Media Network launched Gamers Relief earlier this week with the intention of bringing the community together for for one important cause: to use our vastness in numbers to help alleviate the pain caused by Hurricane Katrina. Gamers Relief asks that gamers do without one game, console, accessory, or whatever may be on your shopping list, and instead use that money to help ease the suffering of the hundreds of thousands who have had their lives ripped away from them by Katrina. As the Gamers Relief website states, together, we can help the victims of Katrina press START to continue.