So what can we do?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve likely heard that the Midwest is a bit damp. Iowa in particular. Now, I have no love lost for certain parts of the state (look, it was a really long year living there), but this flooding is horrific. It’s bringing back intense memories for Tom.

He and I met 15 years ago this week at the Bands of America Summer Symposium. Yes, we met at band camp, yuk it up. The talk of the SWAGs that week was the flooding in Minnesota and Iowa and how on earth were some of them going to get home? I remember it was all just “who heard what and when,” because when you’re on the SWAG team, you’re pretty much in a media blackout. You’re working too hard. I just remember how worried some others were: how would they get home and what would they discover when they got there?

Tom was one of those worried. He was working and living in southeast Iowa then, before coming to Illinois State for grad work. He did manage to get back home, but then spent the summer on flood duty. He filled sandbags, he cleaned muck, he almost asphyxiated when the sump pump he was using to clear out a basement spewed out carbon monoxide. Tom was in the thick of the infamous 1993 flooding.

The floods of 1993 were “500 year floods.” Only supposed to happen every 500 years.

The floods of 2008 are worse. Much worse.

The very same area where Tom was living in 1993 is flooding again. I’ve been there; it’s a sweet little town and it’s getting hit hard. Again.

So what can you do? Well, the American Red Cross is a good place to start. Prayers can’t hurt either.

But please do something. These people are hurting.

Think it doesn’t affect you? Well, you’re wrong. Iowa’s fields are under water. Iowa’s fields are not growing corn right now. Think you’re paying a lot for groceries now? Guess what? Corn is in freaking everything. So is soy, from soybeans. Read a label or two next time you’re at the store. Think you’re paying a lot for gasoline now? Ethanol is made from corn. Transportation costs are going to rise even higher; trucks are having a hard time getting over the Mississippi, trains are being rerouted or cancelled, and barge traffic on the river is moving in fits and starts.

Help Iowa. Do what you can. The people of Iowa are wonderful, generous people, and they need your help.


10 Responses

  1. Thanks for this post! Sometimes people dont realize how much these things effect everyone. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. I was in Iowa once. I loved it. The people were very friendly and laid back. My nephew was born there–last baby born in Cedar Rapids in 1989–so I have a fondness for the state. 🙂
    It’s horrible what’s happening there. I’m going to head over to the ARC site today and donate. Just because you asked me to!

  3. Well said 🙂

  4. Good call. I always try to imagine the kind of help I’d want and need if it were my family. I hope that we can make a difference.

  5. It’s so scary all this fire and brimstone actually happening, right before our eyes!

  6. If you specifically want to help Iowa, one of the other bloggers I visit, has put up her own site to help. You can visit her at:

    – or –

    go directly to her help site at:

    Otherwise, I agree – the Red Cross is everywhere, and I know they’ve helped out in my flooded areas (Wisconsin).

  7. I was up north last week, and the flooding was devastating. And you’re right about the corn. I hope people heed your call and help.

  8. Today we are so busy running here and running there, we do not take the time to STOP. Thank you for reminding us that we need to take the time to STOP and do what we can to help others.

  9. I am about 60 miles from Iowa as the crow flies in Illinois. It really is sad.


  10. We have had a severe drought here in Australia, so food has gone up because the farmers aren’t getting enough water. The farmers are suffering and the government is only now trying to help them. It is so sad.

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