My name is Marla Gaspard and a Hurricane Katrina survivor. I\'m glad I went through the storm and I believe that I have a better quality of life because of it. I lived in Kenner in a third story apartment. I left Saturday afternoon, the 27th, right when Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard was calling for a voluntary evacuation. I remember walking out of my apartment and praying that God would protect my home. I evacuated to New Iberia, Louisiana, my hometown in south central Louisiana, to stay with my mom. \r\nMonday morning, I woke to see the windows of my place of employment, in the CBD, blown out on CNN. I knew I was in trouble. I worked for one of the New Orleans cable companies as a research specialist. My job was to research the New Orleans television audience and determine if any of our cable channels was a fit for a potential advertiser. I loved my job. Unfortunately, my job was connected to the population. If a large part of the population left the city, my job was gone. \r\nMy heart sank when Parish President told us, via radio, to stay away for a month. My best friend, who ended up doing my look and leave for me, saw that my apartment was still standing. I was somewhat relieved about that. I also got official word from my boss that I had my job until February of 2006. So, while I was applying for food stamps and housing assistance from FEMA, I was also looking for another job. During this time, I got Bronchitis, due partly because of the stress of this situation. \r\nI was finally able to go back to my apartment on September 22nd. I did not know what to expect. Well, part of the exterior wall of my apartment building was gone and I had some water damage in my laundry room. That was all the damage. I thanked God for protecting my home. \r\nMeanwhile, I still had to find a job. I tried everywhere in New Orleans and just could not find anything in or out of media. Then I started looking outside of the city, outside of the state. I found a job in Dallas, Texas and moved to the town of Irving in March 2006. \r\nI later found out that I had a cyst on one of my organs. My doctor told me that if I did not have it removed, it could do serious damage to my body. So, I had it removed. I could not help but think about what would have happened to me if I found this cyst while I was still in New Orleans. Would they have operated on me? Could they have operated on me? Medical services, during that time, were still trying to get back up to speed. \r\nI have a great job, I feel wonderful and I\'m getting my Masters in Applied Sociology. I\'m interested in working with US Census Bureau because I\'m interested in populations and their behavior. I believe my life is better because I went through Hurricane Katrina. \r\n\r\n

Citation

“[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed June 27, 2022, https://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/36326.

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