http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050830/ap_on_re_us/katrina_washington Ok, if it is about 9.0 Billion Dollars worth of Disaster, equivalent to the damage to property done by the Tsunami (not in lives lost), when will the world and the UN start raising money to help us pay for this disaster..........yeah right! WASHINGTON - The nation's top disaster relief official said Tuesday that Hurricane Katrina wrought "catastrophic" damage to low-lying portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and that additional medical personnel were being moved in to treat evacuated hospital patients. ADVERTISEMENT With at least one New Orleans hospital threatened by Katrina's floodwaters, patients were being transferred to the Superdome, said Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and medical personnel were being sent in to treat them. The damage is "very, very sobering," Brown said. "And of course the flooding is just everywhere ... New Orleans, all through Mississippi and Alabama. This storm is really having a catastrophic effect," Brown said on CBS' "The Early Show." FEMA sent medical teams, rescue squads and groups prepared to supply food and water into the disaster areas and Brown said it would be "quite a while" before those displaced by the hurricane can return to damaged areas, especially in those areas near downtown New Orleans. "It's the parishes and wards south and east of New Orleans, it's Biloxi, Miss., and the region," Brown said on NBC's "Today" show. "All those low-lying areas are just devastated." President Bush, meanwhile, was considering tapping U.S. emergency petroleum stockpiles to ease the storm's impact on affected refineries. Administration officials said Bush was expected to authorize a loan of at least some oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The storm shut down oil and natural gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico, representing about 8 percent of U.S. refining capacity or about 1 million barrels, further driving up gasoline prices. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said, "Over the next few days, we will continue to gain more information on the specific needs and then be able to make a better determination on how we can help." The reserves would be used to provide refineries a temporary supply of crude oil to replace interrupted shipments from tankers or offshore oil platforms affected by the storm. The government put into effect a massive emergency assistance program that included rushing baby formula, communications equipment, generators, water and ice into hard-hit areas. The president made emergency disaster declarations for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush had spoken with the governors of those states "to make sure they were getting what they needed from the federal government." In other storm-related developments: _The American Red Cross said it had thousands of volunteers mobilized for the hurricane. It was the "largest single mobilization that we've done for any single natural disaster," spokesman Bradley Hague said. The organization set up operational headquarters in Baton Rouge, La. _The Environmental Protection Agency dispatched emergency crews to Louisiana and Texas because of concern about oil and chemical spills. _The Coast Guard closed ports and waterways along the Gulf Coast and positioned craft around the area to conduct post-hurricane search and rescue operations. _The Agriculture Department said its Food and Nutrition Service would provide meals and other commodities, such as infant formula, distilled water for babies and emergency food stamps. _The Federal Aviation Administration said airports were closed in New Orleans and Baton Rouge; Biloxi, Miss.; Mobile, Ala.; Pensacola, Fla., and Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. _The Defense Department dispatched emergency coordinators to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to provide communications equipment, search and rescue operations, medical teams and other emergency assistance. _The Health and Human Services Department sent 38 doctors and nurses to Jackson, Miss., to be used where needed, and 30 pallets of medical supplies to the region, including first aid materials, sterile gloves and oxygen tanks. Some 6,000 National Guard personnel from Louisiana and Mississippi who would otherwise be available to help deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina are in Iraq. Even so, Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said the states have adequate National Guard units to handle the hurricane needs. He said about 6,500 National Guard troops were available in Louisiana, about 7,000 in Mississippi, nearly 10,000 in Alabama and about 8,200 in Florida.