Harris was a San Diego tourist who was unable to escape the City as the airport, bus, and train stations all closed a day prior to the evacuation. Rather than hitchhike, he made his home in the Dome for the next 3 days before being covertly smuggled out to the Sports Arena next door with a group of international visitors.
The Superdome environment was like living in an portapotty for days on end. Toilets were overflowing. There was no running water, little light, and no toilet paper. Families with small children were sleeping on urine soaked cardboard, with oppressive temperatures and humidity adding to the horrific conditions. Rumors of murders and rapes fanned by fear and miscommunication were running rampant, thus increasing tensions. It was later shown that the rumors were greatly exaggerated both inside the Superdome and in the surrounding City, even though most of mainstream America has not received this message.
Harris, who has visited inside the Dome once since his ordeal says that it would be a "Brees" for him to volunteer to clean the toilets if the Saints win, in light of what he and others had to endure during Katrina. And if the Saints are victorious, he will also donate 11 signed copies of his book to the Superdome for historical purposes, one representing each Saints player on the field during each play, and 30 rolls of toilet paper, the amount of points he predicts it will take to beat the Vikings.
Harris has previously distributed food to families in the Bywater area and spent a day volunteering with the building of Musician's Village with Habitat For Humanity. He has pledged 25% of all of his author profits from new books sold to help non-profit charities help rebuild the Gulf.
In lieu of any pay for cleaning he is requesting that the management donate that money to either assist the Haiti relief fund or Habitat For Humanity in the Gulf area.
The highly rated, "Diary From the Dome" offers tips to readers on how to better prepare for future disasters, whether it's floods, earthquakes, fires, tornados, etc., both mentally and practically, and of crucial importance, it offers tips to emergency responders such as CERT and FEMA about how to maintain better communication with victims and evacuees. The monumental role of fear in controlling human behavior is addressed as well. In addition the book discloses some of the areas where the media got it right and was way off base in their reporting. A movie producer in San Diego has met with Harris to discuss his story possibly being made into a movie.
The book is available directly from the publisher, Vantage Press at 1-800-882-3273 or online at Amazon, Borders, and Barnes and Noble.
Paul Harris was born in Sacramento, California and studied Political Science and Psychology at the University of California, Davis. He's been active for decades in various environmental and civil rights causes, and contributing opinion pieces to various media. A long-time S.F. 49ers fan, his allegiance changed to the Saints after Katrina. He lived in San Diego, California from 1984-2008, serving as a Probation Officer, security guard, as well as 21 years as a Library Supervisor at the University of California, San Diego. He is a frequent visitor to New Orleans. Last year he retired to the idyllic enclave of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
(When requesting a review copy, please provide a street address.)