Gustav: Online resources are up, Blackwater gears up, Twitter blows up.

(1) Here is an interactive, Java-animated map of Gustav's path, courtesy NOAA.

(2) Mercenary army outsourcers Controversial private security contractor firm Blackwater is gearing up for disaster in the Gulf, as Hurricane Gustav approaches. Snip from a "help wanted" ad on the firm's website:

Blackwater is compiling a list of qualified security personnel for possible deployment into areas affected by Hurricane Gustav. Applicants must meet all items listed under the respective Officer posting and be US citizens. Contract length is TBD.

Via Clayton Cubitt. Update: Noah Shachtman at Wired Danger Room has much more on Blackwater's renewed presence in the region.

(3) Sean Bonner of metblogs writes:

This morning I've stumbled across a good number of online resources for Hurricane Gustav and New Orleans and thought it would be good to start a list here to keep track of them. Feel free to add any in the comments and I'll try to keep this list updated with any links posted.

Gustav resources online (hub.metblogs)

(4) You can follow Twitter chatter about #gustav here. Needless to say, the search string updates very frequently right now.

(5) Wikipedia says the Swedish name "Gustav" means "Staff of the Goths."

(image: by Flickr user Maitri V-R, shot this weekend in the French Quarter of New Orleans.)

(6) Here is a Hurricane Gustav Wiki.

This is the wiki for information relating to Hurricane Gustav and its approach to the northern Gulf coast. It's intended to be centralized site for links to information everywhere else on the web; please publicize it far and wide. Information will be moved here as time progresses from the similar wiki built during and after Hurricane Katrina's landfall 3 years ago. Please be polite and patient in working with the wiki and the community it attracts, to the extent that you can, and hopefully, everyone will get through this one in one piece.

The creator of that Wiki, Andy Carvin, is asking Google Map gurus to help him create a comprehensive Gustav map mashup:

We should build a map – or work with google to do so – that plots out as much data as possible re: evac centers, storm route, damage, flood reports, etc. If Google or someone else is doing it already, great; let's embed it. If not, we need to find some Google Map gurus to figure out how to get started.

(thanks, Andy Carvin and Noelle McAfee)

(7) About a quarter of all crude oil production in the United States takes place in the Gulf region. And nearly 100% of the oil-related activity in this region has now been shut down. What will happen to the price of oil?

(8) Video: Anatomy of a Hurricane, embedded at the bottom of this BB post. An educational film produced in 1996 by the US Department of the Interior. "Hurricanes are beautifully organized storms of destruction… An average hurricane releases heat equivalent to the total electrical energy consumed annually in the United States." (from The Open Video Project, via Siege)

(9) Doc Searls has a post up with pointers on "Getting Gustav."

A little guide to New Orleans radio & other Hurricane Gustav sources. If you're using a regular over-the-air-type radio, and you're within 750 miles or so of New Orleans, tune in 870am to hear WWL. It's one of the original (literal) clear channel stations. In the old days you'd get them from coast to coast at night, but in recent years the FCC has chosen to allow new stations to clutter the AM band at night (when signals skip off the ionosphere). But still, worth a check if you're within range. WWL also has a hurricane coverage network of other stations in the area.

If you're listening over the Net, your station choices are WWL and WIST. Here's a link to a browser thingie that plays WWL (using Windows Media or Silverlight). Here's WIST's audio page. Wish either used .mp3, but this isn't the right time to complain. Both have excellent local coverage right now, from what I can gather. Lots of listener call-in stuff.

(10) New Orleans Metblog contributor Craig, who owns a restaurant called Janitas on Magazine street, has decided to stay put and liveblog whatever happens. It sounds like he is a former broadcast industry professional. He finds lulz in these hard hours, with news crews pouring in as residents pour out:

Being the only restaurant open on lower Magazine kinda made us The Place To Be. The ONLY Place to be. It was good to share some "do you know?" time with folks in my former profession and to talk a little of what used to be shop. Some white SUV drove by with a big "TV" plastered on it in black electrical tape. Given the deserted streets, I felt like I was in Beirut or someplace. Some ningnong TV guy was just on the tube, still wearing his cap and damp rain gear, facing the camera and intoning, "Tonight, New Orleans is a city holding it's breath…" Puh-leeze. Folks like you are part of the reason why I'm not in that business anymore.

Start with his post titled "Here we go…", then read the others. (Thanks, Sean Bonner)

(11) T-Mobile has opened its WiFi networks in the Gulf region for free access, which ought to greatly help with availability of telephony and data services.

Previously on Boing Boing: New Orleans mayor: "We really don't have the resources to rescue you after this."