The CFP Board and the Financial Planning Association have notified members that they plan to offer financial planning help to the victims of Katrina. Certified Financial Planner(TM) professionals are being asked to volunteer to answer victims' questions.
Now, freshman psychology was a long time ago for me but I seem to recall something about a fellow named Maslow and his "hierarchy of needs". On that hierarchy, I'm pretty sure that food, shelter and clothing rank somewhere ahead of things like asset allocation and the tax treatment of capital gains. Katrina's refugees are asking where they will sleep tonight and how will they feed their families, not "Do I have enough international exposure in my portfolio?" or "What are the AMT implications of exercising my non-qualified stock options?"
Perhaps the CFP Board and the FPA are jumping the gun a tad but their intent is noble and I suppose it's better to be prepared too early rather than too late. Eventually the victims' focus will turn to the financial losses they have sustained and there will be important questions to be answered. I have already signed up as a volunteer.