In every disaster we always instantly think of the Red Cross first and maybe other relief organizations. Your Great Grandma volunteered for them during WWII and when Grandma was young, after 9-11, I donated blood with hundreds of other people and in my most recent run in with a hurricane in St. Thomas I had an interesting conversation at breakfast (not as victim but as an vacationer who lost a few days of sun) with Red Cross workers about what they do after a disaster. I have often thought in my later years when you are grown up I will be a disaster relief worker in the twilight of my career. I am even more moved by their work after our fire.
We needed no help from any organization, as a single family with what can easily be called an inconvinence NOT a disaster, regardless if we did not have the local network of friends and family locally who are not in the same situation we have been able to easily cope with our issues. But our very minor circumstance makes me think about what would happen if my entire home was gone, I had no belongings, no clothes, the car did not work and maybe our neighbors and friends if not dead were at least missing or in the same situation as me… who would help me? What if I added to the fact that it was freezing cold, there was so much debris around me that I could not easily walk to help and I had no food… really who would help me?
The Red Cross for all of their years of experience can see a situation like Haiti, Katrina, Japan, even local floods and have a plan of action they can execute immediatey. They have trained staff, supplies, and an infastructure to respond quickly and minimize the peoples suffering.
I had to give them money today to go to Japan and help the people there deal with not just an earthquake but tsunami, threats of radiation, and extreme winter weather including cold temperatures and blizzards.
I think unfortunately people are not giving to this disaster like they have in the past because it is in a developed country with a group of people who culturaly are showing such amazingly strong resilance that we forget that they still need us.
Lessons to Learn:
- Support the Red Cross when there is a disaster or any other reason why you think that Red Cross services are needed.
- Learn alot from the Japanese and how they have cared for one another and rallied together as country to care for one another.
- Imagine what it would be like to be in the situation that you see others in, many times you will see how unimaginable it would be to deal with yet you see people dealing with it because they have to. Do not underestimate peoples power but do not discount that to say they do not need your help.
To give to the Red Cross click here
To read the Red Cross blog written by workers in the field click here