By: Tyler Heineman (Staff Reporter/Photographer)
If you have never heard of second disasters before, it’s what humanitarian workers call it when countries affected by natural disasters fail to get the aid that they need. This affects countries greatly, as without aid from organizations, residents of that country are unable to sustain themselves for long, enacting harsh reactions such as emigration from their native country.
If you’re wondering what you can do to help, it’s important to recognize what will help and what won’t. Sean Welsh, a Red Cross volunteer, states that second disasters occur because of an influx of volunteers and unnecessary donations. Welsh explains how “Able-bodied workers are not needed in a place where the entire population is out of work” and how “Goods and materials sent without a plan end up rotting in a warehouse.” However, he does explain what you CAN do to help. For example, Welsh states that you should send money, and if you must send any goods or materials, send it through an existing aid organization. If you or your family want to help the Bahamas, consider where the supplies might end up before donating it.
If you’re trying to find a way to donate to places affected by a hurricane or a natural disaster, try looking in the direction of our school’s own clubs! Clubs such as Music for Charity are good options to choose from. Or, if you’re looking to donate through a reliable source, try the Red Cross’ website for donations. If the disaster is more local, you can try contacting local organizations for volunteer work. However, volunteering may do more harm than good as there may be more volunteers than the area needs. If you are in a financial struggle yourself, you can always try to donate physical objects from your home to a reliable organization.
What to do during a disaster
Firstly, if your location is severely damaged, you should try to find a disaster shelter or rental housing. If you can’t find a shelter, try downloading the FEMA app or search online for local shelters and disaster recovery centers. If you need rental housing, check the FEMA website for short-term housing resources. Secondly, it’s important to have fresh food and water. If for some reason you lost your food and water or did not have any in the first place, try looking for an emergency shelter that provides food and water, or listen to a radio or television set to locate a local disaster feeding site. Thirdly, wait until officials say it’s safe to return home. When returning home, check for any dangerous damage such as gas leaks or loose power lines. It’s important to note that some items may need to be removed in a specific way. If you need to replace vital information, try contacting your state’s government for information on the process of replacing such information.
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For information from ABC News, click here.
For information from usa.gov, click here.
Picture courtesy of ABC News.
Caption: An aerial view of a completely flattened neighborhood in the Bahamas.