Tag Archives: disaster

How to Help Haiti Earthquake Victims

The screams in Haiti are being heard around the World. The 7.0 earthquake that rocked Port Au Prince on Tuesday brought the already impoverished city of more than two million people to its collective knees. Buildings lie in ruin. Bodies are piled in the streets. Hundreds of thousands of people are still missing in the wreckage, their fates unknown. There is no food, no water and no electricity. As emergency crews fight to get to the scene, people are digging through the rubble on their hands and knees, hoping to uncover survivors. What few houses remain are structurally unsafe. People who were lucky enough to escape with their lives are huddling together in open fields, too afraid to enter any buildings that may still be standing.

Earthquake in Haiti

The devastation is unthinkable and unimaginable. The sheer amount of destruction is seemingly insurmountable. One news blog that I read a little while ago ended with the sentiment that “Any thoughts of full recovery during this generation is unrealistic.”. The more news, videos and photos that reach us from Haiti, the more we begin to realize how true that small statement is. One way to keep up with the very latest news is to follow reporter Richard Morse. He is giving updates from Port Au Prince as often as he can.

Those of us who are not in Haiti are scrambling, trying to figure out what we can do to help. Not knowing what we can do often leads us to do nothing at all. In my opinion, this is not an option right now. The devastation caused by this earthquake is being compared to losing an entire war in just a few short moments.

There are many trustworthy organizations who are already on the scene, and many more that are gathering together resources to aid the victims of this awful tragedy. We have come up with a list of some of the ways that you can help. Please remember that every penny – literally – counts. If you are in a situation where you cannot send money or supplies, do not feel as though you are worthless. Your thoughts, prayers and support are needed by the people in Haiti, as much as the physical donations are.

  • American Red Cross – There are three ways you can contribute via the Red Cross: monetary donations, blood donations, and signing up as a volunteer.
  • Text to Donate – If you want to donate money but are a little short right now, the State Dept. has set up a way to donate via text message. Text “Haiti” to 90999 and a donation of ten dollars will be added to your next phone bill and forwarded to the Red Cross.
  • Doctors Without Borders – The Doctors Without Borders program has been stationed in Haiti for a long time already. Their facilities were destroyed by the earthquake, along with much of their supplies. They are rushing to attempt to care for the injured people who need them, but they need your help.
  • National Nurses United – The nation’s largest organization of registered nurses tonight activated its nationwide disaster relief program to recruit nurse volunteers to provide assistance to residents of earthquake devastated Haiti.
  • UNICEF – UNICEF is dedicated to helping children. Before Tuesday, there were already thousands of children who were orphans living below the poverty level. Today, there are many thousands more.
  • Operation USA – Operation USA has been rated as a four-star charity for the past six years. Every penny that goes in to the organization goes right back out to the places that need it.
  • Mercy Corps – Mercy Corps allows you to send a flat donation of your own, or can help you organize your own fundraising team. They also accept donations other than money, such as clothing and building materials.
  • World Food Bank – The WFP has already pledged more than two million dollars to help feed the people of Haiti. It is expected that the amount needed will far exceed this.
  • T-shirts – Emerald City Fashion Week is raising money to support the relief effort with a Fashion4Haiti T-shirts which are available for immediate purchase! Net proceeds will be donated to World Vision to help children and families affected by the 7.0 earthquake.

Our hearts go out to everyone in Haiti, as well as to the people around the World waiting for news of loved ones.

Helping China

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

As of the recording of this video, more than 50,000 people are confirmed dead in China after last week’s Earthquake. Thousands more are feared dead. Several thousand more are injured, starving, and homeless. This isn’t about politics, nor creed, race or color. It’s about human beings… just like you.

They need our help, folks. Basic necessities are impossible to come by in China. They need blankets, water, food, tents, clothing and formula for children and babies that are now starving. This is a tragedy of horrific measure. Think back to 9/11. Remember how the World came together, reaching out to those in the United States who desperately needed help. That’s what we need to do now. We have a social responsibility as a citizen of this planet to do what we can.

There are many ways we can help. You can choose to make a monetary donation, a donation of goods, or even become a volunteer with the Red Cross.

I don’t care if you’re green with purple polka dots, live on Mars, and have no religious or political affiliations. Things like that don’t matter right now. What matters is those people who are dying, those thousands who are injured and need our help. They are human beings, just as you are. It could happen to you, at any time.

In addition to the Red Cross, there are a number of other organizations who are accepting donations in order to help the victims of this horrible tragedy.

Even if you cannot afford to help monitarily, I urge you to say a prayer tonight for those people if you pray. Light a candle. Send positive energy. Whatever it is you do in times of tragedy, I ask you to have a quiet moment to remember those lost, and hope for those left behind.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Safety First

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

The other night when Ponzi’s plane came in extremely late, we were driving home and noticed a couple of cars. One was pulled over to the side of the road, and the other was upside-down. We were about the second car on the scene. Ponzi immediately grabbed her phone and dialed 911. Ponzi then got out of the car and walked up to the vehicle. By then, another vehicle had pulled over, as well. It was worrisome, because we had no idea if the occupants of the car were injured. However, the driver of this second car was a paramedic. I rummaged in my trunk for road flares, since we were on an Interstate… only to find I didn’t have any.

Within minutes, it was apparent that the driver of the car was completely intoxicated. It was also apparent that the car was totaled. The driver was lucky, and walked away without a scratch. This was a disconcerting experience. I’m glad the driver was physically unharmed. I felt completely unprepared for such an emergency, as this is the first time I’ve encountered something like this. You can bet that the following day, I bought road flares, and put together a small emergency kit. You just never know when disaster could strike.

A community member sent me an email right around this same time, describing a recent situation of his own. He was driving home from work during a major snowstorm. His vehicle ended up trapped in a snowbank (he was unharmed), halfway between the two places. He wanted to send me his top five tips to deal with emergency situations to share with all of you. These have been put together out of his personal experience.

  • Don’t make things worse, such as gunning your engine. It’s very easy in a situation like this to panic and do something that could make your situation harder.
  • Don’t automatically expect help. If no one is aware of your timetable, they won’t come looking for you. Someone WILL come along eventually, so just stay put.
  • Only act when you are rational. It isn’t easy to remain calm and rational when you are trapped in an emergency. Try to stay as calm as you can.
  • Enumerate your options. “What can I do?” “What will give me the best chance of success?” For instance, in the case of an earthquake, ask yourself if you can get yourself quickly to a safe place. In most emergency situations, you’ll be able to assess your situation quickly. Sometimes, the best option is to stay put.
  • Be prepared. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s just better to be prepared for the unexpected, because life happens to everyone. Have an emergency kit on hand, and keep it with you when traveling.

[rsslist:http://shop.tagjag.com/products/emergency]

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video: