As the world watches China and Myanmar recovery from the earthquake and cyclone; where will the next disaster hit? Are we documenting what worked and what does not for the region? Will a "disaster resistance community be built" or will they adhere to the "old standard"?
I've managed natural disasters in California, Arizona, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Louisiana, Island of Guam and the Island of Saipan. The infrastructures in the United States are ageing and mitigation for its infrastructure is required to prevent large scale loss of life and economics.
I've responded to earthquakes, floods, fires, riot, typhoons, ice storms and hurricanes. Earthquakes, floods, ice storms and hurricanes are becoming more frequent. A disaster is an unscheduled event. It strikes the rich and the poor. Disasters are unmerciful and hit the core of a person's inner being at the time it takes place. Thr trauma can only be understood when you are up close.
Each disaster has its own torment and fear factor. A resident of California and our main fear factor are earthquakes. Each region has its own fear factor.
Asa Disaster Specialist I fear earthquakes and lightening storms. While on assignment on Guam in the south pacific an 8.1 earthquake struck. Experienced two dozen after shocks (in the 7's) a day for a whole month. While driving across country through Texas a lightening storm struck. During the time of the storm all I could feel was fear.
I've flown approximately 90,000 miles in the air without an incident. In the scheme of things; lost luggage is small. Driving a car is more fearful to me than flying in an airplane. I was rear-ended twice and broadsided once; personally, I'd rather fly.
What happened in Indonesia when hundreds and thousands of people died due to the Tsunami, the fire that broke out in Greece and no one could get to them initially to put it out, the planes that went through the Twin Towers or the hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast and still in the recovery stage three years later? Now there is catastrophic and large scale loss in China and Myanmar. I can't tell you how I felt because I wasn't there when it struck. I do feel a passion to help in any way I can.
Whenever a disaster strikes I hope that a passionate person comes to my rescue. Here at home, I hope that the train stays on the track. I hope that the building that I live in was built to code. I hope that the rescue crews don't show up to add more to my sufferings. I hope when I get on the airplane that there is no ill intent from any passenger on my flight. I hope that someone cares enough for me to sacrifice their time and bring help in a time of need.
Helping people is good for the soul. We do have moments when we don't have any more to give, so, we go home, rest and try again when the next disaster strikes. The Gulf Coast still needs our help. China and Myanmar need international assistance.
Please America - donate some time and focus on building a disaster resistant community right where you live. We have private and public disaster resistant networks all across the country.
It's time for the organizations to receive more public awareness, and the organizations should focus on being more proactive in building disaster resistance communities with private support. When one area is effected; the whole country feels the pain.
Lets be proactive verses reactive. Lest get a "get-her done attitude" regarding America. When one person suffers we all suffer. There are short term and long term effects of not getting the job done in a timely manner.
Disaster recovery has been around for a long time. You might have been effected at one time or another. Have you given back to a community that needs your help? Let's offer a passionate smile, motivating attitude and experience that we could share to ease the fear and shock.