Processing a Disaster

Reports are still coming out of Southern Haiti.

And the stories keep getting worse.

And the pictures keep getting worse.

And there are so many areas that aren’t reachable yet.   I read a report today that said even with the help of a really big Caterpillar front end loader, they have only been able to clear a couple of miles of roads.   The people who are stranded 50 miles down the road are in trouble.

Big trouble.

There has been an interesting phenomenon happening on social media since Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on Tuesday.   People are asking the question – “How?”
How can we do this better than we did in 2010?

How can we help those in need without hurting those who made it through?

How can we help those in need while not damaging their dignity or their long term ability to regain independence?

How can we encourage people to help – in ways that offer accountability and transparency – when that was not what happened in 2010 with the earthquake?

How can the small, faster moving well connected charities meet the needs and do it with the scope and size that is needed when the need is so huge?

How is the damage from this storm going to play out long term?  The numbers I’ve heard are upwards of 85% of the crops in that area are totally destroyed, schools are destroyed (all of them), 3 out of every 3 houses are flattened, the power grid – shaky as it was – is gone.  

Many people are comparing this to the “other” natural disaster that hit Haiti this decade – the earthquake of 2010.   There are parts of it that have similarities and parts that are totally different.

But one thing that is different – there is a whole new batch of people.   People on the ground who have experience in disasters.   People who care asking the questions to be confident that they are supporting and helping in ways that really help.

It’s different this time.   But it’s not different this time.  

Lives are at stake.  

More to come…..


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