Whether it’s an earthquake, a tropical storm, a tsunami, or even a flash flood, natural calamities can be devastating for any community. When disaster strikes, the importance of compassion and teamwork become more important than ever.
Here are 7 concrete ways you can provide comfort and assistance to those affected during times of calamity.
1. Plan Your Course of Action. Equip yourself in a way that you can help yourself and others when disaster strikes. Prepare emergency kits with basic supplies, food, and medicine. Have the important emergency numbers on hand. Safeguard your home against earthquakes, flooding, and tropical storms the best way you can. Make sure you’re aware of safety procedures and what to do in case of disasters that are prone in your area. Do your research about how to prepare, so that when the time comes you will be ready to reach out.
2. Help Gather Volunteers. There is strength in numbers, especially during times of disaster. The more hands you gather for hauling and healing, the better. Reach out to your extended family and groups of friends and rally everyone you know around the cause.
3. Understand What The Affected Need. Find out what the affected really need. The last thing you want to do is send boxes of items that will be of no use to them. Is it water they are lacking? Canned goods? Clothing and shoes? Food? Identify the needs and then mobilize resources to fulfill them.
4. Connect with Trusted Organizations. If you are not confident in organizing relief efforts yourself, connect with local or international organizations and allow them to direct you in your calamity response efforts.
5. Raise Funds Online. There are numerous crowd sourcing websites that make fundraising simple and easy. If you have skills in graphic design, writing, or even video editing, creating a compelling story around the disaster will inspire people from near and far to donate what they can to the rehabilitation.
6. Offer Emotional And Spiritual Support. The injury caused by calamities is never just physical. Trauma, grief, desperation, and despair are other common experiences among those affected. If you feel you have it within yourself to take your assistance a step further, you can also volunteer as a counselor with organizations that provide training for those who do not have a background or experience in psychological therapy.
7. Open Up Your Home If You Can. For many victims of calamity, especially those who are refugees, having a halfway home is one of the most impactful ways for others to help. To welcome a complete stranger into your house may be a security risk to your family, but if you know you have neighbors, colleagues, or even distant relatives who need a temporary place to stay, if you can find it in your heart to open your doors to them, they will be grateful to you forever.
Disaster can strike anytime, when we least expect it to. But if we take proactive steps, if we think ahead and be prepared for these realities, then we’ll find ourselves more capable of overcoming the damage and being there for our fellow countrymen when they need us to be.
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