As an emergency relief organization, we tend to think that we have seen it all.
From the infamous Hurricane Katrina, to the many gulf spills, the recent 2010 Haitian earthquake, and the devastating 2011 Japanese tsunami…all these disasters we have witnessed and played a part in recovery as best we could.
By both our nature and charter, we like to think we are prepared for anything and everything, and because of this we often have a tendency to self-congratulate our timely response, our ability to work with local municipalities and first responders, the lives we saved, or how we did it better and more efficient than anyone else. But what do you do when disaster hits home or very close to home, and there as no warning, and the loss is catastrophic and complete? What do you say as a concerned citizen, an emergency relief professional, or even a first responder after you have done your primary job to the best of your ability?
The California wildfires of November 2018 so far have claimed 80 human lives, with over 1000+ still missing according to recent reports and our NASA mapping software. Homes have been annihilated and lives torn apart. Billions of dollars have been lost and people’s homes, livelihoods, memories and treasures have gone up in smoke in one of the worst natural disasters in California’s long history.
And rather than offer an anecdote or future panacea that could prevent or mitigate another disaster, I would like to just open the conversation to those who have survived utter and complete devastation to weigh in and guide us. How do we serve you? How do we help? What do you need? Beyond food, water, and shelter, how can we be the best version of our charitable selves?