Weather-related disasters are on the rise. Fortunately, thanks to the work of some incredible organisations, the number of deaths caused by these extreme events is actually falling4. Still, when a community is struck by a natural disaster, it often has to be built again from scratch, a huge task in need of many hands.
Since 1980 1.7 million people have died as a result of natural disasters. Those lucky enough to survive these incidents have often lost everything. Events such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis can completely destroy entire communities. Not just homes and businesses but people are left without the basic necessities of food, water and power.
Relief programmes can take huge amounts of time and resources for example after the Indian Ocean Boxing Day Tsunami, 2004 affected an estimated 5 million people6, the United Nations released an appeal for 977 million USD (686 million GBP) to cover just the first 6 months of aid.5
Relief efforts for disasters of any scale are long and complicated processes that require a large amount of funding and an enthusiastic army of volunteers. There are charities ready to be dispatched to any corner of the world, wherever most needed to help return daily life back to normal.
This requires an initial response of emergency aid such as healthcare, food, shelter and sanitation. Once these basic structures are in place, these organisations start the mammoth task of rebuilding entire communities.This involves restoring power, rebuilding homes and businesses and putting social structures back in place.
There will always be a need for this kind of work, in fact increased instances of extreme weather all over the world indicate that the need for these groups will only grow. Support for these organisations means giving weakened communities the opportunity to one day thrive again.
- "21st Century Emergency Management." IBM. http://citizenibm.com/wp-content/uploads/2-WR1057039CA-IBM-IOC-for-the-Philippines.pdf
- Doing More for Those Made Homeless by Natural Disasters http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTDISMGMT/Resources/housing.pdf
- SciDevNet https://www.scidev.net/global/design/feature/shelter-after-disaster-facts-figures-spotlight.html
- The Economist (EM-DAT) https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/08/daily-chart-19
- United Nations Inian Ocean Earthquake - Tsunami 2005 Flash Appeal http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/Tsunami/tsunamiflashappeal.pdf
- Oxfam https://www.oxfam.org.uk/blogs/2014/12/ten-years-on-and-tsunami-response-changed-lives-for-good