One cannot predict disasters, especially natural ones. But one can always learn from disasters and try to be better prepared for the next one. Better knowledge can save millions and mitigate the untold miseries of the people around us. One such knowledge is disaster planning.
A cyclone or a massive earthquake tends to follow a similar pattern. People are uprooted from their homes and often lose all material possessions. Therefore, it is important for the government and the community to come together to provide for those who are negatively affected by natural disasters.
They must also have an action plan for preventing future natural disasters and chalk out a method for disaster recovery. You may never know when disaster strikes; as such having a prompt emergency preparedness is crucial.
Since it is often impossible for governments to deal with disaster management alone, taking the help of NGOs and encouraging people’s participation should be encouraged. If all these diverse stakeholders come together, they can provide the best service during calamities.
This article lists all the important ways to help people and provide the best services during natural calamities.
How can we help and Provide the Best Service to the Victims of Natural Calamities?
Victims of natural calamities need emotional, material, and logistical support to rebuild their lives. The government and NGOs must come together to help the victims.
In almost all disasters, whether it is Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or the Nepal earthquake of 2015, we have seen that people have lost their homes and all their material possessions. While some had insurance cover, many people did not. This is particularly true for poor people, who often do not have a strong social security network.
Rebuilding their lives, therefore, involves governments and communities coming together to build affordable homes and supplying them with food and ration until the time they land up on their feet.
People, who have been victims of natural disasters, also need emotional support in times of crisis. Material help should be buttressed by psychological counseling and emotional support. Here non-governmental agencies like support groups can help.
Once the disaster is over, the focus should be on rehabilitating the victims. This needs huge logistical support. Transporting victims to safe zones and building temporary shelters need logistical support. Feeding the hungry and the poor also need help from non-governmental agencies.
What Kind of Help is Needed After a Disaster?
Once a natural disaster strikes, the immediate focus of the governmental and non-governmental agencies should be on mitigating the impact of the disaster.
- Agencies should focus on helping the victims shift to a safe zone. Whether it is an earthquake or a tsunami or a flood, the victims should be transported to a safe place. This is because the area of the disaster is still dangerous even after the disaster occurs. Therefore, the victims should be transported to a safe place so that no more lives are lost.
- Temporary shelters should be built by governmental and non-governmental agencies. This would help the victims to start rebuilding their lives. Once you have a roof over their head, you can focus on rehabilitation.
- For initial months, victims of natural calamities often need food and monthly ration to survive. The greater is the enormity of the crisis, the more is the need for intervention.
What can you do to Lessen the Impact of a Natural Disaster?
You can build awareness among your fellow citizens by giving information on a particular natural calamity. Once people have understood the enormity and the gravity of the situation, discipline can be maintained.
The recent COVID-19 crisis has once again shown that it is important to disseminate the right information so that people can step in the right time to help victims.
2. Monetary support
Most often, we have seen that poor countries do not have the wherewithal to deal with natural calamities. They are often forced to take loans from international monetary agencies to tide over the crisis. Here monetary support from individuals can prove to be immensely beneficial.
3. Food and medicine
Support regarding food and medicine is as important as monetary support. Feeding the poor who have lost everything in natural calamities can help them to rebuild their lives.
4. Medical attention
In several natural disasters, there are a number of people who are injured. They need urgent medical attention. Additionally, there can be a need for blood depending on the injuries of the victims. You can organize blood donation camps to help injured victims recover. This can also save many a life.
5. Recovery aid fund
It is important that there is a recovery aid fund in place. Apart from rebuilding their homes, many victims need cash to restart their lives. Here an emergency fund can come to the rescue. You can donate your money to rebuild the lives of victims.
6. Daily necessities
Sending supplies and items of daily necessities to victims of calamities is also important. These include mattresses, pillows, books, and educational material for children. Such daily supplies are perhaps more important than money, so even if you are not contributing monetarily, do consider helping the victims in kind.
If the victims of calamities have been rendered jobless due to the destruction of factories and industries, then it is crucial for governments and people to find employment for these victims. Having jobs will help victims to stand on their own feet quickly.
8. Volunteer work
You can also consider volunteer work as a kind of help. Rebuilding homes, shifting victims to safe zones, and tending to the injured – all these activities need hundreds of volunteers. It is not easy for governments to tackle such crises alone. Therefore, the role of NGOs becomes important.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is involved in a range of charitable activities, mitigating the impact of natural disasters. Their Hare Krishna Food for Life is a vegetarian food distribution program that feeds millions of hungry people every day.
The protection of cows is another area of charity. The temple organization also offers short-term programs on leadership, management, conflict resolution, discipline, etc.