In the wake of Haiti earthquake, you might be wonder, why do natural disasters occur? Why are they so terrible? Is there any thing ever good come out of such disasters?
For the record, let me start by saying that disasters are terrible, especially for the amount of lives gone and the suffering left. With that said, I do not think natural disasters bring only bad things. So what good could come out of a disaster?
There are three areas where we can see new opportunities: Human Elements, Natural Elements and Economical Elements.
Due to the length of the article, I am dividing this into 3 parts. Here is the first part…
Evaluate Our Priorities: When a natural disaster occur, people lose many important things. On the other side, this gives them an opportunity to cherish and value what/who are left with them. For example, such an event may draw a family closer especially if they were emotionally distant due to their busy lives before the disaster.
Leaders Are Made:During disasters, and when people are in desperate need, we often see a special person stepping up to the leadership. He/she might be a person who was around us all the time, but we never noticed him/her before. We also see many public figures taking initiative to extend the helping hand by collecting donations.
New Opportunities: “With every loss comes new opportunities”. For example, Katrina destroyed many homes and forced people to move out of New Orléans. People who were working low paying jobs and who had difficulty bringing food to the table moved to different places and started better jobs. Some of them also became entrepreneurs.
Recognize Kindness & Learn Tolerance I was about 14-year-old when a series of floods hit my town in India. Some of the low laying houses went half under the water. Without recognizing the pain floods caused to my neighbors, me and some of my other friends were happy, because 1) no school, 2) never seen so much water in our lives. In all that excitement, I was also amazed to see that all the neighbors came together with creative ideas on how to protect the properties. They were not just talking about their houses, they were thinking for everyone including the public park in our colony.
It is in those times people come together, the same people who are divided by race, economic status, religion and caste etc when everything went their way.
In other words, disasters are the common threats which pull men and women together.
When the 2004 tsunamis happened in Southeast Asia, relief agencies from different countries brought food and clothing to the damaged areas of Indonesia and other countries to help the victims recover. This is also apparent in the case of Haiti. Many countries and individuals gathered to help victims of Haiti.
Better Prepared Many people criticized FEMA towards their response to the Hurricane Katrina. Some of the criticism was that 1) the rescue plan was wrong, 2) help came too late and 3) the officials underestimated the disaster. This gave FEMA opportunity to get their processes better, so that they respond faster if such event should occur again. The below excerpt is directly from fema.gov.
“We have greatly improved our capacity to the point that we can register as many as 200,000 disaster victims per day — more than double what we could handle in 2005 — and reduced the potential for waste, fraud and abuse. We have tripled our home inspection capacity — up to 20,000 homes each day after a disaster. We have stockpiled enough food, water and ice to care for as many as 1 million disaster victims for a week. We have enhanced our ability to track and manage the supply chain. In addition, FEMA recently announced significant enhancements to its Digital Emergency Alert System, which will notify citizens of potential public hazards and disasters that strike without notice.”
In the same article, Director of the organization David Paulison urged that Effective Emergency Management can not be done by FEMA alone. But it requires voluntary organizations, private and public sectors and individuals remain vigilant, prepared and ready to respond.
To sum it up, natural disasters bring people together, remind us, even though we are much smaller than the nature, we can be strong by unity and humanity.
P.S. Click here for the second part of this article, Natural Elements
Agree or Disagree? Have you seen any positives post-disaster? Share your experiences by posting comments.
Disclaimer: I did some research towards this article, but this is not a scientific paper. Use your judgment and research before you draw conclusions.