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12/31/2004 Archived Entry: "Tsunami disaster relief"

During the holiday period we have basically left the TV and radio switched off...with the result that I'm only now coming to grips with the full magnitude of the Asian tsunami disaster. Perhaps "coming to grips" is an exaggeration: I am so staggered by the number of dead -- last I heard, 120,000 -- from a single natural disaster that I'm still having difficulty grasping it. "Thunderstruck" might be more appropriate.

At this time it's important, for those of us who support private and voluntary solutions, to promote such alternatives. So I'd like to encourage everyone to contribute to the International Red Cross disaster relief efforts. That link is for the English-language international page; you can find your local national organization there. Here are links for the American Red Cross and the Canadian Red Cross.

I am a Disaster Services volunteer for the Canadian Red Cross, although at my level of training I would only be deployed for a local disaster. (I would be one of the people who staffs a relocation shelter, recording the names of those in the shelter, and handling inquiries from family members outside the affected area.) Even if I had the full disaster training, I would probably have to decline travelling overseas now....but I'm honored to have met Canadian volunteers who went to New York after 9/11, and will doubtless be travelling to Asia to help there.

I think it's time I dusted off our "Disaster Relief" graphic and put it back on the web page...and also time to check our collection of disaster relief web links, which hasn't been updated since 2001.


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