What Happens After the Cameras Leave

Analysis by Reporting San Diego
Sep 4, 2017 (San Diego) Every disaster, whether it is the fire in Los Angeles, the flooding after Katrina, or Harvey, or local wildfires, has a certain rhythm. The first step is the initial response. This is the part of every disaster that you watch on your television sets, and read in news papers. 
It is, quite brutally honest, what drives viewers and readers to local and national papers, depending on how big any disaster is there are impressive photos of fires, floods and other things. Readers and viewers flock to this coverage, partly out of a sense of shock. What just happened, is something that breaks the normal rhythm of life. 
It is what happens after the cameras leave that is just as important. In some ways it is far more important. 
The cameras will leave Houston in the near future. Why? Literally the stories are becoming the same human interest stories, and for editors, it is almost over. Local news stations will have years worth of stories as the area begins to recover. The reality though, is that the area will take anywhere from 10 to 15 years to fully recover. Some residents who lost everything will not stay in Houston. They will move to other cities, or even states. They are now climate refugees. 
For the foreseeable future shelters will have to remain open, as well as emergency medical services that can take care of people where they are, not where doctors may prefer them to be. These shelters will have to take care of incidentals such as medicines for patients with chronic conditions, such as Diabetes.
Realize help will be needed long term, so if you have not donated, or want to donate again, Charity Navigator is the best place to find where. They have rated local organizations, as well as some with global reach. 
As a former rescue worker I can tell you that the best gift you can give is money. This can be used by the charity to buy what they need. It also helps to pump the local economy, and stimulate it. This is something that is rarely understood, but the economy needs all the stimulus it needs. 
We are also linking to their list of charities that you can use. Find somebody that matches your goals. Some help pets, others help humans. Also consider giving to local charities that can put that money to use immediately, and know best the local needs. 
And I will repeat this. The best gift you can give is a couple dollars. And if you can donate in a month or two, they will greatly appreciate it. Most organizations get most of the donations they will get in the first 72 hours after an incident. Knowing this, I have donated to major disasters even a couple years after the event. I share this little nugget, so you can plan your giving to have a critical impact later on. 

Categories: Harvey, Giving, Disasters

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