stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
Maybe it's because the world is more crowded, so more people are affected by disasters. Maybe there are more and worse disasters, possibly due to climate change. Maybe governments are increasingly incompetent and/or corrupt. Maybe we're just having a bad stretch. All I know is, we're in trouble.

Most of my charitable giving this year has been in direct response to natural disasters. The earthquake in Haiti first, then the flooding in Pakistan. (And curse ye, Citibank, for giving me such a hassle over this. The International Red Cross, International Rescue and Doctors Without Borders are not terrorist organizations!) I wish I could do more, not just for these disasters but for others happening around the world. However, that's just not feasible right now. I have other responsibilities; to myself, my family, my friends and my neighbors.

Don't think it could happen here? Katrina and the Gulf oil well leak are just the two biggest examples of recent disasters in the US. I have an aunt and uncle who live near Ashland who were washed out of their house earlier this Summer. Other areas in North America have recently been hit by floods, tornados, blizzards and so forth. We're not immune.

While not all disasters are handled badly, few recent large disasters have been handled well. Also, it seems to be a coin toss as to whether any particular problem will be made worse through incompetence.

It's not just incompetence hampering things, either. The Katrina disaster was rife with examples of people being not just abandoned by those who were supposed to help them, but actively impeded. This interference goes all the way up to being shot for trying to leave the disaster area on their own after their governments failed to help them get out. (Don't want unarmed refugees walking across *your* bridge and coming into *your* town? Shoot 'em!)

I'm not depression-mongering, here. I'm trying to encourage people to take responsibility for themselves, and also to reach out to those in need.

See to your own first, by all means. Keep food, water, light and heat sources, a first aid kit and so forth at home and in your car. Once you've made reasonable preparations to take care of yourself and your family and maybe a few others, please, please, please do what you can to help those further away. Give money to charities you trust, especially during times of crisis. Encourage others to do likewise. Send letters, e-mails, and calls to appropriate public officials to urge them to help.

God helps those who help themselves, but He blesses those who help others.
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
Doctors Without Borders:

https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=197&hbc=1?ref=main-menu

International Rescue:

https://www.theirc.org/donate/overview

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