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Disaster Response

Compassion and Resilience in Haiti

Southern Haiti after Hurricane Matthew–October, 2016
(Photo by John Carroll)

blogs.pjstar.com - by John Carroll, MD - March 31, 2017

The Gallup Poll recently reported that “even before Hurricane Matthew ravaged Southern Haiti in late 2016, the small Caribbean nation was already in deep distress, with more than four in 10 Haitians (43%) rating their lives poorly enough to be considered suffering”. The only country suffering more than Haiti in the world is South Sudan where famine already has been declared in two counties of South Sudan, and 1 million people there are on the brink of dying from a lack of food. Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti last October; according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the storm left nearly 140,000 Haitians homeless . . .

 . . . The hurricane took the people’s lives, homes, chickens, goats, crops, trees, schools, and churches. They had little food and water. They had no money. What was left? . . . 

 . . . a plea for us to find humanity again.  With compassion, followed by action, we would create resilient societies which care for one another.

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South Florida Charity Discovers 240 Starving Haitians Living in Cave

Food For The Poor teams have discovered 240 people, including 84 women and 62 children, living in a cave in the rugged mountains near Fonds Rouge Dahere, where they have been since Hurricane Matthew hit the country’s southern peninsula in October. The charity is launching a campaign to help them immediately with lifesaving aid and to build homes. (Photo/ Food For The Poor) User Upload Caption: Families found in caves months after hurricane. - Original Credit: Courtesy - Original Source: Food for the Poor (Courtesy)

submitted by John Carroll

sun-sentinel.com - by Rebeca Piccardo - March 23, 2017

Despite their dire conditions and empty stomachs, about 240 people living inside a cave in the rugged mountains in Haiti’s southern peninsula were singing joyful hymns. And their voices led a team from Food For The Poor right to them.

Now the starving parents and children are receiving food and other essential items from the Coconut Creek-based charity, said Robin Mahfood, president and CEO of Food For The Poor.

The group, which include 84 women and 62 children, have been living in the cave near Fonds Rouge Dahere since they sought shelter from Hurricane Matthew when it pummeled the island in October.

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After Bringing Cholera to Haiti, U.N. Can’t Raise Money to Fight It

           

A clinic in Rendel, Haiti, was overflowing with cholera patients in October. The disease has killed nearly 10,000 people in Haiti since it was introduced there in 2010 by a United Nations peacekeeping force. Credit Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

nytimes.com - by Rick Gladstone - March 19, 2017

When the leader of the United Nations apologized to Haitians for the cholera epidemic that has ravaged their country for more than six years — caused by infected peacekeepers sent to protect them — he proclaimed a “moral responsibility” to make things right.

The apology, announced in December along with a $400 million strategy to combat the epidemic and “provide material assistance and support” for victims, amounted to a rare public act of contrition by the United Nations. Under its secretary general at the time, Ban Ki-moon, the organization had resisted any acceptance of blame for the epidemic, one of the worst cholera outbreaks in modern times.

Since then, however, the United Nations’ strategy to fight the epidemic, which it calls the “New Approach,” has failed to gain traction.

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What Happens If a Nuclear Bomb Goes Off in Manhattan?

Manhatten skyline. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Image: Manhatten skyline. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

theatlantic.com - March 15th 2017 - Kaveh Waddell

On a quiet afternoon, two medium-sized nuclear blasts level portions of Manhattan.

If this were a movie, hordes of panicked New Yorkers would pour out into the streets, running around and calling out for their loved ones. But reality doesn’t usually line up with Hollywood’s vision of a disaster scene, says William Kennedy, a professor in the Center for Social Complexity at George Mason University. 

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Community Resilience and Emergency Preparedness - Information Resources

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Individuals can make a difference in their own community but not everyone has bought into preparedness.  Research on personal preparedness indicates that individuals who believe they are prepared for disasters often are not as prepared as they think.  In addition, some admit they do not plan to prepare at all. 

The challenge: Maximizing awareness and encouraging participation in disaster preparedness activities to affect change at the community level.

World Health Organisation Should Outsource Key Duties, Experts Say

         

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical staff tackle Ebola in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. The outbreak killed 11,000 people. Photograph: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

British Medical Journal report advises fundamental overhaul of the WHO to avoid loss of funding, warning it is at risk of repeating mistakes of the Ebola crisis

CLICK HERE - British Medical Journal - Outsourcing: how to reform WHO for the 21st century

theguardian.com - by Harriet Grant - September 12, 2016

Global public health experts have called for “fundamental and extensive reform” of the World Health Organisation (WHO) including major outsourcing of key activities, warning that the organisation is already at risk of repeating the mistakes it made in handling the Ebola crisis.

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Prosecutors Let Utility Out Of Massive Fine In Deadly California Gas Explosion

A plane spreads fire retardent on the San Bruno fire.

Image: A plane spreads fire retardent on the San Bruno fire.

huffingtonpost.com - August 2nd 2016 - Michael McLaughlin

Federal prosecutors quietly filed court papers Tuesday that may save a utility company from paying $562 million in fines for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010.

The stunning move, as a jury in a criminal case against Pacific Gas & Electric deliberated for a fourth day, means the company now faces a maximum federal fine of $6 million, instead of $562 million, if it is convicted in one of the worst disasters of its kind in history. The jury is considering 13 criminal charges stemming from the blowout and fire that destroyed 38 homes in suburban San Bruno.

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The Cholera Epidemic the U.N. Left Behind in Haiti

Haitians in a cholera treatment center in 2011. Credit Andres Martinez Casares for The New York Times.

Image:  Haitians in a cholera treatment center in 2011. Credit Andres Martinez Casares for The New York Times.

nytimes.com - July 6th 2016 - The Editorial Board

As Haitians were reeling from the devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake, United Nations peacekeepers inadvertently compounded their troubles by bringing cholera to the island. Roughly 10,000 Haitians have died from the disease, which spreads easily in places with poor sanitation.

The United Nations hasn’t acknowledged its responsibility and has vigorously fought legal efforts to secure compensation for victims.

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The Crisis in Flint Isn't Over. It's Everywhere.

Tony Palladeno’s rental units sit unoccupied; his water still irritates his skin and eyes when he bathes. Photo by Dan Winters

Image: Tony Palladeno’s rental units sit unoccupied; his water still irritates his skin and eyes when he bathes. Photo by Dan Winters

wired.com - June 1st 2016 - Ben Paynter

At his home near Kearsley Park, on the east side of Flint, Michigan, Tony Palladeno Jr. grabs his keys and a pair of 1-liter medical-grade plastic bottles—one full and one empty. He filled the first yesterday, with slightly cloudy water from his own tap. To fill the second, he strolls a few doors down to a two-story home he once rented out.

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Leak worsens in massive Hanford tank holding nuclear waste

A photo from April 17, 2016 shows liquid covering the floor of the space between the inner and outer shells of a massive tank holding nuclear waste at the Hanford Site in eastern Washington. The tank has been leaking since at least October 2011. (Photo: KING)

Image: A photo from April 17, 2016 shows liquid covering the floor of the space between the inner and outer shells of a massive tank holding nuclear waste at the Hanford Site in eastern Washington. The tank has been leaking since at least October 2011. (Photo: KING)

king5.com - April 18th 2016 - Susannah Frame

A leak in a massive nuclear waste storage tank at the Hanford Site has expanded significantly, KING 5 learned this weekend.

After leak detector alarms sounded early Sunday morning, crews at Hanford lowered a camera into the two-foot-wide space between the tank's inner and outer walls. They discovered 8.4 inches of radioactive and chemically toxic waste has seeped into the annulus.

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