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The greatest scams accompany the times of greatest need, and natural disasters are a match made in heaven for fraudsters.
We should be careful that we are not becoming invested in a new role as mass shooting chaplains as we are called to pray over the dead and offer the legitimacy of our faith communities to politicians who support the NRA, as they mourn the latest result of their actions.
At his home in Middletown, a small town of 1900 just north of California's storied wine country, veterinarian Jeff Smith ventured outside after the worst had passed to find only eight of the 20 homes in his neighborhood survived the firestorm.
We can no longer afford to leave young people behind. It is time to make the humanitarian system work for young people by engaging them, addressing the particular risk factors they face, and maximizing their ability to drive a local response.
Ten years after people were left to fend for themselves post-Katrina, we should all agree that inability to pay cannot mean inability to secure justice. Agreement on this principle, however, is not enough.
When Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast ten years ago, the fundamentals of disaster relief poured in: water, sanitation, food, shelter. But looking back, we can see that the most effective tool for the hardest hit was something else altogether: community organizing.
The failure of the strongest government in the world was of historic proportions. But faith and interfaith communities made history. They were the first responders, if not the only help, for most people over the course of several weeks. After 10 years, their work with survivors continues.
The first time the public was asked about their willingness to pay to rebuild after a disaster was following the flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The country was nearly evenly divided on whether federal funds should be banned from being used.
Over the last ten years, the American Red Cross and other disaster response organizations have taken the lessons of Katrina and applied new thinking and new technology to better prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
Preparing for the next disaster by building back better is a rising refrain today among those of us engaged in disaster response and recovery efforts around the globe. In New Orleans, EXCELth is showing us all how to do that in a thoughtful way.
Success comes when local groups, governments, and donors all understand the objectives and are working out of the same playbook. And since we know that this will not be Nepal's last earthquake, we have to reach toward lasting solutions. And that must be done together.
Scott Austin Key is Co-Founder of Emergency Floor, an innovative, low-cost flooring solution for refugee families in conflict and disaster stricken regions around the world.
In the aftermath of Nepal's earthquakes, my first concern has always been for the children. A million children affected by the earthquake need homes. They need to be cared for and protected from very real dangers such as trafficking.
Nepal has been in the news recently and for horrific reasons. If you are a member of a religious congregation or faith group, you have probably heard someone lift them up in prayer over the last few weeks.