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Thu 19 May

The Ecuador Earthquakes, the Fort McMurray Wildfire, and What We Can Do to Be Prepared

Reports from Reuters say that “The April 16th earthquake, Ecuador's worst in nearly seven decades, flattened buildings along the coast… Two earthquakes struck Ecuador's coast on Wednesday, causing minor injuries and light damage in the same region where a magnitude 7.8 tremor killed more than 650 people last month.” To top it off, this morning at 7:05am Ecuador experienced another earthquake with 4.6 magnitude.

Yesterday, the Albertan wildfire that engulfed parts of Fort McMurray grew to 423,000 hectares and continues to threaten those who work north of the city.  Check out this Toronto map to see what the scale of the wildfire would look like here – last week when the fire was only 85,000 hectares!

Last month someone asked those in El Salvador “how can we help?” and their answer is true of many trying to survive emergency situations.  Send us food, not volunteers. Sending donations to charities that already have expertise in emergency management, the logistics in place to efficiently organize people and essential items, and local contacts who understand the language and culture is the best possible thing we can do. Check out the answer the questions received in this interesting article and learn from its interactive facts – from last month before the subsequent earthquakes, tremors, and resulting devastation!

Sometimes, giving just doesn’t feel like enough. If tha­t’s you, here’s what else you can do.

 1) Pray with your community for families impacted by the events like these.

 2) Invite your community to give. 

     Some recommendations for the above mentioned disaster response are these:

  1. Alberta Wildfires: The Canadian Red Cross (they are receiving matching funds from the government so your donation goes twice as far), Samaritan`s Purse (they are based in Calgary and have an incredible network for local emergency response), The Salvation Army, and MCC through Mennonite Disaster Service.
  2. Ecuador Earthquakes: The Canadian Red Cross, MCC through Mennonite Disaster Service, World Vision, Oxfam, and WFP.

3) Get Prepared. Natural or man-made disasters can happen anywhere. Even if predictable, they can be dangerous if you aren’t prepared.  Tools and resources here will help you:

  1. Learn what your community’s emergency plans are.
  2. Establish your own family safety plans. (Do you have grab-bags with essentials ready to go?  If you are separated, where is your point of reunification?)

4) Track natural disasters and emergency response as they happen and learn what to do in case you ever end up in a dangerous situation. By learning tips on websites like this you and your family will be better prepared.  

 Laura Hanna is the Compassion Manager at The Meeting House.

Posted by Laura Hanna at 00:00AM | Permalink


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