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natural-disasters (1)

THE GOOD SAMARITAN INITIATIVE

Vision: Resilient People; Resilient Communities

“The worst disaster is not being prepared.”

The American Red Cross

The reality: In a significant disaster and emergency situation the government emergency response teams will not be able to reach victims for a period of 3 to 7 days!  Most often the first responders are the Good Samaritans, the individuals who are at the scene with you during a disaster – earthquakes, hurricanes and typhoons, fires, flooding, tsunamis, and an active shooter, to name a few. 

MERYCworldwide has launched a global initiative, The Good Samaritan Initiative, to build individual and community resilience through disaster-emergency preparedness and training, which will increase the opportunities for survival and recovery in individuals and in our communities. 

re·sil·ience (rəˈzilyəns)

     noun: resiliency

                ; the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

                ; the ability to spring back into shape; elasticity.

                ; in the case of a disaster, the ability of a person or a community to return to a “new normal”.

Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), makes a case for increased attention and resources on resilience in his 2016 report titled, Resilience: Saving Lives Today, Investing For Tomorrow:

Humanitarian need [related to disasters] has reached unprecedented levels and the aid sector is struggling to cope. Raising more money to meet ever-increasing need is not going to be adequate to handle future crises. Counting the number of people we reach is no longer a sufficient measure of success. Something must change. Pre-disaster investments must be taken more seriously to stem the increase in the number of crises.

The IFRC’s One Billion Coalition for Resilience [initiative] acknowledges that the key to success in building resilience is to mobilize a broad partnership of actors from local to global, committed to the common cause of building resilience at the individual or community level.

World Disasters Report, media.ifrc.org/ifrc/publications/world-disasters-report-2016/ Resilience: Saving Lives Today, Investing For Tomorrow

We ask your support in helping us in our efforts to serve people and save lives by building resiliency in people and in our communities.   

SERVING PEOPLE. SAVING LIVES.

#ItStartsWithYou

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Disasters are more prevalent today

In fact, some of the worst disasters have occurred in the past decade: the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami (2004), Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (2008), and the Haiti earthquake (2010), to name a few.

Disasters have increased in size and extent of devastation

In fact, some of the worst disasters have occurred in the past decade: the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami (2004), Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (2008), and the Haiti earthquake (2010), to name a few.

Disasters have become more complex

We now have different types, classifications, and phases of disasters. For example, large primary disasters like earthquakes often give rise to secondary disasters like prolonged power outages. Or, disasters can be classified according to the extent of the destruction they cause, or whether they are due to natural or man-made causes (Aten & Boan, 2013).

Pandemics can spread rapidly and overwhelm the under prepared

An influenza pandemic, or other infectious disease, can spread from person-to-person causing serious illness across the country, or around the globe, in a very short time (Ibid.).

Disasters impact the whole person and the whole community

Each requires an immediate, intermediate, and long-term response. With their long-term presence, local knowledge, and ethos of compassion and care for others, churches are uniquely positioned to serve their communities in the midst of a disaster and the response (Ibid.).

Disasters reveal who are the most vulnerable in a community

Identifying the most vulnerable in advance can reduce the impact upon them. Examples of at-risk members include the elderly, people with serious or chronic medical conditions, handicapped people, and children (Ibid.).