tagged w/ Disaster Relief
Residents of Haiti were already facing food shortages and rising inflation rates when triple natural disasters hit.
Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike drenched Haiti during the last few weeks causing widespread flooding, massive mudslides and hundreds of fatalities.
To help those displaced by the floodwaters, Operation Blessing has teamed up with long-time German partner, Humedica, to provide disaster relief, medical care and food.
To learn more about our relief effort in Haiti, visit: www.ob.orgResidents of Haiti were already facing food shortages and rising inflation rates when... more
Senators have passed a spending bill that aids Gulf Coast disaster victims and subsidizes federal loans for automakers. President Bush is expected to sign the measure despite some reservations.
The $634 billion bill provides money to keep the government running until the next president takes office.
The 78-12 vote Saturday also lifts a quarter-century ban on oil drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. That's a big victory for Republicans.
The Democrats have once again caved into Bush's demands.
Republicans say ending the drilling ban should lower gasoline prices. Democrats say it won't mean additional oil production for years.
Then why did lift the ban?
The lifting of the offshore oil drilling moratorium does not mean drilling is imminent. But it could set the stage for the government to offer leases in some Atlantic federal waters as early as 2011.
The low-interest loans for automakers are intended to help the companies develop technologies and retool factories to meet new standards for cleaner and more fuel-efficient cars.
After hard lobbying, automakers won up to $25 billion in low-interest loans to help them develop technologies and retool factories to meet new standards for cleaner and more fuel-efficient cars.
The legislation also contains 2,322 pet projects totaling $6.6 billion, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group. That included 2,025 in the defense portion alone that cost a total of $4.9 billion.Senators have passed a spending bill that aids Gulf Coast disaster victims and... more
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a spending bill Saturday that allows a 26-year ban on offshore oil drilling to expire, subsidizes federal loans for automakers and offers aid to Gulf Coast hurricane disaster victims.
The House already passed the $600 billion stop gap funding bill on Wednesday. The bill, which passed the Senate on a 78-12 vote, will continue government spending at the current level through March 6, 2009.
President Bush is expected to sign the measure.
The end to the ban on oil drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts is a major victory for Republicans. Speeches at the Republican National Convention last month were often interrupted with chants of "Drill, baby, drill."
The ban will be lifted October 1.
Republicans on Capitol Hill have seized on drilling as a major election year issue, citing multiple public opinion polls that show a majority of Americans support more offshore drilling. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, had incurred Republican wrath for originally blocking any vote on drilling before allowing a vote on limited drilling earlier this month.
The spending bill includes $25 billion in loan guarantees for U.S. automakers, $23-24 billion in disaster aid for flood and hurricane recovery efforts, $2 billion for Pell grants for student loans and $5.2 billion for low-income energy assistance.
Democrats decided to get a vote on this funding measure out of the way but plan to move an economic stimulus package separately. The stimulus package is still being crafted but would likely include an extension of unemployment benefits, food stamps, aid to states for Medicare and Medicaid and billions for infrastructure programs designed to add more jobs to a slowing economy.The Senate overwhelmingly passed a spending bill Saturday that allows a 26-year ban on... more
People who are to be hit by Ike living in single family homes are strongly urged to leave thier home or face "certain death" if they feal they can survive Ike head on. Texans scramble to prepare as looming doom covers citizens and Americans alike as we wait for the storm to hit land.People who are to be hit by Ike living in single family homes are strongly urged to... more
A day after Hurricane Gustav slammed into the Gulf Coast, Operation Blessing crews are out assessing the damage and the need.
Prior to the storm OBI moved crew and supplies into strategic positions in Mississippi and Louisiana so that it could be distributed after the storm came ashore.
Find out more - visit:
http://www.ob.orgA day after Hurricane Gustav slammed into the Gulf Coast, Operation Blessing crews are... more
August 31, 2008 (Computerworld) Nearly 100 domains related to Hurricane Gustav have been registered in the past 48 hours, security experts said Sunday, some of which may be used by bogus charity and relief scams after the storm strikes the U.S. Gulf Coast.
According to television station KTAL in Shreveport, La., the office of Louisiana's Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has warned residents of Gustav phishing attacks already in progress.
On Saturday, Marcus Sachs, the director of the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center (ISC), noted that numerous domains containing the word "gustav," "charity," "hurricane," and "relief" had been recently registered.
"On the day [Hurricane] Katrina hit New Orleans [in 2005] hundreds of donation sites appeared online, many if not most were scam sites," said Sachs in a post yesterday to the ISC research blog. "Well this time around it looks like the people who like to register domain names in anticipation of a storm's arrival have already started registering them for Gustav."
By Sunday, Sachs had listed almost 100 Gustav sites culled from the DomainTools' Web site. "Most of these sites are parked domains and many of them are for sale," he said. "They will be worth monitoring, particularly if 'donate here' messages appear."
Several of the domains, in fact, do appear to be parked, or registered but not fleshed out with content. Others, including helpgustavictims.com and helpgustavvictions.net, were for sale on eBay as of mid-day Sunday.
A few, however, led to legitimate charities. The domain gustavcharity.com, for example, redirected users to the Web site of the evangelical Christian organization "Samaritan's Purse," while contributegustav.org took users to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation's site.
Another security expert, Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, also posted a list of parked domains that may be used for scamming purposes. "Anytime we've seen a natural disaster, we've been on the lookup for domains which might be abused for fraud," said Warner Sunday on his blog. "It was only natural then that I retuned my settings at DomainTools yesterday to alert on Gustav domains."
Warner also pointed out a handful of domains that led to legitimate content.
Three years ago, before and after Hurricanes Katrina slammed into New Orleans, security researchers noted a similar run-up of domain registrations. Enough were used for phony relief scams, often by identity thieves hoping to trick consumers into divulging personal information, that the U.S. Department of Justice set up a Katrina anti-fraud task force.
More than a year later, two brothers were convicted on federal charges for running a fake Salvation Army site that solicited money, supposedly for Katrina relief efforts. The pair, Steven and Bartholomew Stephens, were sentenced to more than 100 months in prison for the scam last December.August 31, 2008 (Computerworld) Nearly 100 domains related to Hurricane Gustav have... more
"Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said Sunday he will tap his huge political network of donors and volunteers to help U.S. victims of Hurricane Gustav after it comes inland.""Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said Sunday he will tap his huge... more
Authorities struggling to provide aid after devastating floods in eastern India said on Sunday they needed more boats and rescuers to help hundreds of thousands of people still marooned in remote villages.
Bad weather and heavy rain over the past few days have hampered rescue and relief operations in the worst-ever floods to hit Bihar state in 50 years, officials said.
"I can't say specifically how many people are still stranded in floods," Nitish Mishra, the state's disaster management minister said on Sunday.
"But their numbers are in lakhs (hundreds of thousands) and we require more resources, more boats, army and rescue efforts to evacuate them."
Floods have killed more than 1,000 people in South Asia since the monsoon began in June, mainly in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where 785 people died, and deaths were also reported in Nepal and Bangladesh.
In Bihar, the toll rose to 90 on Sunday with five more people drowning overnight in separate districts.
At least 3 million people have been displaced and those figures could rise as heavy rain continued, officials said.Authorities struggling to provide aid after devastating floods in eastern India said... more
4 years ago
YANGON, Myanmar - A rare bird's-eye look at Myanmar's Irrawaddy delta shows the devastation still left from Cyclone Nargis — broken levies, flooded farm roads, the shattered remains of bamboo huts and trees strewn like matchsticks along the coast.
Conditions are far starker than reflected in the assessments from Myanmar's government and even in the recent optimism of some U.N. officials, The Associated Press has concluded from a review of data, a private flight over the delta and interviews with victims and aid workers.
Three months after a disaster that claimed nearly 140,000 lives, thousands of villagers are still getting little or nothing from their government or foreign aid groups.
"We lost everything — our house, our rice, our clothes. We were given just a little rice by a private aid group from Yangon. I don't know where the government or foreign organizations are helping people, but not here," said Khin Maung Kyi, a 60-year-old farmer who lost six children to the killer storm.
Some areas have received help in the delta, Myanmar's rice bowl set amid a lacework of waterways. During a fly-over, brand-new metal roofs atop reconstructed homes glittered in the tropical sunlight, farmers in cone-shaped hats worked in green rice paddies, and gangs of workers struggled to remove debris from canals and repair broken embankments.
But progress is slow and behind where it should be.
"The situation in Myanmar remains dire," said Chris Kaye, who heads relief operations for the U.N. World Food Program. "The vast majority of families simply don't have enough to eat."
Some grim recent statistics from foreign aid agencies working in the delta:
• A survey of families in 291 villages showed that 55 percent have less than one day of food left and no stocks to fall back on. Some 924,000 people will need food assistance until the November rice harvest, while around 300,000 will need relief until April 2009.
• The fishing industry, the delta's second-most-important source of income and food, remains devastated. More than 40 percent of fishing boats and 70 percent of fishing gear were destroyed and very little has been replaced.
• More than 360,000 children will not be able to go to elementary school in coming months because at least 2,000 schools were so badly damaged they cannot reopen anytime soon.
Read the entire article for more. Share your thoughts on the slow progress in Myanmar.YANGON, Myanmar - A rare bird's-eye look at Myanmar's Irrawaddy delta shows... more
Christen Skaer remembers standing in the middle of the rubble of Greensburg listening to dogs bark.
Only 12 hours after the tornado wiped it out, the town had no trees and no birds. In the stillness, Skaer could even identify the types of dogs that were barking and how far away they were.
About 350 animals were displaced by the tornado as residents fled their homes without them. Many pets became ill and died.
The Greensburg tornado was a defining moment for animal rescue efforts in the state, said Skaer, a Wichita veterinarian and director of the state and Sedgwick County animal response teams.
"Greensburg really lit a fire under us and made us realize that we don't have much choice," Skaer said. "It's a human health issue as well as an animal issue."Christen Skaer remembers standing in the middle of the rubble of Greensburg listening... more
BOGALAY, Burma: Two months after a cyclone savaged the fertile Irrawaddy Delta, in Burma's south-west, the bones of drowned victims still clutter the muddy banks of waterways.
One bamboo stick at a time, survivors in hundreds of flattened villages are struggling to rebuild their homes. For shelter, they squeeze several families into a single tent. For drinking water, they collect monsoon rainwater that trickles off tarpaulin roof coverings into buckets or salvaged ceramic vases. For food, they cook communal meals with rice, beans and oil from hand-outs. Sometimes it is spoiled.
In one village, survivors kept up a steady pace of sawing and hammering at planks salvaged from the wreckage.
"To work is to be busy, and to be busy helps them forget," said Soe, the village leader.
BOGALAY, Burma: Two months after a cyclone savaged the fertile Irrawaddy Delta, in... more
Well, the damage has been done and the clean-up has begun. And it is going to be a long time until people's lives return to a semblance of normal. You can see examples of how much was destroyed and the magnitude of the destruction from even a "small" flood. Our hearts go out to the hundreds of refugees downstream from us. And we visit with the leaders of a fund raising effort, the 2008 Iowa Disaster Fund, to learn how individuals throughout the world can send help that will go to individuals suffering from not only 500 year flooding but lethal tornadoes destroying entire towns in 2008.
If you'd rather not watch the video but you'd like to make a contribution to the 2008 Iowa Disaster Fund, please visit www.EmbraceIowa.com to conveniently donate.Well, the damage has been done and the clean-up has begun. And it is going to be a... more
"Sweden is donating SEK 500 million (USD 75.6 million) in relief aid, reported the Swedish paper Aftonbladet. The US is donating USD 35 million. Norway has decided to increase its donations by doubling the original amount and has now allocated NOK 100 million (USD 16.5 million) to the survivors of the disaster.
The amount the US decided to donate has created reactions. The Norwegian UN Undersecretary Jan Egeland, who is in charge of UN’s emergency relief coordination, stated Monday that rich countries are too stingy when it comes to emergency aid.
"I don’t understand why they are so stingy. If a country donates 0.1 or 0.2 percent of GDP in foreign aid, I don’t think that is particularly generous," Egeland said at the press conference Monday.
Egeland was forced to modify his statement when President George Bush became furious. Bush claimed Egeland was "very misguided and ill informed" and claimed that the amount allocated was only the beginning. However the American institution, the New York Times, completely agrees with Egeland’s statements. In an editorial under the headline "Are We Stingy? Yes" printed Thursday, the New York Times states that "Mr. Egeland was right on target.""Sweden is donating SEK 500 million (USD 75.6 million) in relief aid, reported... more
Less than two weeks after the monster earthquakes hit Sichuan, China, the Western media have significantly cut back on, if not forgotten, the disaster coverage. Many have seen the horrific images of dormitory buildings shaking, people running for lives and soldiers digging rubble for signs of life. But this earthquake, along with its thousands of aftershocks, is very very different, and so much more brutal than any earthquake in recent history.
To present the disaster's visual destructiveness and ruthlessness isn't the most difficult job, as there are thousands upon thousands of video clips and images available on English and Chinese portal sites, TV network web pages, among other online entities. But how to get the viewers to understand the full magnitude of the destruction and, more importantly, the extreme challenges for refugee resettlement and reconstruction in less than 10 minutes is no easy task. (Most people nowadays don't have more than 10 minutes online for things they don't care much about any more.)
I set out to tell the earthquake story in a powerful video in a few minutes to the English speaking audience. By picking through over a thousand photos and dozens of video clips found on Chinese web sites, I managed to weave out a narrative of some major highlights with the help of a few Chinese classic tunes in the background. Strong components of this presentation includes:
The opening factoids - babies becoming orphans, parents grieving souls, 7,000 school buildings collapsed and one survey in a school found 90% students lost their friends.
Images of an anchorwoman running away from studio scared of shaking, continuous sound a minute's worth of studio desk trembling, and a clip of a security tape capturing people fleeing the building and sunshade umbrella shaking.
An emotional short conversation of an intact family describing how the father saved the daughter and what the daughter was thinking in the three hours buried under rubble. The daughter was so grateful for her survival that she kept saying "thank you" to her father, and the father kept telling her "don't mention it, stop crying." (This may not be something unusual for most Western viewers, but for those who understand Chinese culture, people often don't express emotions explicitly and saying thanks to parents or children is something rarely heard.)
Contrast photos of communities before and after the quake, photos of landslides, leveled landscapes, successful and failed rescues, satellite imagery, and a climactic string of photos that present a whole variety of difficulties for those who deal with the earthquake destruction, from 4 million Chengdu citizens sleeping on the streets to babies crying for parents.
At the end, I chose to have a moment of silence and, during this moment, open some thoughts about some of the questions journalists and many Chinese raised about shoddy buildings for schools, concerns about safety of many dams in this earthquake prone region, so on and so forth. As these will be some of the very important questions for China to address to rebuild stronger and better houses, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure projects.
This production is the most heart breaking piece I have done. But as a powerful video presentation, I hope it can help my nation and millions of those affected in their reconstructions by getting continued attention from outside China even though people here tend to forget about a most devastating earthquake in this century on the other side of the planet.Less than two weeks after the monster earthquakes hit Sichuan, China, the Western... more
Saudi Arabia has given $50 million and delivered 260 tonnes of relief aid to help China deal with the aftermath of the devastating May 12 earthquake, the official SPA news agency said Saturday.
The 4th airplane carrying aid arrived in southwestern Sichuan province on Saturday as part of an airlift ordered by King Abdullah following a quake that has killed more than 60,000 people.
Abdullah had also provided $ 50 million "to cater for the humanitarian needs" of quake victims, SPA said. In total Saudi Arabia has delivered 260 tonnes of foodstuffs, tents and blankets for survivors, SPA added.
More than 5.47 million people have been made homeless by the quake and more than 11 million people are expected to be housed in refugee camps as dangerous areas in the quake zone are evacuated.
Many other Muslim countries such as Turkey have given aid for the Chinese earthquake victims.
Saudi Arabia has given $50 million and delivered 260 tonnes of relief aid to help... more
After the relief and rescue effort pulled 84,000 survivors out of the rubble in China's Sichuan province, the Chinese government is setting up a 70 billion yuan (~$10 billion US) fund to pay for the reconstruction in the disaster area. The "quake-resistant" homes are built to last three years and will help shelter the 5 million people left homeless.After the relief and rescue effort pulled 84,000 survivors out of the rubble in... more
After eight long years of suffering, change will arrive and disaster relief will begin. Everyone is asking, 'What is Y2W?' You've heard of Y2K. Well, Y2W is the countdown not to an anticipated disaster, but to disaster relief and W's final day as President of the United States on 01.20.09.
Join the Y2W campaign - Y2W is looking to find 1,000,000 supporters who want to celebrate George W. Bush's exit from the White House. 01.19.09 on the eve of Bush's last day, there's going to be a need to celebrate, kick back and have a few drinks. Y2W will be the event for America to celebrate change, but we need you to support our grassroots effort. Visit y2w.org and on MySpace and Facebook and become a Y2W friend today.Visit y2w.org
After eight long years of suffering, change will arrive and disaster... more
4 years ago
Years after the devastating Hurricane Kitrina, a group of university students travels to New Orleans to help the continuing rebuilding efforts. This is NOT a look back but a step forward as this once amazing city welcomes the volunteers who will help rebuild her.
We will travel to the part of town where water was up to the rooftops, we will look at a levee and do some roofing in the lower 9th ward. We will watch this group take the molded walls out of a house while preserving the studs and framework and watch as the same group gets into a heated argument about something as trivial as an ice cream run.
NEW... NEW ORLEANS will put you on ground level with the hope and triumphs of the volunteers!
RUN TIME: 05:10
BY: Kelly King
Years after the devastating Hurricane Kitrina, a group of university students travels... more
MYANMAR (formerly Burma) - Operation Blessing International is one of the only international NGOs on the ground, bringing relief to the victims of Cyclone Nargis. In this first-hand report, OBI staff travel deep into a remote village to deliver rice and water purification tablets.
MYANMAR (formerly Burma) - Operation Blessing International is one of the only... more