On the radio this week, there are lots of reports about the five-year anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Hearing these stories inspired me to dig through some old files of my own.
In 2006, a year after the hurricanes hit, I visited my dad, who was working for FEMA to install the infamous trailers, in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
This was just one destroyed home, out of many, that was just waiting around, a year after the fact, for someone to come and clean it up.
And this was just one trailer park, out of many, that was built in Lake Charles to try to help the residents of the coastal parishes who lost their homes. Crying Eagle Village was the name of this FEMA trailer park. A depressing name, for a depressing place, in a depressing situation.
The statistics that my dad shared with me then, which I unfortunately can’t remember now, of how much it cost to install each trailer, and how many trailers were never occupied, and how much it cost to remove the unused trailers, were absolutely astounding… and that was before the formaldehyde was discovered in the trailers.
With natural disasters becoming more frequent all across the globe, how ready are we for the next one? Instead of wasting money on toxic trailer parks with bad names, what can we do that will really help people who have lost everything?
One thing is for sure, we have lots of opportunities to practice, as Haiti still hasn’t recovered from the earthquake that hit in January, and Pakistan is in desperate need of international aid right now.
With all this reflecting on our past, it is good reminder that we can help people in the present. So I did a quick search for reliable relief organizations to donate to, and I chose the Global Fund for Women as my way to honor the victims of the past, present and the future.