Disaster Relief Is More Than Just About Donating Funds - Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka
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Disaster Relief Is More Than Just About Donating Funds

So much more!

Getty Images/Cultura RF

Monetary aid and first-at-the-scene responders are immediate requirements in the wake of any calamity. But the duration of relief necessities extends beyond the initial sprint of search, rescue, and basic rehabilitation, moving well into long term recovery.

And while all stages do require a healthy amount of financing, it also involves other very important investments. Read through the tips below as you plan your course of action over the next few weeks.

Set Aside Time: Our schedules have a tendency of taking on a life of their own and before you know it, you look at your calendar and realise you don’t have a moment for your threading appointment. Make sure you keep aside enough time for continued relief efforts by blocking off a certain amount every week.

*Top tip* Be consistent and fair to yourself. It would probably be  less beneficial for everyone if you dove in full steam ahead, and found yourself exhausted and burned out in just a few days. Keep some “me-time” on your calendar and don’t push yourself to breaking point. You need to be healthy and rational before you try and help others.

On The Ground Action: There’s only so many efforts you can coordinate remotely. It’s also important to be where the action is. Take yourself to the affected areas and walk around. Firstly, this may help you realise what actually needs to be done rather than relying on varying news sources and secondly, you may find people you’d like to help personally and with whom you’d like to build a relationship.

Use Your Skills: Are you certified in CPR? Can you swim? Are you proficient in first aid? Try and impart as many skills as possible to villages prone to flooding. Forget the official certification: as long as they can swim themselves to safety, know the correct way to approach someone who’s drowning, or stop blood flow from a deep gash, the lesson has been learned and many lives can be saved. Use your higher education to their benefit. Case in point: if you’re an architect, start informal sessions where you impart simple tips for flood-prevention that’ll help people as they rebuild their homes. The next time there’s heavy rain, they’ll know what to do to protect their houses from the first three feet and any potential mudslides.

Encourage Education: School-life is pretty much on hold in most affected areas. If you have a handle on a particular subject, consider holding tuition classes to help students keep up with their syllabi. For the little ones, take simple work or colouring books and colour pencils, and get their creative juices flowing. These few hours will not only mean that students are being constructive, it’ll also take their minds off troubles at home — educational, economic, or otherwise.

Give Your Heart: Take a box of Milos to an orphanage, a bag of Whiskas to the pet shelter, or freshly baked muffins to an elders home. Whatever it may be, take a treat along with you. Chat with people, show some love to furry friends, and generally try and connect on a deeper level. Sometimes a tea and a chat is all anyone’s looking for, right?

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