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Archives of #disaster response

UPHEAVAL

(We’re sick of this damn virus) In the aftermath of disaster there are discernible patterns — stages of thought, behavior and emotions. Fifteen ago I began to map them. To document — from the experiences of people who’d faced the unthinkable — those patterns and stages. You can read some of what I’ve written about them on my website. This is […]

Louisiana On My Mind —

I am thinking of some of my most treasured relationships. People in Louisiana. Friends and family. Many Louisiana friends are “storm friends”. We came to know one another in the aftermath of Katrina. We’ve seen horrible stuff. We’ve hugged in a street surrounded by wreckage, when everything was gray dust covered, with the smell of […]

7 Stages of Disaster Recovery: How the Light Gets In

“There is a crack in everything. It’s how the light gets in.” -Leonard Cohen About twelve years ago I began collecting stories — stories that emerged from working with people who had survived disasters. There were so many lessons in these stories. After a time, I began to notice that the wisdom I heard and […]

The Oath Takers

Some of us are in professions that require the taking of an oath. We ask it of doctors, of soldiers, of public servants. Of those we elect to represent us. Of people we entrust with power. Our doctors swear to ”respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk… and apply […]

FERAL HOGS: In Disasters

Anti-fragility We woke up today to a story about the people we elected using their knowledge of what was coming — a potential pandemic — to enrich themselves. In every disaster there is the “betrayal stage”. That’s the moment when the realization comes that some part of this suffering could have been avoided. And that […]

Born For Storms: Nine Lessons on Creating Welcome and the Journey to Recovery

One of the oldest stories in the world is the story of displacement. Upended lives. Mass migrations. Wholesale disruptions of community and belonging. When weather or war make our world uninhabitable, we will move to higher ground. We will seek a new life. I have witnessed this recovery journey as CEO of BakerRipley, the largest […]

ALL OF US. FOR A REALLY LONG TIME

Well, I woke up to a random story about how BakerRipley is a mean old for profit making a huge amount of money from running NRG. Nope. First of all. We’re going to need everyone. Everyone. I’ve never seen a long term recovery commitment work that wasn’t a 3-legged stool. Government Nonprofit and faith community […]

Born for Storms: What Makes Long-Term Disaster Recovery Work? 2008

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” — H.E. Luccock Long-term recovery begins after emergency services are depleted or no longer needed. After newly arrived residents are safe, (temporarily) sheltered, fed, and treated for emergency medical needs, the longer term response must kick in. The social, faith-based, and […]

MOTHER NATURE

On my mind – The thing about Mother Nature is that if you go to war with her, you lose. She has her rules. You live in her. She’s a “natural consequences” kind of disciplinarian. So she just lets the results of actions roll down. You can drum up all the heroics you want, sound […]

journal excerpt: community development

February 2012 I hold this deep faith and commitment to the promise of this country — this heartfelt hope that we never ever break the contract we have with the world — that if you come here and work hard it will pay off. If you use your gifts and your voice, you will belong. […]