Posts Tagged ‘ Hurricane Katrina ’

People helping people

Volunteering is one of my favorite things to do. I cannot begin to explain how fun and rewarding it is to help impact the lives of others for the better. My first major volunteer opportunity was for the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts for New Orleans.The people there had lost so much, but they were still full of joy and hope. It helped me see things that I thought were arduous in my life in a different light. Helping people who are less fortunate helps put things in perspective, or if anything makes you feel really good. So how do you jump in? 

Find a place to volunteer through a volunteer matching serviceVolunteermatch.org  is a great website where you can enter the skills you have to offer and your zip code to find opportunities near you. However, these opportunities may require a commitment to the organization featured. Other sites allow you to sign up for volunteer events, specifically, with no commitment.

Places of worship– Almost any church (not sure about synagogues, mosques, etc.) will have a ministry that serves the community. Find an opportunity that interests you and jump in. My church has an event on the 2nd saturday of each month for a couple of hours where you can go out with a group of people to do anything from feeding the homeless to cleaning up a river with no commitment to the organizations we partner with that month. Last month, I went to clean up a nearby river that is incredibly filthy. It didn’t seem like we were doing much in that short amount of time to clean it up, but I’m sure that the little bit we did clean up will make a huge difference for the wildlife and organisms that depend on the river for life.

Don’t have time– If your way too busy to give up a couple of hours of your time. That’s ok! There are tons of causes that need donations to operate. I found a website much like Groupon or Living Social where you don’t buy massage or movie ticket deals, but you donate $1 (no more, no less) to a nonprofit that’s featured as the “daily deal”. For more information, visit the website here .

What have you volunteered for in the past and how has it impacted you?

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It’s an emergency!

Yesterday I was on my way to work on the DC Metro red line.
It started out as a normal day and then this happened http://t.co/lkxz1gF. There was a bomb treat at Rockville station and they weren’t letting any trains pass through  the station because the police and the bomb squad were investigating on the platform. This event made me think, what is the best thing to do when you’re in an emergency situation where your life is at stake?

As a generation, we’ve been through some major emergency events—the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina. I’m sure we will go through a lot more. What is the best way to handle these situations?

I found a good resource even though it may not be the most credible. According to wikihow:

In many emergency situations, timing could be the key to saving someone’s life. But it is extremely important to know what to do in these situations, and to do it quickly.

Take deep breaths. Your brain can’t function properly without oxygen. Take long, deep breaths, not short ones. If you begin panting, you will increase the rush of adrenaline. Continue taking deep breaths until you agree to yourself that you can take care of the situation. If you don’t think you can handle it, even after one minute of deep breathing, get help. If you don’t think you can handle the situation, there’s no point in trying, because you’ll probably do something wrong. Call your local emergency number if you aren’t calm enough to take care of the situation after one minute of deep breathing.

Don’t continue deep breaths to calm down after one minute, because waiting too long could affect the situation dramatically. In these situations, it’s either you can do it, or you can’t. Choose carefully.

Figure out what you need to do, and do it. Make sure you do it right while still being timely. Run in your head each choice you make, and determine the effects of it. Be fast. Don’t rush things to the point you can’t remain calm, but don’t take your time either. Rushing can lead to pointless decisions that will only waste more time. Before going through with any choice, make sure it’s worth the while. And as soon as you start, go through with it.

Call your local emergency number such as 999, 112 or 911. After you’ve gone through your choice, call your local emergency number immediately. Your choice could help stall the situation, but no matter how good you think it was, call your emergency number. If you’re with other people in the situation, while you’re making your decision, yell at someone to call the emergency number. Don’t yell generally; yell at one specific person, preferably the first one you see. If you yell at one person, they’ll do it. If you yell at everyone, they will all assume someone else will do it.

Follow the instructions of the emergency dispatcher on
the phone and don’t hang up
. Help any injured people and imagine what you would need in their situation. If there are multiple injured people, help the most critically injured first. If you need a cloth or water ask a bystander to get it. Don’t leave someone unattended unless
absolutely necessary.

Relax. Wait for the emergency specialists to come. There’s
basically nothing you can do after you’ve made your choice and have called the emergency number. Don’t go completely numb, but don’t freak out either. Continue taking deep breaths, and constantly remind yourself that you’ve done all you can. Don’t feel you need to make another decision to make things right, because the specialists will know exactly what to do once they arrive.

Tips

Remain calm.

-Continuously let oxygen to your brain. This will help you think and calm down.

-Understand that unless you are a trained medical or emergency worker, the situation will likely look
worse to you than it actually is, especially if bleeding or broken bones are involved. While it is always important to have a high index of suspicion that something serious could be happening, just remember that it probably looks worse than it is.

-Prepare. None of the above steps are of any use to you if you don’t have an iota of an idea what to do. There is NO excuse not to undergo basic first aid and CPR training at least once in your life. It really could mean the difference between life and death for you, a loved one, or even just a complete stranger whom you may be able to help.

Situations like this can cause major stress and bring on a
variety of maladies such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s important so see a trained professional to talk about what happened to prevent issues from developing. What have you done in the past to cope with emergency situations?

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