What The Philippines Learned The Hard Way

It is hard to get past the heartwrenching headlines and photographs to focus on life's ordinary and simple daily tasks such as laundry, cooking, cleaning and taking care of your children. Tragedies put lifes simple things forefront. I am grateful to have water coming out of the tap.Hurricane Sandy reeked havoc on homes, shorelines and unsuspecting infrastructure, with minimal, if any, loss of life. But the magnitude of the loss of lives in the Philippines is unfathomable.  Nobody could ever have a crisis plan for what happened.  Early warning signs could not have saved any more lives.  Hopefully we can learn something about how to help survivors when all seems lost.

The destruction of the Philippines was catastrophic and unparalleled. A video captures the storm surge as it plowed through homes, killing so many unsuspecting people in its path. The images are gruesome and overwhelming. Typhoon Haiyan is the most powerful storm to hit landfall-ever. An estimated 4,000 have died so far. Today's CNN headline covers the story tells of one mans loss.  There will be many more stories such as his as the days trudge on.  There may be stories of hopeful reunions, of newborn babies thriving, of  firends and neighbors throughout the world reaching out with helping hands.   A drone captures the enormity of the destruction, flying freely above the debris and showing the world with its lenses the seemingly insurmountable tasks ahead for the Phillipine nation. Parents who survived don't even know if their children did. Some mothers are wishing that they were dead.  People are being buried in mass graves with no way to identify them and no family members there to honor them as they are laid to rest. There is no time for funerals or memorial services. Desperate for water and food, recent news photos captured masses of survivors running to collect dropped emergency supplies, sometimes pushing each other aside in their own fight for survival. What can we do? How can we help? What is going to happen to the survivors? These are all questions to be answered in the days, months and years ahead. 2.5 million need food. 4 million need shelter. One trusted organization to consider making a donation to for the typhoon survivors is Doctors Without Borders.  Another is https://www.children.org/Articles/Article/11345?rs_id=2 Next week millions will celebrate and give thanks for their blessings during the celebration of both the Thanksgiving and hanukkah holidays. Let us pause and remember those that perished in the Philippines-gone forever in only minutes time.  Know that nature, in its fury, can eliminate anyone's best laid crisis plans any time. 

Rianbow by Robert Bell

I'd like to send this vision of hope-this rainbow photo by Robert Bell-to the Philippines. If you wish to share a personal story relating to this tragedy, please comment below.