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Whether a disaster takes place in New York City or in Bangladesh, a common challenge is a lack of enough trained responders. Many professional emergency services support about only ten trucks per 100,000 people, and take at least a half hour per rescue. Unfortunately, this means that up to 75% of salvageable victims can die in the time it takes the rescuers to reach them.
By having more trained first-line responders, the work can be done more efficiently and effectively, and more lives can be saved. Energy in the hours immediately following disaster must be focused on rescuing people and also on preventing any further damage or industry. Disaster relief organizations can help by being nearby, by having enough trained people who can lend a hand and by having diversified services so that rescue and mitigation can happen simultaneously.
*You can support disaster relief organizations by donating to them, or you can look into becoming part of your local emergency response volunteer team, as well.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|