Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Website Wednesday: CNN

On Wednesdays I write about websites that I visit often.

We've been quite busy on our Red Cross assignment this week, so today was the first time I was able to visit a news website.

I prefer CNN for my overview of the news.

The main reason I took a look today is that we heard that U.S. Highway 30 near Clatskanie, OR was closed due to a very large mudslide. The mud oozed over about 300 feet of roadway, destroying three homes, and it affects our work here, making it harder for us to reach our outlying service sites in western Oregon.

When we helped after Hurricane Katrina, we visited some of the most damaged areas in Louisiana to see them for ourselves. It was extremely upsetting, and now we tend not to seek out images of the destruction that leads to our work. I understand that many seasoned Red Cross volunteers avoid "sight seeing" the disaster. Once you've served on a couple of disaster relief operations, you don't need to visit the disaster areas so much. The broken homes and faces full of pain don't change.

Looking at the photos of the mudslide and reading about this week's big ice storms in the midwest (where the Red Cross also has a relief operation under way) brought up those feelings of sadness and sympathy for those who have suffered losses. I don't want to read the news and feel helpless, so I usually don't.

But it is a powerful reminder of why we do what we do.


  1. Hi guys,

    I want to write and say how thankful I am that people like you are around to help out when things go wrong. It renews my faith in humanity.

    I have a mostly tangential question that you may or may not be able to answer: Do you know if the Red Cross has done any thinking about how to handle increasing numbers of events per year? It seems like we are suffering more weather-related events each year and I wonder how long the RC can keep increasing its workload.

  2. Lance, we have not noticed any particular increase in the number of Disaster Relief operations. Nor have we heard any of the senior staff discuss that. I suspect that with all the interest in global warming and climate change that more events are making it into the news.

    Hurricane Katrina was good for the Red Cross in the sense that it generated an enormous interest in volunteering. Thousands of new folks joined the organization, and many like us have returned to work other disasters.

    I have faith in the goodness of humanity and that we will work together to meet whatever need arises.

    Good question; thanks for your comment!


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