disaster relief | September 7, 2017

Asking the Right Questions When Responding to a Disaster



Even before a disaster hits, MAP becomes a disaster response center.

When we know a hurricane is forming, or receive news of an earthquake, or see refugees fleeing conflict, MAP springs into action.

Our first question is always, “How can we best help those most affected?”

To respond effectively requires good communication with trusted partners on the ground and nearest to the disaster.

Fortunately, MAP has dozens of such partners around the world. If we have some advanced warning, such as we did with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria last fall, we ask what supplies will be needed and what distribution is available.

For example, last fall, as soon as MAP knew the projected number of people that would be displaced in the Houston area following Hurricane Harvey, we sent a supply of Disaster Health Kits (DHKs) to the scene to be distributed at shelters. The contents of these kits help people who have fled with nothing receive both tangible help and emotional support.

The basic health supplies in DHKs help prevent disease and allow displaced people to care for themselves and their families. They also let them know that someone cares.

Image uploaded from iOS (6)We keep a large supply of assembled Disaster Health Kits on hand at our global distribution center in Brunswick for just such a situation. Volunteers pack these kits either in our warehouse or at packing events at churches, schools or businesses. Because of their help, we’re able to very quickly respond.

We pray that the 2018 hurricane season will result in few, if any storms. If they do, MAP will continue to ask, “How can we best help those most affected?”

Learn more about MAP's disaster response efforts worldwide and how you can help here. 

Kipp Branch is Senior Partnership Development Officer at MAP. He has worked for MAP for 24 years and has helped respond to dozens of disasters worldwide.

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