Monday, December 29, 2014
Worst Flood in Malaysia - What you can do to aid.
Malaysia has been hit with a bad flood. One of the worst seen. There are many things you can do to help if you are in the region.
For one, you can always donate. However, that is the least you can do as even the mercy relief Malaysia page is down.
If the one thing a disaster relief organization is good at -- FUND RAISING -- Fails, I would not put too much faith in them for delivering the needed aid.
Some of the thoughts on Relief 2.0
For one, to prevent the question that comes up all the time after disaster relief, "Where did our money go?" Here are a few things you can do.
1) Form your own team. Some people have time to go to the flooded areas, some are good at marketing, some have other useful skills. Everyone can contribute in one way or another.
2) Engage with a local in the disaster area. If you are in Singapore, Malaysia is not far. Ask around Alumni, friends, family for someone you can contact to access the situation. Don't just get information from news.
3) Get a vehicle and ask for support. If you are in Singapore or Malaysia, and you want to drive to the disaster area, you can reach it. After knowing the needs of the ground from talking to the locals, ask friends / family / colleagues for support. They can provide money, food, etc for you to bring up as well.
4) Get others to come. Fill up your car with people and aid!
5) Everyone can contribute. In a disaster, everyone can contribute, but you need to know your value. As long as you have your own sleeping bag, food, water, transport, communications, and you are not a burden to others, you can provide support and aid. Everyone has skills that can be used. Organizing volunteers, bringing food to people who are not in shelters, providing transport for people to hospital, etc. There are lots of things that NGOs do not do in disaster areas that is needed.
6) Run the last mile of disaster relief. There will be many problems that you will encounter. There is always a few choices. Give up or innovate. Bureaucracy may be in your way, and you can either be angry or you can work around the bureaucracy to make things happen.
7) Share. When you are on the ground, share information via photos and videos to Facebook and let people know what is going on at the disaster site. REAL information is better than the news. Document what happened, what succeeded and what failed, and use it as a good leaning example.
8) Get contacts. Find contacts of locals to connect them with others who want to help in the future.
Everyone can play a part to make things a little better.