Tricia Wachendorf and James Kendra from the University of Delaware’s Disaster Research Center are available for interview to discuss the lessons learned from the 2004 Tsunami and why we need to refocus our aid efforts.

Ten years after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, well-meaning Americans are still making a basic mistake in helping disaster victims. Following the 2004 tsunami, donations, supplies and equipment flooded into the region. They were often ill advised and inappropriate:

• Tents donated to the homeless were too hot; • Foreign rice gave survivors stomach problems;• People keen to help collected clothes, blankets and other goods. However, transportation costs were prohibitively expensive and required complex planning.

People affected by the events lost their livelihoods – they really needed help with boats, nets and motors to rebuild their lives. People half a world away felt go about “doing something” but in reality, they made a tricky situation even messier.

Lesson not yet learned: generosity should be directed to fundraising and donating to relief organizations that will provide the right help to the right people.

A short summary interview with Tricia Wachendorf and James Kendra, with tsunami images is available here:

This can be downloaded and used freely.

Contact to arrange an interview.

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