Crowdfunding the "grassroots first responders" helping in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/08/headknowles-hurricane-relief-f.html

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Where do I send the pallet of sharpie markers?

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Amateur first responders sounds like a recipe for doing more harm than good.

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Don’t forget the anoraks! /s

(Joking about the clueless mainlanders, no insult intended to victims of the hurricane.)

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“Grassroots” and “volunteer” doesn’t necessarily mean “amateur”.

I do appreciate what appears to be a concern on your part that victims get appropriate and successful help. I share that with you :heart:

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And they’re quite clear about stepping back once proper government agencies are engaged, so good on them for not making it about themselves, which can be a common volunteer issue.

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People can not be paid but still be part of a well organized group. Amateur radio has long had organizations to provide communication during emergencies. You join a group and prepare for it, and much if the time there is interfacing with government or groups like the Red Cross. Just this week they were ready and in place to handle traffic during the hurricane, not sure how much they did this time.

Yes, well-meaning can at leat be wasteful, and sometimes can be a problem. I have no idea if this us that. I know I recently saw a commentary about how people often donate useless things in times of emergency, things not needed or at least not needed until the recovery phase, and that can be a burden on tge emergency groups. Even food banks would rather have money these days, though when they started (as temporary solutions) they did ask for canned goods. But they get out of date cans, or items not particularly useful if you are barely getting by.

So “well meaning” isn’t just about amateur groups, but even when well organized people may help in the wrong way.

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Yeah, just imagine the harm that could arise from untrained civilians distributing badly needed food, water, blankets and first aid in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

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I really hope they are setting aside some funds for after care for the volunteers involved. There’s a guy I deal with locally who was one of the grassroots organizers dealing with Katrina and the experience has scarred him for life and the lack of institutional support means that he and a lot of other people who do this work are left with untreated PTSD and deep trauma. The effects don’t all show up while they have the work of the emergency to keep them focused. From what he was saying a large number of the people he worked with have attempted suicide, some successfully and none came out whole.

It can be, but given the fact that our professional first responders can be slow, or worse never show up, we’re faced with weighing the risk, because if the Red Cross can’t get to your neighborhood for a week and you don’t have clean running water, you’ll drink unclean water. Our professional systems are great at single point disasters, but still struggle with large area highly destructive events.

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Grassroots socialist and anarchist disaster relief volunteers have played a prominent role in the recovery from every hurricane of the Trump era.

:musical_note: Do you know your neighbors? Do they got your back?
Will you work together when you’re under attack?
Or will it all dissolve into each for themselves?
Murder and rape, and gods know what else?
Will you fight for each other like Anarchists?
Or will you prey on each other, like Capitalists?
It’s up to you, up to me, up to all of us together
when the floods come it’s more then just bad weather
It’s the direct result of the lives that we’re livin
Of the way that we treat poor people with derision
How we allow corporations to pollute with impunity
Clear-cut the forests, and colonize communities
A culture that would rather drive fancy cars
Than breath clean air or look at the stars
Of a global empire, built on destruction
And the way we consume like we had no other function

When the floods come…
… and all that we can trust is each other
When the floods come…
… we’d better learn to share with one another
When the floods come…
… it’s up to us to set right this evil
When the floods come…
… so I’ll be in the streets with my people :musical_note:

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