I’ve been recently put in charge of humanitarian disaster relief at the NGO where I work.  We are largely a development NGO, with our main focus on ending world hunger.  But disasters (floods, droughts, war) are bound to happen and we must be ready to help.  The problem is, I have no idea WHY I’ve been put in charge of disaster relief.  I have no background or training in it.  The biggest disaster I ever had to take care of was when I accidentally left my laundry out on the balcony to dry and it poured.  Starting next week I have to begin training the rest of the staff in emergency procedures.  I’m concerned that my emergency plan will look a bit like this:

So in an effort to live up to the potential that someone assumes I have, I’ve been scouring the internet for help.  There are actually quite a few disaster planning guides available for free.  By respectable organizations, no less.  In all honesty, I am not too worried.   While it’s important for us to work together well in a time of emergency, we are not first-responders in international crises.  We work with many international partner organizations that consist of highly trained and experienced staff.  I’m looking forward to learning some new skills and passing them on to my colleagues.  And if my training sessions result in us sending necessary food and water even 3 days earlier (which really can make a big difference) than we’ve been able to do in the past, then I’ll consider them a success.

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