Disaster Grantmaking

As we approach the third anniversary of the March 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, many consider the damage and devastation ‘old news.’ But the recovery from this terrible disaster is far from over, even as assistance, aid, and attention subside. Join the Council and the Environmental Grantmakers Association for an important webinar on January 29, 2014 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern that will update the philanthropic community on the recovery from this disaster and outline the lasting environmental damage and effects that continue to face Japan.

Typhoon Haiyan was one of the worst disasters to hit the Philippines in decades. This webinar was conducted one month after the Super Typhoon made landfall, killing more than 5,000 and causing billions in damages. Representatives from the Philippines Embassy in Washington, DC, Accenture, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Emergency Response discussed assessments made about the known long-term needs, and the needs that may emerge in the months and years to come.

There is a Toby Keith song with the lyrics, “I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.” With each catastrophic disaster, I am reminded of this song. I was an emergency responder following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and continue to work towards the Gulf’s recovery. It is predicted that the books will not be closed on that storm until 2026. Back then, I had no idea how long the road to recovery would be. I often wish I didn't know now relief is just the beginning and taking the long view is much harder. We must implement the lessons we learned that allow us to take the longer – and sometimes harder – view. So let us try a new approach with Typhoon Haiyan, and implement these lessons of recovery, rebuilding, and preparation.