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Made it to El Paso, Tx late this afternoon. I was only catching bits and pieces of the craziness going on in Chile, as well as with my family who live on Maui. Everything seems to be ok there, I am more concerned with what is going on in Chile right now. Ive been getting a few emails and questions about going to Chile to help out, and to be honest with you, I'm not feeling desperately compelled to as I did with Haiti (and Im still somewhat sick, etc)
I will however watch the situation in Chile very closely for certain characteristics we are seeing time and again with major disasters, one of which is the problem of how information and communication flows. In a few days I will be making a post about how thousands of lives were probably lost because of this "information bottleneck" in Haiti (quite terrifying when you get into the details of how this happens and how senseless it is).
I also want you guys to know that I haven't given up on disaster relief for good, I sense Ill be taking more of these types of trips in the future. (You should think about joining me-Id love to have you there to keep me company!) I've been spending quite a bit of my time thinking about & trying to develop possible solutions to the disaster problems we see happening over and over again. What I have in mind may not work, but I'm determined to try anyway, because if it does...it could be huge and save a lot of lives. My experiences in Haiti were invaluable in understanding why the system is essentially broken now, and how to fix it. Not being tied in to a large NGO seems to let me think a little differently than they do. We will always need the large NGOs who are there for the long haul. They do a tremendous amount of good. On the flip side...I am seeing some gaps and deficiencies that can be easily fixed.
In about 4-6 months, I hope to have an actual, operational system in place. Once we begin to test it, Ill be asking for volunteers to help run the simulations.