||In this Issue
Hurricane Sandy: An Example of Disaster Preparedness and Response
The legacies of natural disasters are written after-the-fact, yet their impacts are often predetermined. Prudent preparation, coupled with rapid response and resource mobilization, can be deciding factors in the fate of communities affected.
Hurricane Sandy, a Category 2 storm that devastated parts of the Caribbean and the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, represents an ongoing example - whose legacy is yet unwritten but may be favorably compared to other emergency situations caused by intense weather conditions.
In anticipation of the storm, state governments in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut issued evacuation orders at least two days in advance of landfall and initiated preparatory measures, including the shutdown of local transportation systems and the closure of infrastructure.
Despite readiness, Hurricane Sandy dealt a destructive blow, leaving an estimated $50 billion in losses in its wake. Relief agencies and concerned citizens were quick to respond, as were companies eager to help through talent and financial contributions.
Mega-retailer Walmart generously leveraged its supply chain to distribute 7,000 generators throughout the Northeast. This course of corporate action is not unlike that of UNICEF, which addressed issues across 78 countries - at a value of $166 million - in 2011.
The debates will continue, however, in the absence of preventive measures and quick-fire response, the outcome could have been much worse.
Spotlight on HopeMob.org
In this month’s episode of the UNICEF Enterprise podcast, we speak with Shaun King, CEO and founder of HopeMob.org. Listen as Shaun tells his moving personal story, and the positive impact his organization is having on people's lives.
Download the episode; Learn more about HopeMob.org
Reports from the Field: Guatemala
On November 7, 2012, an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 degrees on the Richter Scale struck Guatemala, leaving 44 persons dead and 3,409,188 persons affected (to date).
The government of Guatemala assumed control of the emergency situation and began an immediate assessment of damage and needs. At the same time, it requested support from the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team to prepare an independent evaluation.
The government is also in constant contact with humanitarian aid and international cooperation agencies, most of which are providing technical, in-kind or financial assistance.
In coordination with the government of Guatemala, and in cooperation with the UN system, UNICEF is assisting by treating victims, conducting damage assessments, and offering shelter. The organization has focused its efforts on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition, child protection, and psycho-social rehabilitation through education.
Learn more about the earthquake in Guatemala and UNICEF's response