The Heart of Steel
Someone lent me a copy of the DVD: "The Heart of Steel."
When 9/11 happened, people were evacuated from the area for their own safety. In the midst of this many people were compelled to walk towards the disaster and volunteer their help.
Many people were turned away.
This is the story of a group of civilians and regular citizens who called themselves "the Renegade Volunteers." They were undeterred. They refused to be sent away. They refused to believe that there was nothing that they could do.
And they were right.
An actress, an investment banker, an artist, a decorative painter, a photographer, a sales person and so many others found their way in and ways to lend a much needed hand.
It's an amazing and inspirational story.
The price tag on the DVD at the website is for institutional purchases. So check with your Library, school, university, local organizations to see if they have it. And if they don't and won't buy it, send an email and ask what the cost would be for a regular person.
Elsewhere on the web, Sascha Meinrath discusses emergency reponses from the perspective of a different disaster: Katrina. Mostly from a communications and coordination aspect. But in closing he says:
"Most disaster recovery responders said priority is often placed on "outside experts" and "professional services," but the successful mobilization of local community assets is also critical to disaster recovery."
And he quotes Jeff Allen who works in international disaster relief from an IT background.
"Help communities take care of themselves," Allen said. "It's respectful of people's need to be involved in their own recovery. It gives you huge leverage with small investments, and it lets the best aspects of American culture -- like teamwork, ingenuity and giving -- overcome the worst situations."