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Over the weekend, three days of torrential rain caused massive flooding in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. On Monday, August 14, a hillside on the outskirts of Freetown collapsed, creating a mudslide that swept over at least 100 homes. 400 people are confirmed dead, with 600 still missing and thousands homeless.
There are four phases of disaster relief: response, recovery, preparedness, and risk mitigation.
At times like this, the first question for many is, “How can I help?” For those who want to help, here’s what you need to know now:
- 1. Resist the impulse to donate items; send money of any amount instead.
- 2. Think top-down and bottom up.
- 3. Help is needed way beyond the first stage.
Of course, many international development organizations, as well as local groups, are likely to play key roles in the long-term recovery process, and some of the funds they gather in the short-term may be used in longer-term work.