Help needed to weather storms


    Nature has been very unkind to human populations lately. Some would claim even more than usual.The past year has seen blanket media coverage of major disasters like the Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.

    Major disasters are rare, so there will be more coverage when the unthinkable does happen. Even then, other examples of extensive devastation will not find their way into the news or will receive less coverage because they don’t have a high enough body count or are too far away.

    Even with a death toll upward of 30,000, the earthquake in Pakistan over the weekend will not remain in the news for long. In underdeveloped countries, death tolls from disasters are always high. Therefore, the casualty count seems almost commonplace and the perceived news value fades quickly.

    Flooding in New Hampshire, as of the time this was printed, has claimed few lives. Floods, mudslides and tornadoes are so commonplace that death toll and economic damage must co-mingle in extreme ways to warrant extensive coverage.

    When a reporter for the Skiff comes in after Fall Break with a firsthand account of the flooding around her New Hampshire home, of one of her family members stranded on and then rescued from a roof, one must consider that a disaster area and should receive our help, no matter how much it is covered.

    Between tsunamis and hurricanes, many of us are tapped out on charitable donations.

    At the very least, however, Mother Nature’s latest attacks should serve to remind everyone of the importance of donating often, even when disasters are not in the news. Organizations like the American Red Cross help out people around the world without benefit of telethons every day.

    If you have the ability to make donations or volunteer your time now, do so. There are still many people that need help.

    Once the people close to home are taken care of, however, everyone must continue to find ways of helping relief organizations.

    Opinion Editor Brian Chatman for the Editorial Board