Category: Resilience

Every crisis is personal


At the British Red Cross we believe that every crisis is personal.

A crisis can be a catastrophic event like the recent typhoon in the Philippines, which destroyed livelihoods and buildings.

Or it can be much smaller – like a woman stranded at home because she doesn’t have the confidence to get out and about after an illness.

A crisis can happen to anyone at any time. It doesn’t matter to us how big a crisis is or how many people it affects. What matters is that someone needs our help. More

Flooding: what’s it actually like to lose everything?


Flood-Wood-famillyBLOGWe’ve all become accustomed to flood stories on the news – but one family’s heartbreaking story vividly demonstrates the human cost behind the headlines.

The coastal community of Walcott in Norfolk wasn’t just hit by last week’s floods: it was knocked for six.

The tidal surge brought crashing waves that devastated a caravan and chalet park situated on the seafront. It smashed down house walls, ripping out fences and tossing caravans about like toys.

For the Woods family, who live right on the seafront, things couldn’t have gone more badly. Their static home was completely destroyed – literally torn apart – by the rising water, and all their ruined belongings scattered throughout a nearby field.


In case of emergency: tweet


Tweet-siren-BLOGDuring major crises, it’s really important to get information fast – and now you can sign up to get Twitter emergency alerts from the British Red Cross.

You probably remember the recent Capitol Hill shooting in Washington, when a woman in a runaway car sparked off a high-speed chase and gun-fire.

What you probably don’t know is that, as the incident unfurled, Senate security staff sent an emergency tweet to hundreds of people working in the area, warning them to find shelter. More

Cuddling: the secret weapon against winter


Winter (600-337)_1As winter approaches, we asked 2,000 people how they plan to cope with extreme weather conditions. Here are some of their more illuminating ideas, plus some handy advice from us:

1. Get hot under the covers
A significant minority – 12 per cent – are planning to eschew the traditional ‘wear more layers’ or ‘turn up the heating’ routes, and will fight the freeze on a more intimate front.

One person’s bracing solution to combating the cold (‘Stay in bed and have more sex’) summed up a popular theme. Worryingly, another chap’s suggestion on how he’d keep warm (‘WIFE’) makes his poor spouse sound like a human duvet.


The long road to recovery in Haiti


© Adrian Thomas/BRC

Repairing or replacing hundreds of homes damaged by the Haiti earthquake is a major part of the British Red Cross’ £23 million response to the disaster. But more than three years after the earthquake, this rebuilding work is far from finished. What does it take to get a community back on its feet – and why can the process take years?

The 2010 disaster killed thousands of people and threw Haiti into chaos. It left some homes badly damaged, some barely standing and some nothing more than piles of rubble. Many have been partly repaired by the community since the disaster, but some are still far from safe.

The Red Cross is working in the Delmas 19 area of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, a neighbourhood that suffered huge damage. The organisation has already completed big, life-changing projects including a new market and canal, but there’s lots more to do. More

Maternity in Myanmar: ‘I worried that we could die’

Baby Ma Thawda with a female villager

©BRC/ Xanthe Swift

This is a guest blog from Xanthe Swift, our agency regular giving manager, who recently visited Myanmar.

After an hour in the car, we arrive at the dirt road we are to travel by bullock and cart. At first, the oxen shy away from us – we’re told it’s because we have a strange smell – but they calm down once we’ve clambered into the straw-covered cart.

The farmer is skillful in his handling of the animals. Making short, crisp ‘clock’ noises with his tongue and touching the oxen lightly with a switch, he navigates the heavy and unruly cart along a muddy and pitted track.


Photo gallery: teaching first aid to children in Syria conflict

Syrian boy listens during first aid training session in Aleppo

©SARC/ Hagop Vanesian

Here at the Red Cross, we see first aid as an essential skill that all children should learn. So much so that we’ve been campaigning to have it put on England’s national curriculum.

Of course, it goes without saying that when you teach children first aid you hope they’ll never need to use it. Nobody wants children to witness a nasty injury or to be hurt themselves. More

The hunger issue: Communities work together in Zimbabwe

Women water crops in community garden


Almost a billion people go hungry every day and 165 million children under five suffer from malnutrition – a startling fact when you consider there is enough food in the world to feed everyone.

In the lead up to the G8 summit, where eight of the world’s leaders will be discussing how to tackle hunger on a global scale, I have been looking at the British Red Cross’ response to this complex issue. Last week I focused on the link between HIV and hunger in Lesotho. This week I am looking at how communities are working together to overcome food insecurity in Zimbabwe. More