Posts Tagged ‘children of Haiti’

The earth heaved up a catastrophe in Haiti

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Author: Madhu Beriwal, CEO & President, IEM

The earth heaved up a catastrophe in Haiti. The immediate tasks fall into the lowest and most basic of the Maslow Heirarchy of Needs – rescue from the rubble to be able to breathe, food, water, shelter, medical care. This will later wrap into concern for temporary housing, family reunification, and eventually long-term recovery. Haitians will have to rebuild their capital and restore their lives – with help from international organizations and countries. We at IEM are doing our part – contingents of IEM personnel are deploying today to support the Haiti effort. They will do what they do for disasters – use their intellect to do the best they can to support the mission.

But, this blog entry is not about science, technology or analysis. It is about feeling. Of the 1.8 million residents of the capital, Port-au-Prince, almost 50,000 are feared dead. There is almost no way to wrap around that number around a human heart. With all constant coverage of this catastrophe, one stands out for me personally. A reporter mentioned that children are sleeping out in the open, right next to dead bodies – there is no shelter available for them as yet, and no-one available to shield them from sight of the dead and wounded. Can you think back to the time that you tip-toed into the dimly lit room of your sleeping child and felt the warm glow of seeing them snugly bundled up safe and sound? Can we imagine that same child sleeping out in the open, knowing that those lying around them are now dead?

America will open its hand for those children. That is the mark of this country. Super-powers are not just measured in the might of their arms, they are measured in their generosity of spirit. As we always do, we will transcend tribal instincts to tend to those that are in need – without accounting for clan, creed, or color – that is the hallmark of a Great Power.

IEM is contributing $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation. In addition, we will match the generous contributions made by our employees.We are also encouraging our corporate partners, especially members of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) to contribute to Haiti relief.

Madhu Beriwal is a nationally-recognized thought leader in emergency management, with more than 30 years of experience in disaster and emergency management, homeland security, and national defense. She has pioneered efforts to help Federal, state, and local agencies optimize limited funding to achieve maximum protection.

Madhu Beriwal is a member of the prestigious Army Science Board, and a former member of the Defense Science Board’s Task Force for Intelligence Needs on Homeland Defense, created at the request of the DoD and the CIA to address counter-terrorism intelligence requirements for homeland defense. She is also a guest lecturer for the Homeland Security Executive Leadership Program at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, California, where Ms. Beriwal teaches courses on Global Terrorism and Emergency Management.

Madhu Beriwal holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning (Transportation and Land Use) and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Economics.