What Powerful Lessons Can We Learn from Natural Disasters?

Natural disasters can bring out the best in human beings.

By Débora Montesinos, HIPGive contributor

Meteorological phenomenon have caused major weather-related disasters and entire countries to have to row against the tide to get back on their feet. One of the most recent cases is Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, a country that was still far from recovering from a devastating earthquake in 2010.

The hurricane devastated the island on October 4th and killed at least 550 people. It also left massive destruction with more than 175,000 people displaced and two million people affected, according to the most recent updates by the United Nations.

In critical situations like these, human beings are given the opportunity to rise to the challenge and give support to those in need.

Unicef has outlined valuable lessons which can be learned from these crisis situations. Some of the lessons are listed here so that you can adopt them in your community, if you ever need them:

1. Talk about what happened.

Children and adults can share their emotions and feelings about what happened. Talking about the pain can help people process the disaster and put it all in perspective.

2. Disseminate preparedness information.

Schools can teach curriculum covering what natural disasters are, their consequences, and the possible implementation of preventive measures.

3. Learn lessons from nature.

Disasters teach us the destructive power of nature and also the power of nature to regenerate. Following the lead of the nature undoubtedly translates into life lessons of strength and resiliency.

4. Examine the data.

The examination of people’s actions and reactions in natural disasters allows for in depth study of the sociological, demographic, political, and economic aspects affecting social justice movements and interdependence.

5. Value unity.

Times of crisis can have the effect of unifying people. The triggering of feelings of empathy can cause people to work together and develop common goals.

6. Discover the best that life has to offer.

Over a lifetime, one will learn of extraordinary examples of solidarity, altruism, and generosity—the incredible capacity of the human spirit to overcome adversity.