In a world where it is incredibly easy to share a photo or video through our cell phones, we can quickly—almost instantaneously—watch the devastating destruction of a natural disaster. The phrase, “caught on camera” will not have the same meaning for current and future generations because everywhere, at all times, we’re armed with our cell phone cameras.
So when a disaster occurs, we no longer have to wait for news crews to reach the area, but instead, news stations receive videos and photos from those in the thick of the disaster as it’s happening. And so, just like that, the world can see what’s happening at that moment. Take for instance, Oprah’s Instagram video of the destruction outside of her house in Montecito, California just after a mudslide in early January 2018. For many of us, our immediate response is that of wanting to help the victims. So we donate money, we donate clothing, non-perishable food, and household goods. And then we go on with our lives.
That’s our short-term, act-now memory at play. We feel good about helping others—and while it is greatly appreciated—recovering from disasters for its victims has no instant gratification. Long after the news coverage subsides, those left in the wake of a disaster have months—if not years—of repair ahead of them.
For instance, six months following Hurricane Maria on September 10, 2017, the first major hurricane to make landfall to the Florida Keys in decades, the islands are not yet functioning as they were pre-storm. As of March 2018, the state reports twenty percent of the areas areas are still without power.
In the case of the Florida Keys, at Adventure for Charity, we think one of the best ways we can help deliver sustainable impact for the local communities and support disaster relief agencies like the Red Cross is to host a cycling adventure challenge that brings people, business, and financial resources back to the area. Those participating will form deeper connections to the region, the communities, and the cause.
Whatever region, community, or a disaster relief effort has touched your heart, please help six, 12, 24, or even 60 months later however you can. We will do our part by inspiring as many people as possible to GET OUTSIDE. HAVE FUN. DO GOOD.