After the storm

On 15 November 2007, the Bay of Bengal was hit with a Category-4 storm that killed more than 3,000 and destroyed 500,000 homes and millions of acres of crops. In response, non-government organizations (NGOs) from around the world converge in the region to help with the building effort. Participating in this effort was a team of about 50 volunteers from Hands On Disaster Response (HODR) (Carlisle, MA, USA). This article details HODR's work on this recovery effort. In doing so, it overviews the type of relief work that HODR provides in disaster situations; it discusses the primary challenges--cultural, logistical, political--that the HODR team faced while delivering their services in the communities affected by the Bay of Bengal storm, challenges that involved working with residents who were unaccustomed to encountering individuals from outside the region. It describes the techniques HODR used to help its volunteers cope with the stress of working on this project. Accompanying this article are four sidebars: Ea
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