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'Let them hear us'

My World's on Fire
'Let them hear us'
By Colleen Hagerty • Issue #73 • View online
Thanks for reading My World’s on Fire, a weekly newsletter about disasters from journalist Colleen Hagerty. If you found this dispatch interesting, subscribe here for disaster deep-dives, Q&As, and context in your inbox every Thursday evening.

Earlier this year, I did a Q&A with Andrew Barley and Ben Hirsch of West Street Recovery (WSR), a grassroots, non-profit organization based in Texas that focuses on community involvement and empowerment.
You can read the full Q&A from April here
At the time, they mentioned WSR and a few other grassroots groups in the area were working on a paper that would center the experiences of Hurricane Harvey survivors navigating the disaster response and recovery processes. Earlier this month, the groups published that report, titled “Survivors as Experts.” In an accompanying panel that walked through some of the key points from the paper (I embedded the recording below), Mal Moses, one of the survivors, addressed a question about how journalists could do a better job of covering disasters.
“Let them see us,” he said. “Let them hear from us.”
So, for my last issue of the year, I wanted to do just that: direct you to hear from disaster survivors themselves. This newsletter will be off for the next three weeks as I prep for some 2022 changes and features (good ones, I promise!), and I hope you’ll take the time you normally dedicate to reading these dispatches to hear from Mal and others that shared their stories.
Flood Survivors on Failures of the Harvey Recovery - December 2021 Panel
Flood Survivors on Failures of the Harvey Recovery - December 2021 Panel
As always...
thank you for reading and subscribing to My World’s on Fire. This is the part where I normally ask for your support, but you’ve all already been incredibly generous to me this year. So, instead, I wanted to share two resources that I’d love for you to amplify on social media in the wake of this week’s deadly disasters.
The first is a guide from Consumer Reports about utilizing a generator safely. While generators can be essential after disasters, they can also be dangerous and even deadly depending on how they are used. I chose this explainer in particular since it includes a helpful diagram.
The second this blog post from Dr. Samantha Montano, which details how to make contributions that actually help communities after disasters. She also broke down some of these concepts on Twitter using Clueless as an example, which is pretty delightful:
Dr. Samantha Montano
With word coming out of California that they're being overrun with donations it's time to pull out one of the most underrated disaster movies of all time: Clueless

Let us learn about donations management from @AliciaSilv as Cher!

Now, here’s a little something for reading to the end of the year. I hope you all have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!
Note: This post has been updated from the original newsletter to include the correct link for the Consumer Reports article.
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