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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Disaster Relief in the Philippines.

Watching the BBC news at six tonight I realised that the Beeb has no idea of the complexities involved, All they seemed to do was wail *Something must be done” & “Won’t someone think of the Cheeeldren”.

Before any relief can be given you need, above all, information of what is required, and where. It’s pointless transporting five tons of rice to a town, and then finding that they have a warehouse full of the stuff and what they really need is the water to cook it.

Then you need to find a way to get it there. We always see pics of military helicopters buzzing around and presume that that is the way to do it. Apart from the fact that the Philippines is unlikely to have a vast armada of serviceable helicopters, they usually can lift very little of use.

In the case of the Philippines the only realistic means is by road and sea. Of course the roads will need to be cleared to enable the trucks to drive down them.

So the armchair wailers at the BEEB should think before they pontificate.

And before anyone sneers and say what right does TFE to comment on these matters? My reply is. Seen it and done it.

A number of years ago I ran a team of 30 tasked with rebuilding essential services on Jamaica after it was hit by a hurricane. I had two tasks whilst I was there. Firstly to put the roof back on the Kingston General Hospital (I remember using my management skills on the Chief Executive at the beginning of that little project. It’s amazing how they suddenly let you know their priorities when you have them against their office wall pinned by a hand round their neck).

The second project was more rewarding. A polio rehabilitation centre for kids out in the hills. On this project we had to re roof it, restore power and water. clear debris and carry out a comprehensive clean up.

So I know a little about disaster relief.

Oh and just as an aside. I was interviewed by five TV and radio stations. Guess who got lost trying to find the rehab centre? Starts with a B.


  1. There'll be more disaster porn merchants heading out to escape northern climes - I bet there's an undignified scrum of TV teams drooling at the prospect of several weeks in The Philippines.

    Looks to be shaping up as a climate Fukushima opportunity (i.e. bleat a little about the death and destruction and a lot about Climate Change - handy for Warsaw eh?)

  2. Your nonsense Filthy Engineer is a typical blog post that shows your desperation of trying to find an angle to have a rant about that doesn't exsist.

    BBC /SKY all do the same thing, show coverage and fill their studios with experts and discuss problems and solutions, they haven't pontificated or walied except show support for donations from the public.

    What do you think the BBC should do?, invite a team of experts who then travel to the phillipines and approve broadcasts before they go out,no T.V coverage for several days before every angle has been covered and agreed on?, think of the freedomongers conspiracy rants if that happened.

    "Won't someone think of the cheeeldren"... that's taken right out of the smoking denial bible, unfortunatley for Smoking denialists and Disaster relief non givers...children exsist and will always be part of the debate.

    At least we are aware of your hammer and nails expertise, shame the rant was so misguided.

    1. Wonderful. To be castigated by a BBC supporting Anti-smoker really makes my day. Please tell me that you're Common Purpose trained and I'll think that all my Christmas's have come at once.

  3. Thing I want to know, is why the BBC always send out one of their Newsreaders,( and presumably a camera team), to these places even though they have a reporter already resident. It must cost millions per year in last minute flight deals.

  4. Rickie
    if you'd seen these news teams "passing though" (I have) - I'll give you one guess as to my explanation for the "B team" getting lost in Jamaica - a big fat joint of local 'erb was likely involved.

    The mass press corps is like an out of control teenage party.


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