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Emergencies: Prevent, Manage, Prepare

One thing you have in common with your poorest brothers and sisters might easily escape your notice—even if you firmly believe we're all one human family.

Father and daughter review information about sanitation and hygiene at a refugee camp in Kenya.

Ahmed Hussein and his daughter study a book on hygiene and sanitation outside their shelter at the Kambioos refugee camp in Kenya, where they sought refuge from the famine in Somalia. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

You know loss.

You've suffered disaster, heartbreak, grief of all kind. You may not think to compare your suffering with people living on the border between life and death. But in those times of your greatest grief, what would you not have given to make it pass?

Nothing you could offer would make the troubles go away. You have that in common with everyone.

You may also have a rare gift that few people in most of the world have: the means to help during times of disaster. But there's more. Along with other compassionate Catholics in the United States, you enable Catholic Relief Services to help people before disaster strikes. There is no better way to ease suffering than to prevent it from happening or lessening its destructive force.

To that end, CRS takes your support all over the world to help prevent or mitigate disasters, which eases grief and loss in already depressed parts of our globe.

In Madagascar, your support helps cyclone survivors rebuild with locally grown products that are more resistant to storm damage.

In the Dominican Republic, your support allows CRS to train young people to lead disaster preparedness, which, in some cases, helps them as much as the communities they are now trained to defend.

The expertise you expect from CRS when bringing comfort and aid to your poorest brothers and sisters shows in two recent publications. One is a step-by-step flood-resistant shelter guide. Another helps communities in the Horn of Africa manage disaster risk. These works are not easy reading. They're aimed at a technical audience that needs to know best practices in the field. They do show the depth of care and expertise that accompanies your support to the countries in which we work.

For all the comfort you bring, thank you.

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