I listen to talk radio, as I am often in my car. The traffic reports, every ten minutes, usually only register if they affect me. Tuesday's report of a tour bus crash 100 miles south of here sounded bad, and I could visualize the barren landscape surrounding the accident site. You know it is serious when they fly in eight med-evac helicopters and close a major freeway for eighteen hours, in both directions. I felt empathy for whomever was hurting and thankful that our Emergency Services are so good. I didn't know, what I would hear the next day, that these were French Tourists who, on top of everything else had no English to help them through.
One thing I can do is talk. Be it in English or French I have learned, from personal experience, to be a patient advocate. I am not daunted by official paper-work. I am great at logistics, organizing people to help and getting things done outside of "Channels".
My name is now on a list at the French Consulate as someone who is willing to translate, help or provide accommodation for those in need. My understanding of French bureaucracy is that if someone knows to ask specifically for that list, and the person to ask, then it will be freely given.
So I called the Red Cross as well.
The local director called me back personally. Amongst fielding calls from hospitals calling her after office hours to say that they were discharging people into the night, with no money, papers or language skills, 100 miles from the rest of their group, and where did she want to put them, she noted some of the ways I might be useful.
I will follow up with the local Chapter of The American Red Cross today, as I now know that there are victims who were transported to the Trauma Centers at our local hospitals.
I know a lot of people after twenty-five years in business in California. I know quite a few French speaking Doctors, Lawyers, Travel Agents, not to mention several owners of private planes.
I just wanted to post about the Red Cross and how great they are. Multi-tasking, logistics-managing, tirelessly helpful and more.
La Framericaine, is doing a great job of documenting. I will post more once we get a better grip on the local needs.
I am shocked it was not covered at all on the French news. Shame on you TV5.