Where is the Red Cross?
Now that we realize there is no end in sight for the volcano eruption in Iceland, I have to wonder who is going to step in to help the stranded passengers. I realize that if you are stranded because you are traveling for business, your company will step in. It's the other travelers I think deserve some help.
The stories are getting increasingly uncertain. Passengers who are running out of medicine because they didn't plan to be gone for so long. Passengers who are running out of money. Passengers who are sleeping in the plastic chairs in the airport because they don't have travel visas for their current destination. After all, you don't need a visa when you are in a country just to change planes. It's all getting a bit desperate.
I have to wonder when the Red Cross will step in. This might not be an earthquake, but I think it's clearly a natural disaster. It's hard to argue these people deserve their fate because they had the bad timing to be traveling when the volcano decided to erupt.
I heard that some governments are starting to step in, but it seems to me that an organization like the Red Cross needs to step up. What other organization is so prepared for natural disasters? What other organization has the international network, connections and influence to assist the stranded travelers? What other organization has the on-the-ground organizations to be able to assist people on short notice?
It's pretty clear that this problem isn't going to go away. Even if the volcano stops spewing ash at this very moment, it will take days or weeks to get air travel back on schedule. I read one estimate that said that even if the volcano stopped today, it would take more than a week to get everyone back on track.
Who is going to help these people get through this natural disaster? My vote is for the Red Cross.