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Guangzhou, China - Never thought I would write about Oklahoma with the byline of Guangzhou. But then again, I never anticipated seeing Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb just a few minutes away from my hometown of Norman, making the news in China. Yet, here we are.

Heather Caliendo

May 23, 2013

3 Min Read
Few thoughts about the Oklahoma tornado tragedy

Guangzhou, China - Never thought I would write about Oklahoma with the byline of Guangzhou. But then again, I never anticipated seeing Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb just a few minutes away from my hometown of Norman, making the news in China. Yet, here we are.

For the past several days, PlasticsToday has covered and reported on Chinaplas. Before heading out to the Chinaplas event hall this past Tuesday, I found out about the devastating tornadoes that brought catastrophic damage across Moore. It demolished buildings I used to frequent and leveled homes of many. Hundred are injured, death toll is estimated at 24 and damages may reach $2 billion. President Obama declared a state of emergency and signed a disaster declaration.

images_6.jpegI can't deny on that Tuesday as I interviewed company after company at Chinaplas, a pit in my stomach refused to leave. Especially because I had limited access to media from the states so I was stuck in limbo wondering what was the latest development. Luckily, everyone I know is safe. I have a friend who lives within a mile of ground zero and her house is still standing. Not everyone is so lucky.

As I sit here in Guangzhou deciding on what to write about for my blog article of the week, I remembered an article I wrote after Hurricane Sandy regarding bottled water. I talked about how in times of disaster people need bottled water to help stay healthy. Well, it's another disaster, and once again, bottled water is needed.

When people are left with absolutely nothing, the essentials such as canned food, diapers, toiletries, medical supplies and bottled water are the heroes and various disaster relief funds and organizations are requesting these items.

Here are some ways you can help (via MSNBC):

  • The Red Cross has set up shelters in various communities. You can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund here, and the organization also suggests giving blood at your local hospital or blood bank. If you want to send a $10 donation to the Disaster Relief fund via text message, you can do so by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.

  • Supporters can donate online via the organization's website, SalvationArmyUSA.org. You can also text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation via cell phone.

Believe me, in the coming days after I return from China, I'll have plenty to write about in regards to packaging trends and developments in the Asia-Pacific market. But I felt a need to express just a few thoughts about this because until these kinds of events hit close to home, it's hard to know exactly how truly essential items such as beverage and food packaging really are. 

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