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Interview with Viviana Dominguez, Emergency Response Volunteer
Why did you first decide to become involved in emergency response efforts?
When I arrived to Haiti in July of 2010 to survey 3 murals that survived the earthquake, I was really impacted by the horrors, both physical and mental, produced by a natural disasters. I realized how important was to not only participate and actively help but also to be professionally prepared for these events. For that reason, I applied to become an AIC- CERT [NHR] member.
Were you concerned for your health or safety when responding?
Yes. During my first response after Sandy Super Storm, I was very concerned to be working in spaces (basement) that were completely infested with mold. Also, the odor was very intense and gave me headaches. On the other hand, while I was in Haiti (although I wasn't there most of the time as an AIC-CERT [NHR] member), I was also very concerned about my health. Between the cholera outbreak and the side effects of the malaria pills, one needed to take regularly, I couldn't stop thinking about that.
What moment stands out for you from your emergency response work?
I may not have a very specific moment that I can isolate and tell the story. But I must say that I was amazed by the effectiveness of the team work and people's willingness to volunteer and their sincere generosity to help the artists. I was greatly surprised by the receptiveness of those who were affected by the storm. I felt very proud to be part of this team.
To learn about NHR (formerly AIC-CERT) and to support this valuable response, please visit www.conservation-us.org/cert.