VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 17 POSTED ON: 11/3/2012
Recession John Temple worked as a postal worker all his life, and the need to support a family with four children meant that during his retirement all he could afford to live in was an old Greyhound bus. However, even though many Americans are struggling these days, Temple and his wife are more than surviving - they are in fact thriving, having been able to finally realize their dream of homeownership. The Temples live in Henderson, Nevada, a state that was particularly hard hit during the recent housing market collapse. As a result, they were able to use their life's savings to buy a new house at a bargain price, according to MSNBC.com. A proud owner for the first time, the 55-year-old told the news provider, "I know it's going to get better." "I believe in this country and I believe we can make it through this recession and become a better nation," he added. While an inspiring story, the Temple's success was made easier by the fact that some 250,000 American families enter into foreclosure every quarter leaving discounted houses on the market, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, which cites figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Recovery from foreclosure is time-consuming, but financial experts say affected individuals may be able to buy a house again if they straighten their financial situation which includes paying new bills on time. In the longer run, it is recommended to check one's credit report on a regular basis to avoid identity theft that can make homeownership more difficult and to live within one's means so that monthly spending does not exceed income. Michael -- Seattle, WA The recession means booming business for Seattle attorney Michael Harris. His specialty -- bankruptcy. "I've really never seen anything like this," he says. "The analysts say we're reached the bottom, that consumer confidence is up, but I don't see it here in the trenches." Since the recession hit, Harris's phone has been ringing off the hook with clients who need help declaring bankruptcy. People come to him when they've exhausted all other options to work things out, to scrape together enough to pay the bills. He also works with clients whose property investments have tanked due to the depressed real estate market. Harris, who primarily works with individuals but also helps businesses that go bankrupt, says people can attempt to declare bankruptcy on their own, but legal reforms instituted in 2005 make it worth your while to hire a lawyer. "You need a lawyer's help to figure out if you qualify, to check your income levels, to figure out repayment plans," he says. "The laws are complex." Layoffs, divorce, major medical expenses -- or usually a combination of these types of major events -- can lead a client to Harris's door. And while it's nice to be busy, Harris says he looks forward to quieter times. "It really is a shame," he says. "There's a lot of hardship out there, a lot of sad stories." Jim -- Palm Harbor, FL Last September, just four years away from his anticipated retirement, Jim Maslaniak was laid off from his job as director of sales for a Taiwan-based exporter, Four Star Group Inc. The lost job -- combined with a hit to his investment portfolio from the plunging stock market -- meant it was time to rethink retirement plans. Surprisingly, a small interest in a direct sales company turned out to be a life saver for Maslaniak and his wife. Roughly six months before the layoff, the couple heard about a company called Talk Fusion, which sells technology to put videos in e-mail for sales, marketing, or personal use. The company compares its business model to McDonald's franchises, selling video e-mail instead of hamburgers. "We decided this was something we could have fun using and also supplement our income when we retired," Maslaniak says. "I never thought I would be involved in direct sales but this was not lotions, potions, gels or vitamins. It is a product I envision replacing traditional text e-mails over time and it has great marketing potential for businesses." As it turns out, the sales have been astounding. Maslaniak made roughly $4,000 the first month, and $8,000 the next two months. It's gone so well that he has stopped looking for a way to get back in the corporate world. "Instead of supplementing our retirement, it has given us a way to continue living the same lifestyle, without having to spend months away from home," he says. Dan Flynn was director of engineering at Marconi Communications in Wexler, Pa., when he and most of his 75-member staff were handed what more than 8 million Americans have received in the current grinding recession – a pink slip. The layoff was permanent and devastating, especially with a wife and three children to care for. In fact, the only thing separating Flynn from everyone else facing a similar fate today is about eight years. Flynn was laid off in 2002, following the collapse of the telecommunications industry. He knew finding a new job would mean uprooting his family and the same would probably happen to most of his former colleagues. "I thought there had to be a better way. Rather than solve the employment problem as individuals, why not form ourselves into a team, attract business, and create our own jobs?" he says. So Flynn and his team launched Accipiter Systems. It specializes in the development of next generation data communications systems for custom military and commercial applications. Last September, the company added two new employees bringing its total to 15, and its sights set on growing to 80 employees, through contracting work for the government and the defense department. With venture capital scarce in the wake of the tech meltdown, and their own funds limited, Flynn and his team turned to The Technology Collaborative (TTC), a state economic development organization dedicated to launching high-tech companies in Pennsylvania. The group awarded Accipiter a $164,000 grant to get its first project off the ground. Today, Accipiter could be called a survival story. And, although its roots are in an earlier recession, it can also serve as a case study of how to put people back to work and speed the nation’s current recovery through the creation of new businesses. The sad fact is millions of people have been laid off in the current recession from jobs that are likely gone forever or at least for the foreseeable future. To bring down the stubbornly high unemployment rate, the Obama administration is counting on small firms to lead the way. After all, they account for about 65 percent of all new jobs, according to a recent study by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. But the administration may be devoting too much effort on trying to convince existing businesses to hire more employees, when it should be focusing more resources on encouraging entrepreneurs to create new businesses. Flynn was one of several small business owners who testified recently before the House Small Business Committee, during a hearing that focused on small business success stories in today’s economies. The small business owners who testified all told survivor stories that were similar to Flynn’s. And, lessons can be gleaned from all of them. Susan -- Dobbs Ferry, NY Twenty-three years ago, Susan Bachman started as a salesperson for the San Diego-based wholesale apparel company Nitches, Inc. She learned the ropes, made her way up through the company ranks and eventually became head of a division in the New York office. She considered it home. Then, last November, she was laid off. "My boss, whom I'd known for most of my time there, flew in from California to tell me," she says. "We sat in my office crying over the good times for an hour or so." Bachman is a single mom and could only cry for so long before she had to get working again. Despite her long career in apparel, she couldn't find work in that field. So she branched out to other types of sales jobs. Nothing panned out. But because her resume was posted online, she founded herself flooded with requests for interviews from insurance companies. One was Atlantis Health Plan. She interviewed and was offered a position selling health insurance. After a week of training, she started in May. "It was a very hard decision to go in such a different direction," she says. "I was making a nice salary and benefits, and now I'm starting from scratch at the age of 49. This is a commission-only job. No benefits. It's really scary!" Kate -- Seattle, WA Like most working moms, Kate knows all too well the challenge of juggling identities and shifting quickly from one to the other -- mom, professional consultant, reliable co-worker, wife. For the last five years, she has worked part-time for a midsized management consulting firm in Seattle while raising her two daughters, now 6 and 4. Facing a tough economy, but not wanting to cut personnel, her company offered staff a voluntary leave of absence at 30 percent pay with benefits. Kate grabbed the chance. Starting this summer, she'll take a year off from work to focus on her kids. "This last year has been really stressful to me since I have kids in two different schools and an uncertain work schedule," she says. "My kids are also at challenging ages in terms of their needs. Removing the stress of the juggling is appealing. What makes it extra appealing (and the reason I decided to take it) is that I have a guaranteed job back." Kate and her husband will no longer have to pay a nanny, but they'll need to cut monthly expenses by about 15 percent to cope with the lost income from her job. "The big change I want to make is to be more available for people. Our current lifestyle feels so stressful that I frequently don't have the time to connect with people or even really listen to them -- my kids included," Kate says. "I frequently find myself saying that I would love to help that person if I had more time. I plan to volunteer in my kid's class, serve more at my church, and also just be available to friends to lend a helping hand or listen." Spencer Antle had too many clothes in his warehouse. Boxes piled up when stores stopped buying his polos and pants. So he opened his own store on Nantucket Island as CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports. That meant a small electrical job. Installing lights, fixtures, and wiring for Kevin Gould. Gould's a Nantucket electrician. And like his wife Carolyn, he's worried. "At this point being a working class person on Nantucket is hard," he said. Blue-collar families here rely on work from Nantucket's wealthy summer residents. But Gould's one-man operation is down about two thirds, from 21 calls a week, to 7 calls a week. "Just trying to keep thing going. Support your family. Making sure the bills are paid. It's a challenge," said Gould They've cut $300 from monthly spending. Dining out four times a month is over. And on the home menu, less fresh fish -- it's too expensive. "Instead of having fish four times a month, we have it a couple of times a month," said his wife Carolyn. That means fewer trips to fish markets like Sayle's Seafood -- a wholesale and retail business Charlie Sayles started in 1968. A two pound lobster that used to sell between $8.50 to $10 per pound now sells for $6.50 per pound. Sayles sells conch and other seafood to fancy restaurants across America. But sales at Sayles are off $140,000 a month and employees have felt it. "We cut the hours back. That's most of what we did. Cut the hours back 30 percent," said Sayles. And because this fish market is hurting, its suppliers are also struggling. Fisherman Bill Blount motors though harbor fog on one engine. His other one had just died - like the market for ground fish. In three weeks last month, the price per pound of yellow-tail and large cod plunged. Blount switched to scallops. "All I can do is work harder," said Blount. He works harder, and smarter. He motors out when tides are fair to save gas, his big expense. But he's $500,000 in debt. And his American Dream now: to die without owing any money."I think God puts in our heart, in each of us something we really enjoy doing. If you find that, you'll be a happy man. Where you get rich or not is something else," said Blount. Blount needs ice to keep his scallops fresh. To save money, he re-uses that ice. And now spends $1,000 a year less at Crystal Ice in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The ice house mostly sells to fishing boats. At $56 a ton its business is melting. So manager Rob Hicks had to let four guys go.It's a family-owned ice house -- that also sells in Warwick, Rhode Island to Louis Manzoni. He turns a block of ice into a piece of art. But his ice sculpture business has gone cold. There are fewer weddings and corporate functions. "People have the money. But they're a little more cautious. They don't know how bad tomorrow or next week is gonna get," said Manzoni. He buys half the blocks of ice he did a year ago. And works harder and longer, for less. But like so many people in this recession, all he can do is chip away. Japanese Tsunami School Children Ignore Warning After the earthquake struck on March 11, the tsunami warning sounded near Ookawa Elementary School, located in this riverside town two miles inland from the sea in Ishinomaki, northeastern Japan. But having never been hit by post-quake waves before, nobody in the town thought it would reach them. The teachers filed the more than 80 children out of their classrooms and onto the playground, where they thought they would be safe from aftershocks. One of the teachers, Jinji Endo, pleaded with the others to seek higher ground. He took the one child who would listen to him and fled up the steep hill behind the school. Everyone else was still inside the school grounds when the 25-foot wall of water rose out of the Kitakami River, up and over the nearby rice paddies. All but a shell of the school was washed away by the tsunami. Only the one teacher who went up the hill and a couple of dozen pupils survived, most of whom were absent that day. Heavy digging equipment was only able to reach Ookawa on Thursday, 13 days after the disaster, revealing the full scale of the devastation that occurred here. The roads had been impassable for large vehicles. Two hundred feet of a connecting bridge was carried a mile upstream, and the only other road was torn to pieces by the tsunami. “I can't help thinking that if they had only gone up the hill just behind the school, they would likely have survived,” said Emi Ogata, whose two children were among those who died. “The teachers did their best to protect the children, they died too. I can't blame them.” Rescue workers have found the body of her son, 10-year-old Ryusei, but not yet her daughter, Karen, “We can't cremate the bodies as the person who does it died too,” said their father, Kazutoshi Ogata. “We got special permission to bury him, so we laid him in the grounds of the temple, which is just up the hill. At least we have buried our son; we can only wait to find our daughter.” “We found our son's school bag, his safety helmet and calligraphy brushes, but nothing of our daughter's yet. My elder son, who is 13, is still alive — he was at the nearby junior high school and was saved. All I can do is live for him now.” “They were such lively kids, all three of them do karate, and Ryusei was already a black belt,” said Kazutoshi Ogata as his wife showed a photo of their two youngest children in their karate suits at a local tournament. Once the diggers arrived, bodies were found by the dozens. “I've looked at so many dead children trying to identify my own, and most of them are friends of my kids, or classmates, it hurts so much,” said Kazutoshi Ogata, who helped firefighters with the initial search using shovels and his bare hands. No buildings in Ookawa were left standing, save the shell of the school and a hospital. Only foundations bear witness to more than a hundred houses that once stood here. Residents say fewer than 100 of the town's original 500 survived, though nobody yet knows for sure. Kazuo Takahashi, 60, is still looking for the bodies of his wife, mother and two grandchildren. “In 300 years no tsunamis have hit this area, so most people didn't try and escape when the warnings came. They thought they were safe,” he said. The Fukudas also lost two children: the body of their daughter, Risa, 12, who was due to graduate the sixth grade last week, has been found, while their son, 9-year-old Masaki, is still missing. “I walked here to the school after the tsunami, in knee-deep water. There were rumors that some of the children had been helicoptered out, but it wasn't true,” said their mother, Miyuki Fukuda, 43. “They were such good kids, they got good grades and they listened to what we told them. Risa was learning the piano and had just started learning English,” she said. “She was only 12 but she was taller than me, and really mature, like an adult.” “My son had such a beautiful face, he really did. He was a fast runner and enjoyed being in school plays, and he was good in them. People used to compliment me about it, but being Japanese, I would say 'oh no, not really.' I couldn't say it when he was alive, but I can now,” she said with a broad smile, her eyes filling with tears. “He was good in them, he was really, really good." Removing radioactive water a priority TOKYO, March 27 (Reuters) - Japanese engineers struggled on Sunday to pump radioactive water from a crippled nuclear power station after radiation levels soared in seawater near the plant more than two weeks after it was battered by a huge earthquake and a tsunami. Tests on Friday showed iodine 131 levels in seawater 30 km (19 miles) from the coastal nuclear complex had spiked 1,250 times higher than normal but it was not considered a threat to marine life or food safety, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. "Ocean currents will disperse radiation particles and so it will be very diluted by the time it gets consumed by fish and seaweed," said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a senior agency official. Despite that reassurance, the disclosure is likely to heighten international concern over Japanese seafood exports. Several countries have already banned milk and produce from areas around the Fukushima Daiichi plant, while others have been monitoring Japanese seafood. Prolonged efforts to prevent a catastrophic meltdown at the 40-year-old plant have also intensified concern around the world about nuclear power. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it was time to reassess the international atomic safety regime. The crisis at the plant, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, has overshadowed a big relief and recovery effort from the magnitude 9.0 quake and the huge tsunami it triggered on March 11 that left more than 27,100 people dead or missing in northeast Japan. Engineers trying to stabilize the plant have to pump out radioactive water after it was found in buildings housing three of the six reactors. On Thursday, three workers were taken to hospital from reactor No. 3 after stepping in water with radiation levels 10,000 times higher than usually found in a reactor. That raised fear the core's container could be damaged. An official from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) told a Sunday news conference experts still had to determine where to put some of the contaminated water while engineers were still trying to fully restore the plant's power. TEPCO said it was using fresh water instead of seawater to cool down at least some of the reactors after concern arose that salt deposits might hamper the cooling process. Two of the plant's reactors are now seen as safe but the other four are volatile, occasionally emitting steam and smoke. However, the nuclear safety agency said on Saturday that temperature and pressure in all reactors had stabilised. The government has said the situation was nowhere near to being resolved, although it was not deteriorating. "We are preventing the situation from worsening -- we've restored power and pumped in fresh water -- and making basic steps towards improvement but there is still no room for complacency," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference on Saturday. More than 700 engineers have been toiling in shifts but there's no end in sight. Aftershocks that have jolted the region since March 11 have been tailing off. One on Sunday of magnitude 4.2 hit near the stricken plant but there were no reports of further damage. FISHING INDUSTRY OBLITERATED At Three Mile Island, the worst nuclear power accident in the United States, workers took just four days to stabilise the reactor, which suffered a partial meltdown. No one was injured and there was no radiation release above the legal limit. At Chernobyl in Ukraine, the worst nuclear accident in the world, it took weeks to "stabilise" what remained of the plant and months to clean up radioactive materials and cover the site with a concrete and steel sarcophagus. So far, no significant levels of radiation have been detected beyond the vicinity of the plant in Fukushima. The U.S. Department of Energy said on its website no significant quantities of radiological material had been deposited in the area around the plant since March 19, according to tests on Friday. In Tokyo, a metropolis of 13 million people, a Reuters reading on Saturday morning showed ambient radiation of 0.22 microsieverts per hour, about six times normal for the city. That was well within the global average of naturally occurring background radiation of 0.17-0.39 microsieverts per hour, a range given by the World Nuclear Association. The government has prodded tens of thousands of people living in a 20 km-30 km (12-18 mile) zone beyond the stricken complex to leave. Edano said the residents should move because it was difficult to get supplies to the area, and not because of elevated radiation. Kazuo Suzuki, 56, who has moved from his house near the nuclear plant to an evacuation centre, said neighbours he had talked to by telephone said delivery trucks were not going to the exclusion zone because of radiation worries. "So goods are running out, meaning people have to drive to the next town to buy things. But there is a fuel shortage there too, so they have to wait in long queues for gasoline to use the car." Radiation levels at the evacuation centre were within a normal range of about 0.16 microsievert, according to a Reuters geiger counter reading. In Japan's northeast, more than a quarter of a million people remain in shelters, and the impact on livelihoods is becoming clearer. The quake and tsunami not only wiped out homes and businesses but also a fishing industry that was the lifeblood of coastal communities. "Fishermen lost their gear, ships and just about everything. About half will probably get out of the business," said Yuko Sasaki, a fishmonger in the tsunami-hit city of Kamaishi. The double disaster probably destroyed aqua farms for abalone, sea urchins, oysters, scallops and seaweed that authorities say account for 80 percent of the revenue of the region's fisheries. The tsunami obliterated centuries-old fishing ports along the northeast coast, sending ships adrift in the Pacific Ocean, to the bottom of the sea, or depositing them on land, where they now lie among the splintered remains of homes. TENT CITY IKUZENTAKATA, Japan — Yukiko Yamaguchi wants to go home. But like more than 400,000 others staying in shelters since a powerful tsunami plowed through their homes 10 days ago, the 73-year-old has no idea when she'll be able to. Rebuilding Japan's northeast coast is expected to take years, and the monumental effort is not even close to beginning. Instead, another phase is slowly getting off the ground: the construction of prefabricated homes as temporary housing for the displaced. "We're anxious to leave here," Yamaguchi said, sitting with her husband on a woven mat in a middle-school gym that has been their home since the town of Rikuzentakata was flattened by the raging torrent of water on March 11. On Monday, construction workers outside the school screwed in the corrugated aluminum rooftop of one of the first temporary homes to spring up: a metal-sided box raised on wooden stilts above a muddy soccer field. The house is one of 135 that will be built at the school by the Iwate provincial government, and one of thousands that will go up in the coming months outside other shelters scattered across Rikuzentakata's hilly outskirts. Residents will likely stay in them for a couple of years until more permanent homes are ready. "It's simple and easy to feed people," Yamaguchi said, referring to the meals prepared daily at her shelter, where laundry hangs in classrooms. "But the question everybody is asking is, when can we go home? We want to know how they plan to rebuild this town." So far, there are no answers. The epic task of removing the debris must be completed first, and firefighters and soldiers are still removing bodies from the rubble. In Rikuzentakata, bulldozers began demolishing a few uninhabitable homes Monday. The steel claw of one earth-moving machine ripped off a green rooftop and dropped it in a mountain of twisted beams. Elsewhere in the rubble, one woman stood, mouth agape, over a rectangular sheet of white metal that had been crushed to half its original size. "This is the front door of our house," she said in disbelief. Only a square concrete foundation remained. The rest was carried away by the tsunami as it pushed more than three miles up a river. When the wave receded, it left a mud-covered plain of wrecked cars and nail-studded wooden planks, mixed in with what once made up lives here: smashed pianos, soiled picture albums, torn shoes. s authorities collate the casualties, the toll steadily rises. Japanese authorities say more than 8,600 people are confirmed dead and 13,200 are missing. "It's all so hard to believe," said Tsutomu Nakai, 61, a former secretary general of Rikuzentakata's chamber of cmmerce runs the shelter where Yamaguchi is staying — a hilltop junior high-school housing nearly 1,000 people. Nakai, too, wonders when he'll be able to go home. The hardest thing, he said, is the sudden dependence on charity. He has no identification, no credit cards, no money. He wonders what difference it would make anyway — even the banks were swept away. The charcoal-gray sweater he is wearing was given to him by a friend. "I have trouble sleeping," he said. "I want to believe this isn't real, but it is." He said he would rebuild, though he was unsure how. "I was born here. I will spend the rest of my life trying to rebuild this place," he said. Some say it's too dangerous to live next to the water. "I can never see myself living here again," 75-year-old Minoru Sato said in Onagawa, a harbor town to the south, as he picked through remnants of his shattered apartment. He found a photo of himself on a ski trip and stuffed it into a plastic bag. Kadzuhiko Kimuri, another Onagawa resident, said some towns would never be the same. "I don't see how they can ever rebuild it. I think most people will never come back — especially not the young generation," he said. "There weren't many jobs here for them, and now there are none." SURVIVOR OTSUCHI, Japan, March 17 (Reuters) - Nearly a week after their home town was annihilated in a catastrophic tsunami, the 1,000-plus survivors of the small Japanese fishing town of Otsuchi are hanging by a thread. With no water or electricity and scant food, survivors keep each other company at one of three emergency shelters on the outskirts of what remains of the town. "You can't wash your hands or face," says 72-year-old Katsu Sawayama, seated in the middle of the high school gymnasium, the biggest of the shelters in a town where more than half the 17,000 residents are still missing. Adding to their woes, a heavy snowstorm sent temperatures plunging to below zero and blanketed acres of tsunami debris in white. While international attention has been focused on Japan's efforts to stop damage at a quake-hit nuclear power plant from spiralling out of control, a massive salvage and rescue operation has slowly been gathering steam. Scores of villages, hamlets and towns lining Japan's northeast coast were flattened by tsunami waves that rolled in minutes after Friday's 9.0 magnitude earthquake. While the official toll stands at less than 5,000, thousands more are listed as missing and the final tally is likely to soar. About 850,000 households in the north were still without electricity, Tohuku Electric Power Co. said, while the government said at least 1.5 million households lacked running water. "There are some cases of dehydration," said Eric Ouannes, general director for Medecins Sans Frontieres in Japan, after he visited shelters in northern Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. "We are seeing very small health problems but these can deteriorate. We have been restarting treatment for elderly people who have hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular problems," he added. Like tens of thousands of people along Japan's northeast coast, the Otsuchi survivors have nowhere else to go. Meals are barely enough to sustain them -- half a rice ball and a small bowl of miso soup is a luxury; a slice of bread might have to feed a family of three. "Whatever they give us, we just gratefully receive. At least they're feeding us three times a day," said Sayawama. RADIATION FEARS DETRACT FROM OTHER PROBLEMS International experts say that panic over fears of radiation leaks from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could detract from problems likely to affect survivors of the quake and tsunami, such as the cold, access to clean water and getting enough food. "People are getting so concerned about what are at the moment pretty low levels of radiation," said Dr Richard Wakeford of Britain's University of Manchester. "But the real problems ... are in dealing with the earthquake and the tsunami. "If this was a developing country, we'd have people going down in their hundreds and thousands with the likes of typhoid and cholera by now. The questions should be: Where is the sewage going? What is the state of the drinking water? If I were a public health official, that would be my principle concern." Ayumi Yamazaki, 21, is worries her 1-1/2-year-old daughter is not getting enough to eat. "We rarely get to eat rice, so I'm a little concerned," she said. "But it's better than not eating at all." Maths teacher Naoshi Moriya, volunteering at the evacuation site's make-shift logistics office, says he's worried that it is only a matter of time before food runs out. Despite the privations there's a sense of order in the evacuation centre. In late afternoon, a neat queue forms in one hallway of the refuge shelter for men under 60 to collect clean underwear sent in through charity. "Long-sleeve undergarments are reserved for the elderly," a volunteer who lost her home says, apologising to one man. Outside help is slowly and sparingly arriving. A Self Defence Forces truck carrying a fresh supply of water arrived late afternoon on Wednesday, and two Red Cross teams arrived for the first time to treat patients. "It's cold today so many people have fallen ill, getting diarrhoea and other symptoms," said Takanori Watanabe, a Red Cross doctor from Himeji, western Japan. He says 80 people queued up when they arrived. Elsewhere there were poignant human touches. Two soldiers picked through the rubble and placed personal effects such as photographs in a box so that survivors might be able to reclaim cherished memories. "They belong to someone," said one. "You never know." Holocaust Survivor Solomon Radasky 1944 when they give up the Lodz ghetto . . . they give up . . . they was some in them a people lot of people coming to Auschwitz from Lodz. A lot of people got killed in Lodz. In the ghetto got the children. The Germans hold the people with the children, hold the and the children was grown up a little, and 4 years is not a baby, you know. When they was coming to Auschwitz. When they was coming in 1944, September, October. In the two months, I don't know what's happened. Til now nothing can figure out with the Germans . . . they all was crazy. They. . . they . . . they holler to make it go fast . . .everything the crematoriums. They throw in the people, you know, in the crematoriums . . . the children. I never will forget . . . alive . . . they throw them in the crematoriums . . . They grabbed by an arm by a leg, by the head, and throw them into the ovens. There it was so tragic the . . . the . . . the cries and people when crying there, you know, was so terrible. I can feel it now . . . I can even see the other people . . . the other people was crying the . . . the children was hollering, "Mama, Daddy help me! Mama, Daddy help me!" You know, was was terrible . . . Eva Galler They took us in January . . . I remember . . . January 4th, 1943. It was very cold. It was that time such a cold winter that when you walked, the snow crunched under your feet. The S.S. people came into the ghetto, and they walked us . . . they chased us with rifles to the train. That time when they chased us, they didn't have television yet, so nobody saw whatever it happened. But now when you see on the television, and people they chasing out from Kosovo, and people . . . and they are going into tent cities, and it's very sad to look at it. But, to compare to the Holocaust, if somebody would have given us a chance to walk out of Germany, if to live in a camp, in a tent city . . . together the whole family . . . everybody would have been grateful. They didn't give us that chance. They took us into the train. It's a chaos was by the loading the trains because children cried, and parents tried to keep together with the children, and families wanted to be together. Now we came in, into that cattle train when it was full and closed from outside, locked that nobody could . . . was able to go out. The small windows with barbed wires, it wasn't any glass, only barbed wires. Of course, we knew that time what is awaiting us. Because we knew that time it was Camp Belzec, a few stations from our city, and there it was just crematoriums. You came in and they gassed you. They told you to go to the shower, but the shower had Zyklon gas in it and everybody was killed and later exterminated. Nobody survived. You don't have one survivor from Belzec. You have survivors from Auschwitz, from Treblinka, because it was also a working camp. But Belzec wasn't a working camp. It was strictly a death camp, and nobody survived. _______ Joseph Sher In 1945 or 46 after the war we lived in a small little town, Neunburg vorm Wald. We lived DP, DP, displaced persons, they live in one building, all of them. And we got the UNRRA, they called the UNRRA, and they give us, they feed us and they give us every month packages. We got little shul and we got little sewing. So one day was a Yom Tov, a holiday, I don't remember the holiday, either Pesach or . . .after a meal, a good Shabbos . . . a good Yom Tov meal, two boys from the house went . . . took a walk and they walked . . they walked.. In the Neunburg vorm Wald was a woods, forest, forest, and they walked in the forest and they got little dog with them. They got raised a little dog . . . and all of a sudden the dog got crazy started scraping, scraping scraping, and they didn't know what it is, and they start to help, and they saw an arm from a . . . So they came back around and they find a dead man. And we went to the police, and the police call us, and we have our leaders, you know, and we went over there to start . . . they brought shovels and start grabbing . . . it was dead people. . . about maybe 50. Big, big, big . . . And we find out when I came here, somebody ask me how did you know they were Jews. We find out . . . we find tefillin in the pockets, most, not most, some got tefillin in the pocket. Some got little Jewish book, little book, a little bencherle, a siddurle and that's we found out they were Jews. So we with the Germans' help, with the German, with the Burgermeister, they all felt bad, and they gave us . . . the Burgermeister told us he can give you a way to bury them, he gave us on the cemetery a corner, you can see here crosses, so we was satisfied. We took piece by piece, and some arms fell off, and some limbs fell off, and we took big, big, what you cover up with, blankets and we put piece by piece, and we all worked, worked a couple days and brought them to the cemetery, and we make, we give them the rite. And we said Kaddish after them, we give them a El Malei Rachamim. And even a Rabbi, a Rabbi came, came to give them the rites. And this was 1945 or 46, I wouldn't remember the months. And we all felt that we done some good deed to get the Jews a good burial. __ Rivka Yosselevska “One could not leave the line, but I wished to see – what are they doing on the hillock? I turned my head and saw that some three or four rows were already killed – on the ground. There were some twelve people amongst the dead. I also want to mention that my child said while we were lined up in the ghetto, she said `Mother, why did you make me wear the Shabbat dress, we are being taken to be shot’-; and when we stood near the dug-out, near the grave, she said, `Mother, why are we waiting, let us run!’ Some of the young people tried to run, but they were caught immediately, and they were shot right there. It was difficult to hold onto the children. We took all children, not ours, and we carried – we were anxious to get it all over- the suffering of the children was difficult- we all trudged along to come nearer to the place and to come nearer to the end of the torture of the children. The children were taking leave of their parents and parents of their elder people. We were driven; we were already undressed; the clothes were removed and taken away; our father did not want to undress; he wanted to keep his underclothes on. He did not want to stand naked. Then they tore the clothing off the old man and he was shot. I saw it with my own eyes. And then they took my mother, and she said, let us go before her, but they caught my mother and shot her too; and then there was my grandmother, my father’s mother, standing there; she was eighty years old and she had two children in her arms. And then there was my father’s sister. She also had children in her arms and she was shot on the spot with the babies in her arms. And finally my turn came. There was my younger sister, and she wanted to leave, she pleaded with the German; she asked to run, naked- she went up to the Germans with one of her friends; they were embracing each other; and she asked to be spared, standing there naked. He looked into her eyes and shot the two of them. They fell together in their embrace, the two young girls, my sister and her young friend. Then my second sister was shot and then my turn came. We turned towards the grave and then he turned around and asked, `Whom shall I shoot first?’ We were already facing the grave. The German asked, `Whom do you want me to shoot first?’ I did not answer. I felt him take the child from my arms. The child cried out and was shot immediately. And then he aimed at me. First he held onto my hair and turned my head around; I stayed standing; I heard a shot, but I continued to stand and then he turned my head again and he aimed the revolver at me, ordered me to watch, and then turned my head around and shot at me. Then I fell to the ground into the pit amongst the bodies – but I felt nothing. The moment I did feel I felt a sort of heaviness and then I thought may be I am not alive anymore, but I feel something after I died. I thought I was dead, that this was the feeling which comes after death. Then I felt that I was choking; people falling over me. I tried to move and felt that I was alive and that I could rise. I was strangling. I heard the shots and I was praying for another bullet to put an end to my suffering, but I continued to move about. I felt that I was choking, strangling, but I tried to save myself, to find some air to breathe, and then I felt that I was climbing towards the top of the grave above the bodies. I rose, and I felt bodies pulling at with me with their hands, biting at my legs, pulling me down, down. And yet with my last strength I came up on top of the grave, and when I did I did not know the place, so many bodies were lying all over, dead people; I wanted to see the end of this stretch of dead bodies, but I could not. It was impossible. They were lying, all dying; suffering; not all of them dead, but in their last sufferings; naked; shot, but not dead. Children crying, `Mother, Father’; I could not stand on my feet. The Germans had gone. There was nobody there, no one standing up. “I was naked, covered with blood, dirty from other bodies, with the excrement from other bodies which was poured on me.” Riivka Yosselevska had been wounded in the head, but she managed to crawl out of the grave, then she recalled; “I was searching among the dead for my little girl and I cried for her – Merkele was her name – Merkele! There were children crying `Mother! Father!’ – but they were all smeared with blood and one could not recognise the children. I cried for my daughter. From afar I saw two women standing. I went up to them. They did not know me, I did not know them, and then I said who I was, and then they said, `So you survived’. And then there was another woman crying, `Pull me out from amongst the corpses, I am still alive, help!’ We were thinking how could we escape from the place. The cries of the woman, `Help, pull me out from the corpses!’ We pulled her out – her name was Mikla Rosenberg. We removed the corpses and the dying people who held onto her and continued to bite. She asked us to take her out, to free her, but we did not have the strength. And thus we were there all night, fighting for our lives, listening to the cries and the screams and all of a sudden we saw Germans, mounted Germans. We did not notice them coming in because of the screaming and the shouting from the bodies around us. The Germans ordered that all the corpses be heaped together into one big heap and with shovels they were heaped together, all the corpses, amongst them many still alive, children running about the place. I saw them. I saw the children. They were running after me, hanging on to me. Then I sat down in the field and remained sitting with the children around me. The children who got up from the heap of corpses. The Germans came and were going around the place. We were ordered to collect all the children, but they did not approach me, and I sat there watching how they collected the children. They gave a few shots and the children were dead. They did not need many shots. The children were almost dead, and this Rosenberg woman pleaded with the Germans to be spared, but they shot her. They all left – the Germans and the non-Jews from around the place. They removed the machine guns and they took the trucks. I saw that they all left and the four of us, we went on to the grave, praying to fall into the grave, even alive, envying those who were dead already and thinking what to do now. I was praying for death to come. I was praying for the grave to be opened and to swallow me alive. Blood was spurting from the grave in many places, like a well of water, and whenever I pass a spring now, I remember the blood which spurted from the ground, from that grave. I was digging with my fingernails, trying to join the dead in that grave. I dug with my fingernails, but the grave would not open. I did not have enough strength. I cried out to my mother, to my father – `Why did they not kill me? What was my sin? I have no one to go to. I saw them all being killed. Why was I spared? Why was I not killed?’ And I remained there - stretched out on the grave, three days and three nights. I saw no one, I heard no one. Not a farmer passed by. After three days, shepherds drove their herd on to the field, and they began throwing stones at me, but I did not move. At night, the herds were taken back and during the day they threw stones believing that either it was a dead woman or a mad woman. They wanted me to rise, to answer. But I did not move. The shepherds were throwing stones at me until I had to leave the place Isak Borenstein I was in a Kommando. They call this in German Bomb Kommando. This means, in English means dig out un-exploded bombs. So I dig out together around 60 some odd bombs. I dig out from the ground. I, We had just one explosion, which we was away about 100, 150 feet. This one explosion which I had I was lucky, saved. Another bomb was over there just just just making. They had over there a crane about 200 feet high which was bringing the coal to the factory. The planes tried to bomb the crane and they hit the bomb hit with the stomach on the cement railing. Was chipped up a little bit and slowed down the speed of the bomb and fall down down on the crystal coals which it couldn't dig in too deep. They come to us to go to defuse this bomb. So I went to this bomb to defuse it. No way we could unscrew the fuse. So I ask them to bring me a chisel, a metal chisel with a hammer. So I sit down on the bomb. And try to knock it. So the head broke off. Everybody ran and I just got up and looked at this and went away like nothing. I don't know. If I was so stupid or if I didn't care for my life. There is something more to this. If I was so lucky._ Haitian Survivor Ricot Duprevil The US military pulled a Haitian man alive from under the rubble in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday after he apparently survived two weeks on just water since being trapped in the January 12 quake. US soldiers at the scene could not confirm how long the 31-year-old man, who was covered with dust and had facial injuries, had been trapped, but a doctor who treated him spoke of his "remarkable" 14-day survival under the rubble. "He did not have enough strength... any to scream anymore, but when he heard the Haitians going through the rubble, he was able to make a cry that would be recognized that he was still alive," the Haitian-American doctor told CNN, which named the survivor as Ricot Duprevil. "They immediately immobilized the Americans who were nearby with the heavy machinery and they got him out. They got him to the hospital, and after 14 days of not eating, he is really in very stable condition," the doctor said. "He's been drinking water over these 14 days, and as you heard, he just ran out this morning." The US military released a statement on the rescue, and while it did not mention how long Duprevil had been trapped, it said "the man had a broken leg and severe dehydration." "He was evacuated to a nearby US Department of Health and Human Services Disaster Medical Assistance Team for treatment," it said. Specialist Andrew Pourak of the 82nd Airborne Division told AFP the man had "possibly" been trapped under the rubble for the past two weeks, but that he may also have been a looter who became caught in the last several days amid the chaos that followed the disaster. "We don't know if he was there from the beginning or in one of the aftershocks he may have gone under," Pourak told Agence France-Presse. Haiti has been hit by at least 50 tremors since the original quake. Some 133 people have been pulled alive from the ruins in Port-au-Prince since last week's devastating quake, which killed an estimated 150,000 people, but hope was evaporating that any more would be found. The most recent rescue came Saturday, when search teams pulled a 25-year-old man out alive. He had been trapped in a grocer's shop and had been able to grab a small amount of food and drink to keep himself alive. Evans Monsigrace Evans Monsigrace was carried into a Salvation Army clinic on Monday by two rescuers who said that they found him while picking through the ruins of a flea market. Stick thin and severely dehydrated, with festering open wounds on both feet, Monsigrace spoke ramblingly, convinced that he was still trapped and begging to die, medical staff reported. But yesterday the 28-year-old rice seller began to talk sensibly, and doctors now say it is feasible that he survived on water and perhaps some fruit, although his story cannot be independently checked. Monsigrace has told them that he had just finished selling rice for the day at the city center market when the quake hit. He didn’t suffer any major injuries, but was trapped on his side, in an area where food and drink vendors were selling their goods. "Based on that [his story], we believe him," said Dr. Dushyantha Jayaweera, who works at the University of Miami Medishare field hospital where Monsigrace was transferred because he was in critical condition. Jayaweera said that Monsigrace originally claimed that he had not had any water or food at all. However, doctors found that he had normal kidney function with only some heart palpitations, suggesting that he at least had drunk something, but not enough to avoid getting dehydrated. Medical experts say that disaster survivors may be able to sustain themselves with a water supply and without medical attention for up to two weeks, as did Darlene Etienne, the 17-year-old Haitian survivor who was rescued after 15 days in which she reportedly sipped water from the bathroom. Jean Frank Sitting in the shade away from the heat, Jean Frank is making a fishing net that he hopes will help him return to his life as a fisherman. With a lifetime of experience behind him, the old fisherman said in Creole that it was the first time he had ever seen a wall of water come ashore. The tsunami apparently took the lives of at least seven villagers in the town of Petit Paradis, on Haiti's western coast. "What can I say? That's life," he said, through a translator. "At the moment, things aren't good, things are difficult." For the first time, residents of this coastal village are telling the story of a localized tsunami that hit here immediately after the 7.0 earthquake. The relatively small tsunami reached a few hundred yards into the village, which was devastated by the quake. Steeve Badio is a fisherman here. His house was destroyed, as were the small canoes carved from wood he used to earn a living. "The sea went back," he explained in Creole "It sounded like a helicopter ... and then the waves came up," he said. Badio says the water was higher than the trees, and when it returned back to the ocean, Badio's father was gone and so were his two nephews: 4-year-old Wolga and 2-year-old James. Badio says they haven't been able to have a funeral without their bodies. Experts say earthquakes can cause localized tsunamis. Because Haiti does not have buoys to measure wave heights, authorities have to rely on eyewitness accounts to determine whether a tsunami occurred. A tsunami warning was issued at the time of the quake but was discontinued soon after. The water also apparently swept away four other residents, including some who were doing laundry by the shore. Blanco Desnoyers is a 21-year-old fisherman. He lost his father, Suaver. "I was over here, and I ran away. The water was chasing after my feet. The sound was like a rumble," he said. Out in the distance, a lone tree stands. Residents say it used to be part of the beach, but now it's about 30 yards out in the blue ocean. Villagers here at Petit Paradis, or Little Paradise, say they are still numb. Sister Angelouis Michel, a Haitian nun, arrived in her vehicle on Friday, bringing rice, water and Pop-Tarts. It was the first time that aid had reached the town had seen since the quake. Her car was swarmed. Sister Michel says she has enough food for about 200 people. "There is more food, but we can't continue with this disorder," she said. "We want them to calm down first, and then we will continue." But she was forced to shut down the food line when the crowd got too exuberant and chased down her car. Up the beach a bit, U.S. Navy Seabees and Marines were making preparations and awaiting orders. They say they expect to start delivering food and aid to these people by the weekend. "As long as the people aren't hungry, they're very manageable," said Renee Edme, has worked in this area for 10 years. She's a missionary from "Mission of Hope," based in Merrimack, Massachusetts. "We saw the Marines late [Thursday], and that was the beginning of hope for all of us," Edme told CNN. "People are numb. I can't say they're desperate. But they're numb." Edme says that villages and towns such as Petit Paradis were forgotten as rescue efforts and food distributions began in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. She says she's disappointed there wasn't a real effort to save people trapped in the rubble in these communities. "People in the United States have been talking since day one about the outpouring of love from our country," she said. "And we keep hearing it and hearing it, but we don't see it. And that's disappointing." And just off the beach, Jean Frank was still sitting in the shade, a little further along on the fishing net that is his future. "Me? I'm not afraid," he says. "I'm old ... I take life as it comes." Stanley Clairmont Stanley Clairmont was washing his clothes for university the next day when a massive earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale struck his home town of Port-au-Prince in Haiti. Despite government reports that the earthquake only lasted 17 seconds, Stanley says it felt like eternity. Although Stanley’s house survived the quake, massive cracks in the walls and roof make it dangerous to be inside, particularly with the continued aftershocks in the city. For now, Stanley and his family are living with 100 other families from his neighbourhood in an open area near by. “We stay out in the open, where there are no walls. We managed to make a shelter with blankets and sheets we got from the house, but it’s not much. I’m sharing with my mother, my grandmother, two sisters and my cousin. Soon after the earthquake, our neighbours started to join us and at one point there were about 150 families in our camp,” says Stanley. After the quake Stanley went out to take photos. He says: “At first I wanted to take pictures of the devastation, but I could see people needed help and I couldn’t just stand there taking photos. My university friends and I started to try and move some rubble where we could see people and help get them out. It was exhausting and there were a lot of dead bodies too – it was difficult to breathe. “But we managed to save about 13 people. Then I got news that my grandmother was in trouble and trapped under the rubble too.” Fortunately, Stanley managed to get his grandmother out from her collapsed house and took her to several hospitals before finding someone to treat her. He says: “I ended up spending many days in the hospital with my grandmother and then the Haitian Red Cross helped her. After that I knew I needed to do something to help as well so I went to the Haitian Red Cross office to volunteer." For the last week I’ve been helping with relief distributions to different camps around Port-au-Prince – I’m just pleased to be able to do something to help. Many camps we visited hadn’t received anything.” Stanley was in his fourth year of studying electrical engineering at Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince. “I only had to finish my thesis and just had six months to go,” he says. “I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I went to see the university and it’s completely collapsed and I haven’t heard anything from them or the scholarship scheme I was on. It was my dream to get my degree and I just don’t know if that’s going to happen. I just can’t really think about it right now.” Stanley has started working with the British Red Cross mass sanitation emergency response team as an interpreter and hygiene promotion volunteer. His role involves helping the five-person team to prevent disease and construct latrines in the many camps that have sprung up in Port-au-Prince since the earthquake struck. He says: “It’s good to work with the sanitation team and see what they do and I’ll be able to use some of the engineering principles I’ve been learning through my degree.” Jesse Hagopian and Sarah Wilhem Jesse Hagopian , his wife Sarah Wilhelm and their one year old son Miles are home safely in Seattle. Home, but forever changed. The young family was in Haiti when the earthquake hit. Sarah is an aids educator with the University of Washington and travels to Haiti frequently. This time the family came along. By pure luck, Sarah left work early and arrived at the hotel just minutes before the earthquake hit. "Sarah had just gotten home and was nursing Miles, when literally 5 minutes later the room started shaking," says Jesse. Sarah, who grew up in the Mid-West, had never been in an earthquake and started heading toward the balcony. "I wasn't sure what was going on, but the bed starting moving so I got up with the baby," remembers Sarah. Jesse grabbed her and Miles and they stood under a door. Jesse says "I also remember the bed moving across the floor and glass shattering everywhere." After the earth stopped moving, the couple took Miles and went outside. It soon became clear that this was a devastating event. Jesse says " luckily there was a medically trained technician at the hotel, called J.H. Injured people soon heard he was there and they began arriving by the dozens." Neither Jesse or Sarah have any medical training but both jumped right in. While Miles slept nearby, the couple did what they could. "I helped set broken bones and tried to stop bleeding wounds," says Jesse. Sarah started gathering medical supplies. "I collected Advil and other medicines from hotel guests," she says. For Jesse, the most emotional and difficult time was when a 6 year old boy died in his arms. " I was trying to help him, but he didn't make it, his father tried blowing air into his lungs, but he was already gone," Jesse recalls. "I could only look at my own young son and think that if circumstances had been different that could have been us." Three days later, Jesse and Sarah were able to tour Port-A-Prince. The city was devestated. Sarah says "it was hard to wrap your head around the fact that everything was gone." Jesse says "everyone was pinching their noses, or wearing face masks, because of the smell coming from the decomposing bodies of those left in the rubble." The most frustrating thing for the couple was the lack of support and supplies getting to the Haitian people. "There was no organized effort or pressence in the city," says Jesse. He adds, "the only organized people we saw were the bulldozers collecting the bodies on the street." The couple returned home 6 days ago. They are already planning on returning. Sarah has a number of Haitian friends and work collegues that she checks in with and wants to help, and of course her education job is still important. Jesse plans to take medically training classes. "After what we've been through, I know now how important those skills are, and you never know when you might need them," Jesse says. As for 1 year old Miles, his parents want to take him back when he's older. "This is a place that has shaped him, even if he doesn't remember it," says his dad. Monley Elize A little over a week ago, 5-year-old Monley Elize was gulping fruit juice and standing on two small shaky feet in a medical clinic here, the heralded survivor of eight days buried in the rubble of his home. Since then, he's been featured on CNN and he and his uncle also appeared on NBC. The initial report in The Times brought dozens of offers of help. Around Port-au-Prince, where Monley's was a rare good-news story in a city devastated by the Jan. 12 earthquake, the pint-sized survivor is recognized on local buses, his uncle says. On Friday, Monley was staying deep inside a sprawling tent city, where 12 people -- Monley, his two brothers, an uncle, aunt, cousins and other homeless relatives -- share a 15-by-15-foot patch of brown earth. For shade, they were using a flowered bedsheet stretched between scavenged wood planks. His aunt, Kazmita, was boiling rice for supper. When the earthquake struck, Monley said, he tried to get out of his family's ground-floor apartment, but he was blocked by a falling door. He squatted in a corner under a small metal table as the three-story building collapsed. In the eight days that followed, the uncle, Gary Elize, and other relatives dug out the bodies of Monley's parents. As they looked for Monley, they were convinced that he was dead. Elize found the child's leg and was shocked when it moved. Minutes later, Elize was holding the severely dehydrated child in his arms and running to the main road. Passing by at the time was Neil Joyce, 54, a San Diego doctor with the Los Angeles-based relief agency International Medical Corps. Joyce put Monley and his uncle in the car and drove them to the agency's clinic. Doctors and nurses treated Monley over several hours and discharged him that evening. Last weekend, Monley and his uncle returned to the clinic, where nurses and doctors fussed over him. The nurse who originally treated him, Gabriella McAdoo, who works in the emergency room at Stanford University Medical Center, fed him ravioli from a can and pronounced him in excellent health. Monley agreed. "I feel good," he said. As they were leaving, Elize pulled a reporter aside. "If you see that doctor who brought us to the hospital," he said, "would you please tell him thank you." Elize, whose home also was destroyed, says he isn't sure what the family will do. Sleeping in the city of displaced people has been difficult, and the family is awakened frequently by shouts and other noises. "We don't have a home anymore, and we don't have anywhere to go," he said. Monley has an aunt, a nurse in Florida, who has been providing some help. In addition, he said, other tent city residents, touched by Monley's remarkable story, have given some of their own meager food supplies to help the family. A TV network offered to put Monley and his uncle in a hotel room for a night last weekend for its story, Elize said. But the boy and his uncle left after a few hours because Monley was worried about staying inside a building and he missed his cousins. "He was eating an apple at the hotel and began crying," Elize said. "I asked him what was wrong, and he said he wanted to give the rest of the apple to his cousins." Elize took Monley back to the tent city, where, on Friday, he was out playing with new friends. Dan Woolley Dan Woolley was all over the news last week as the tech geek who survived the Haiti earthquake with the help of a first-aid iPhone app, his digital SLR and, of course, a lot of luck. The religious man credits his survival to God and all those praying for him. But in an interview with Wired.com, he reveals that he was even more technologically resourceful than initial reports suggested. After the quake struck, burying the Hotel Montana in rubble, Woolley, a web programmer, came up with some clever techy ideas. In addition to consulting the iPhone app First Aid & CPR for advice on treating cuts, Woolley used his digital SLR’s focusing light to help illuminate his surroundings. He snapped photos of the wreckage, using the flash to help him search for refuge. His viewfinder revealed a crumbled elevator shaft, where he prayed, rested and bandaged his wounds. Then, Woolley set his alarm to go off every 20 minutes to stay awake, fearing that if he fell asleep, he could go into shock. A French rescue team dug him out of the shaft 65 hours later. While waiting for rescue, Woolley recorded voice memos for his family with his iPhone. And when he was feeling discouraged, he used the iPod app to listen to music. How did his iPhone battery last an amazing 65 hours? Woolley had a Mophie “Juice Pack” battery extender that he plugged into his iPhone, giving it several hours more juice. He also stopped using the alarm after feeling reassured that he wouldn’t go into shock. When the battery meter sank to 20 percent, Woolley shut off the iPhone to save the power. Before he did, he had stored some text messages calling for help, figuring he would have them ready to send in case he could get a miraculous cell connection. “It really was an incredible tool in my pocket, and I was really glad to have it,” Woolley told Wired.com on the phone. Woolley clarified that he was using the app not to learn to treat his cuts, but rather to ensure he was doing it properly. “I don’t know if I would’ve necessarily done things differently if I didn’t have [the iPhone app],” Woolley admitted. “At a point of great inner turmoil it was great to have something that was definitive. It’s not like I read it and I learned and said, oh really I should tie the wound? It’s more like OK, this is what I do. All right, I’m doing the right thing.” Woolley added that many on the web criticized him for not having a first-aid kit with him. He said critics were missing a major point about the importance of the iPhone, and other similar app-powered smartphones, such as Google’s Nexus One, being a general-purpose tool that you carry with you everywhere. “For people who pointed out I should’ve had a pocket first aid kit, the reason they’re wrong is I wouldn’t have it in my pocket,” he said. “How many people have gone out of their way to add one more thing to their pocket? What was valuable about the iPhone is it was already in my pocket. And I thought, it would probably be a good way to have some first aid tips in here, so I downloaded that app. That’s the value of this utility.” Woolley was one of reportedly 23 survivors rescued from the rubble that buried Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince, Haiti after the massive earthquake. He was shooting a video about poverty-stricken children in Haiti with his friend David Hames, a filmmaker, when the quake struck. Hames was not found. “My iPhone did not save me, God and the prayers of tens of thousands of His people did,” Woolley said.
Pages to are hidden for
"Survivor Stories"Please download to view full document