16 May 2011

Humanitarian Resource Institute
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United Nations Arts Initiative
Arts Integration Into Education
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Apatow On U.S. Flood Relief Efforts to 45,000 Deaths a Month in the Congo

On February 28, 1993, the team began the Run Across America for Hunger, Homelessness, Poverty and Community Service [1] in Washington, DC.  The first obstacle was the Storm of The Century [2] that moved through the Eastern United States on March 13, 1993. This  blizzard storm complex was massive, affecting at least 26 U.S. states and much of eastern Canada. The Run Across America teams schedule, 12-20 miles per day, per runner, youth and community meetings with shelters, foodbanks and media scheduled every day, no slack in a 133 day itinerary from Washington, DC to San Francisco, California.

A satellite image of the Storm of the Century on March 13, 1993.

As the team moved through the eastern and central United States, it was faced with storm systems that contributed to the "Great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers Flood of 1993."

"The flood was among the most costly and devastating to ever occur in the United States, with $15 billion in damages. The hydrographic basin affected cover around 745 miles (1200 km) in length and 435 miles (700 km) in width, totaling about 320,000 square miles (840,000 km²). Within this zone, the flooded area totaled around 30,000 square miles (80,000 km²) and was the worst such U.S. disaster since the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, as measured by duration, square miles inundated, persons displaced, crop and property damage, and number of record river levels. In some categories, the 1993 flood even surpassed the 1927 flood, at the time the largest flood ever recorded on the Mississippi." -- [3]

Today, Country Music Association Artist H-II: Stephen Michael Apatow, Founder of Humanitarian Resource Institute and the United Nations Arts Initiative, who was the national coordinator and runner in the 1993 Run Across America Project, is leading disaster relief contingency discussions associated with the Great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers Flood of 2011.  The flood has already shattered river-stage level records set during during the '27 and '37 floods in several cities from Cairo to Baton Rouge. In Memphis, the unofficial crest Tuesday of 47.8 feet fell shy of the 1937 record of 48.7. [4]

Focused on household level needs analysis and relief initiatives for the entire region of the disasters impact area, the focus is now on $15 Billion ($15,000 Million) cost of the 1993 floods, that represents a fraction of the inflation adjusted projection in 2011.  Stephen appreciates the recent efforts by the music industry, specifically the "Music Builds: The CMT Concert for Disaster Relief" where country music stars stepped up to the plate to raise money for the cause. [5]

2010 marked the release of H-II Stephen Michael Apatow's first album entitled "Country Goes Global."   Reflecting upon "the cost of putting your life on the line to help the needy, rich and poor," the lead soundtrack is "The American Way." [6,7]  All proceeds from this project support the work of HRI and Arts Integration Into Education, through the United Nations Arts Initiative.

On the international humanitarian relief front, the Foreign Policy magazine spotlighted the"Democratic Republic of the Congo, the warzone that helps make your iPhone." [8]  Congo's riches, including enormous deposits of gold, diamonds, copper, and cobalt, may not have initially instigated that country's decades of war, but they definitely are keeping the battle raging, 8 years after the war was officially declared over.  

Abandoned by the international community,  "5.4 million people died due to fighting and humanitarian crisis in the Congo from 1998 to 2008, and about 45,000 more are killed every month, according to the International Rescue Committee. This is the highest death toll from a single conflict since World War II."  -- Blood and Gold. [8]

This humanitarian crisis has prompted contingency discussions regarding UN "Special Protective Forces for Humanitarian Operations" [9] by the HRI:UNArts Humanitarian Intervention Initiative (H-II). [10]


1. 1993 National Campaign for Community Service: Url: www.runacrossamerica.org
2. 1993 Storm of the Century: Wickpedia. Url: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Storm_of_the_Century
3.  The Great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers Flood of 1993: Wickpedia. Url: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Flood_of_1993
4.  Mississippi floods strain levee system; defy efforts to control river: The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Tennessee, 15 May 2011. Url:
5.  HOT DISH: Country Stars Still Helping Victims of Recent Tornadoes and Floods: CMT, 16 May 2011. Url: www.cmt.com/news/hot-dish/1663859/hot-dish-country-stars-still-helping-victims-of-recent-tornadoes-and-floods.jhtml
6. Country Goes Global:  AirPlay Direct for broadcast quality digital access for television and radio. Url: www.airplaydirect.com/music/stephenmichaelapatow/
7. CDBaby: Digital album on iTunes. Url: www.cdbaby.com/cd/hiistephenmichaelapatow
8. Blood and Gold: Foreign Policy, 12 May 2011. Url: www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/12/blood_and_gold?page=0,0
9. Special Protective Forces for Humanitarian Operations: HRI: UNArts Humanitarian Intervention Initiative (H-II), Url: http://www.unarts.org/H-II/ref/spf_deopressoliber.html
10: HRI: UNArts Humanitarian Intervention Initiative (H-II): Url: www.unarts.org/H-II or www.H-II.org

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