Katherine Ellis


As Interviewed by Quinlan Huh, March 8, 2018
"You know people respond to disaster in different ways. You have some people who are kind of in denial. They donít really want to accept that theyíve just lost everything they own. There other people who process it well. They grieve, but they also recognize itís just stuff and theyíre still alive. There are also the people who kind of canít process it at all..."
Katherine Ellis

Introductory Profile: About: Katherine Ellis

I interviewed Katherine Ellis who works for the Austin Disaster Relief Network, an organization that provides relief for people who have experienced natural disasters. Katherine used to teach ESL at the University of Texas with my mother. Her experience as a teacher working with people from all over the world prepared her to work in disaster relief because she learned how to deal with various kinds of people and gained organizational skills. She is good at directing and supervising people. She can quickly see what needs to be done and is great at delegating tasks. Katherine is in her early forties and is from Florida. While living in Florida, she experienced a hurricane as a child. Her memories of sheltering at a gym help her connect with people who have lost their homes. In addition, she is outgoing, talkative, bold and confident with herself. Katherineís also generous and giving. Her faith teaches her to care for othersí physical and emotional needs.

I chose Katherine to interview because she works for the disaster relief group, and I wanted to learn about natural disasters because of the recent flooding in our areas, and in my motherís home state of Louisiana. Before Katherine worked for ADRN, she volunteered with the organization, so she is a good informant about volunteerism and community service as well. In her job, she works with people who have lost their houses or belongings and collects clothes, mattresses and anything else needed at the shelters such as toiletries or even food. She has traveled to several disaster sites to help people clean up and rebuild their homes.

The interview took place in Katherineís house at her kitchen table and was like a campfire where you hear stories. Katherine had plenty of touching stories and stunning experiences that I was amazed to hear about.