Here is an article weaving the recent tragic earthquakes in L'Aquila with the flood of 1966:
Many will remember the Florence flood of 1966. Once the waters receded and the mud remained, thousands went to Florence to help. I was sent by my parents to volunteer. I was basically a kid who helped carry things and acted as a gofer. I later learned that I was technically a "mud angel." I had been a witness and, in my small way, I helped. But, perhaps of greater importance was that I became totally convinced that I would try in my career to help keep great works of art safe.