We are trying to fundraise money and collect as much as we can by Dec 16th, 2013
The Philippines, a nation of more than 7,000 islands, faces enormous devastation in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan that produced record strength winds along with high storm surges. Approximately 10 million people across 40 provinces have been affected with as many as 600,000 people displaced and the death toll continuing to rise.
PHILIPPINE RED CROSS ON THE GROUND The Philippine Red Cross is leading this response effort and their volunteers have been caring for people even before Typhoon Haiyan made landfall. Prior to the arrival of Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippine Red Cross worked closely with local disaster authorities to support preemptive evacuations, helping move more than 125,000 families to safer shelters. The Philippine Red Cross also disseminated early warning messages and safety tips in areas along the path of the typhoon.
Days later, Philippine Red Cross volunteer rescue and relief teams continue to provide assistance in the hardest hit communities, including assisting in search and rescue efforts. The Philippine Red Cross has extensive experience in search and rescue and large-scale relief and recovery programs. The Philippine Red Cross is the largest humanitarian organization in the country, with 1,000 staff members and an estimated 500,000 active volunteers engaged in response to this emergency.
The Philippine Red Cross has begun distributions of relief supplies and volunteers are packing more supplies to send to all the affected areas. However, delivery of supplies in the worst affected city of Tacloban has been significantly constrained by damage to local infrastructure. Typhoon Haiyan hit the city of about 220,000 people the hardest with a tsunami-like storm surge pushing a wall of water nearly 10 feet high inland.
Specialized emergency response teams from Red Cross societies across the globe are moving into the Philippines to assist the Philippine Red Cross. These include teams with expertise in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.
AMERICAN RED CROSS RESPONSE EFFORTS The American Red Cross is among those societies helping support the response efforts of the Philippine Red Cross. Four people from the American Red Cross have arrived in the Philippines. These include two people who specialize in telecommunication and who are travelling with satellite equipment, and two others who specialize in disaster assessment.
When responding overseas, the American Red Cross response is different than a typical disaster response in the United States, working closely with the affected Red Cross society who serves as the lead to provide the level of staff support and assistance requested.
The American Red Cross is also helping to reconnect families separated by this typhoon and has activated its family tracing services. If people are looking for a missing family member in the Philippines, please remember that many phone lines are down. If people are unable to reach loved ones, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a family tracing care.
The American Red Cross remains in close contact with the Philippine Red Cross, and more help and assistance will be provided in the days ahead