Typhoon Haiyan Remembered – Partnerships & Innovation

Typhoon Haiyan RememberedWhen Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines almost a year ago, experts called it ‘a true one hundred year event.’ As other charities and the world’s media descended upon Tacloban, ShelterBox concentrated its efforts upon trying to reach the more remote islands, assisting families whose livelihoods had been destroyed by the storm and for whom there seemed little hope of help. 

As has been the case in the past, offers of assistance for logistics began to trickle in to ShelterBox’s operation team and before long the offer of freight from Dubai to the Philippines was made to the team. Upon consultation and examination of the situation, ShelterBox’s logistics experts decided that sending tents would be the more effective first response aid, which was then followed by ShelterBoxes and other aid items. Several teams were deployed at once and soon ShelterBox had established a vast network of response teams operating across several islands working to get aid to families as fast as was possible under the challenging conditions.

As the momentum of ShelterBox’s response grew, and as a result of our donors overwhelming support, we took great pride in reporting stories of beneficiaries moving into ShelterBox tents. However it quickly became clear to us that a longer-term commitment was needed to fully accomplish what donors had entrusted us to achieve.

After around three months the need for tents for emergency shelter in the region was diminishing, but there remained a need for humanitarian assistance for these communities left still reeling from the devastation of the disaster.

Families move into their new homes in the Philippines Photo: Toby Ash/ShelterBox.

Families move into their new homes in the Philippines Photo: Toby Ash/ShelterBox.

 

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have maintained our commitment to the Philippines and are extending the type of help we are able to offer these communities. As we strive to develop into a global leader in shelter provision, we are embracing new ways of responding to the needs of communities affected by disasters. And so it was that alongside tents, ShelterBox response teams also began to distribute Shelter Repair Kits containing tools, tarpaulins and fixings to help beneficiaries begin the process of rebuilding their homes.

Working in collaboration 

ShelterBox recognises that shelter is a process, not a product. So we began to investigate opportunities to collaborate with partners in the Philippines who could help us continue our commitment to helping families affected by Haiyan, several months after the Typhoon had first struck.

After a careful assessment process, we entered into four project partnerships with leading international agencies including ACTED (Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development), Handicap International, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) which will lead to the construction of nearly 1,700 ‘core transitional’ shelters.

Designed to house a single family, the shelters are being constructed using locally sourced materials, wherever possible, in areas that were in the path of Typhoon Haiyan: in Eastern Samar, where the typhoon first made landfall; in northern Leyte, close to the devastated city of Tacloban; and on the island of Bantayan, in northern Cebu. In each community, a rigorous beneficiary selection process has ensured that we prioritise the most vulnerable.

This will not only provide more than 8,000 vulnerable people with a safe, durable home but will also help to train the wider community in how to ‘build back safer’ as the shelters are designed to withstand further storms. The overall goal being to develop resilience in the region to future disasters.

‘How could we turn our backs when there is so much still to do to help these families rebuild their lives and their homes?’ said ShelterBox Chief Executive Alison Wallace. ‘Our generous donors have given ShelterBox the resources and the mandate to continue, so we are responding by adapting the practical help we offer.’

As we approach the one-year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan we thank everyone who donated to our appeal and our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the disaster.

Typhoon Haiyan Remembered

Typhoon Haiyan Remembered

 

It is almost a year since the most powerful storm ever recorded hit the island communities of the Philippines. Thanks to the support of our donors, ShelterBox launched one of its largest responses to date and is still today committed to assisting families that were affected by the storm. Throughout the coming week we will look back on Typhoon Haiyan as we remember the communities in the Philippines that suffered at the violence of the storm, and the communities around the world that rallied together in their support. 

Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on 8 November 2013 claiming 6,200 lives and destroying a million homes. In the five months following the disaster, more than 100 ShelterBox response team volunteers have delivered emergency shelter to help over 7,200 families, including 1,513 ShelterBoxes. We distributed an additional 5,763 tents, but ShelterBox also provided other non-food items including 10,000 solar lights, 870 water filtration systems, 2,300 mosquito nets, 445 tool kits and 30 SchoolBoxes. On the day that Haiyan hit, a tropical storm expert speaking to the BBC said ‘Super Typhoon Haiyan really is a beast. One of the strongest storms ever recorded with sustained winds of 190 mph, gusting even higher.’

Prepositioned stock 

ShelterBox had already been responding to an earthquake in northern Bohol when the storm struck the region. Mark Dyer from the US and Paul Crudgington from the UK were two of the ShelterBox response team volunteers who sought shelter from the storm and who leapt into action once it had passed.

It was thanks to donors who had funded ShelterBox’s practice of prepositioning aid in key locations around the world that Paul and Mark, and later other additional response team members, were able to quickly release vitally needed aid from the former US air base at Clark on Luzon Island. Working with the operations team based in the UK, response teams sprang into action assessing where the need would be greatest. ShelterBox decided to focus its efforts on the areas that no other aid agencies had yet assisted, an approach which soon led the response teams to Bantayan island, off Cebu, where there was reported to be around 80% devastation.

 

The typhoon caused widespread damage throughout the Philippine archipelago

The typhoon caused widespread damage throughout the Philippine archipelago

Despite ShelterBox’s ability to mobilise a swift response the logistical challenges posed by the islands and the sheer number of boats and trucks that had been damaged by the storm, led to the decision to establish a team in Cebu. This team was tasked with ensuring the safe passage of aid and logistics, and several other teams then branched out onto other islands. The scale of devastation caused by Haiyan differed hugely from that of the earthquake which struck Haiti in 2010 and so our response had to be tailored appropriately. A major difference was that the main concentration of aid effort in Haiti was contained within one area located near the airport, allowing for the fast passage of aid. In contrast the teams in the Philippines were faced with weeks of island hopping aboard small boats and vehicles, significantly damaged communications infrastructure and drawn-out efforts to overcome transport challenges. Operations manager Alf Evans described the conditions as ‘the worst geography you could possibly come across for a natural disaster.’

Despite this the response effort continued, now growing to include teams operating across Tacloban, Panay, Cebu and Bantayan. As the operational commitment grew so too did the outpouring of support from supporters around the world.

A groundswell of support 

‘Reading about the Philippines. The typhoon has claimed the lives of 10,000 or more people. Never a better time to donate to ShelterBox.’ Tweet by acclaimed American author, Maureen Johnson. 

Even before ShelterBox had launched the Typhoon Haiyan emergency appeal, before we had received such magnificent outpourings of support from celebrities, authors, musicians and bloggers. Before all that we had learned of supporters mobilising their own fundraising efforts for ShelterBox across the globe in the hours after the disaster. Collections were held at local supermarkets, online fundraising pages were setup overnight, eBay auctions sprang to life and children even endured sponsored silences. Volunteers flocked to our warehouse in Cornwall to help pack ShelterBoxes and staff and volunteers worked around the clock to help get aid to the families in need. It was this groundswell of support that enabled ShelterBox to commit to helping communities in the Philippines and is the reason we continue to do so now, some 12 months on.

‘You have to remember that a lot of the more remote communities that were affected were previously dependent upon the fishing industry. Many of their boats and equipment were destroyed by the storm. Other communities made their living as coconut farmers and suffered similar loss of income too. Many of the coconut trees had taken ten years to grow and as a result of the storm they faced losing their entire income for the next ten years, overnight’ says Operations manager Alf Evans.

‘It was really important we did all we could to reach these communities and offer our support. The ShelterBox tents and non-food items meant that these communities could build shelter next to their destroyed houses, boats and farms and live there whilst they began rebuilding their livelihoods.’

Our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the disaster. 

As ShelterBox’s response to Haiyan crept into week two it was heart-warming to hear stories from our response teams, of families on remote islands moving into ShelterBox tents.

 

Chip-chip is thankful to be safe and sheltered with his family again thanks to the aid from ShelterBox, November 2013.

Chip-chip is thankful to be safe and sheltered with his family again thanks to the aid from ShelterBox, November 2013.

 

On one such island, in the village of Machumben, lived one of the estimated five million children who were affected by Typhoon Haiyan. His name was Chip Chip. He was, at the time of writing, five years old and was one of 18 in his family. Chip Chip’s mum was seven months pregnant. Thanks to the support of our donors, he and his family received a ShelterBox tent and other aid items allowing them to continue farming their land and beginning to rebuild their destroyed home.

Everyone at ShelterBox would like to thank our donors who expressed such immense generosity and allowed us to work to assist families following Typhoon Haiyan. As we approach the one-year anniversary of this response we thank everyone who donated to our appeal and our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the disaster.

Philippines Still An Emergency Over 100 Days On

HILANTAGAAN ISLAND, VISAYAS, PHILIPPINES. An aerial view of a ShelterBox tent placed where the family's home once stood. (Courtesy of Joseph Ferris III/YPDR)

HILANTAGAAN ISLAND, VISAYAS, PHILIPPINES. An aerial view of a ShelterBox tent placed where the family’s home once stood. (Courtesy of Joseph Ferris III/YPDR)

 

Over 100 days have passed since Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Visayan islands in the Philippines. For many, life is starting to return to normal with rebuilding of homes, shops and businesses underway. But ShelterBox is still finding isolated pockets of need due to the country’s complex geography as well as the large scale of the disaster. The Shelter Cluster says the country is still facing a shelter emergency.
 
ShelterBox continues to have several Response Teams working to bring emergency shelter and other vital aid to communities in need across the four islands of Leyte, Cebu, Panay and Bantayan.
 
John Cecil-Wright is a Response Team volunteer who has been working in Daanbantayan, a municipality at the very top tip of Cebu. He speaks of what ShelterBox has been doing there to help the families who have lost their homes.
 
‘We were given information that there was a considerable need in Daanbantayan so over the past week we have been carrying out detailed needs assessments. All of the schools we have seen are without roofs and many homes have been damaged or destroyed. 
 
‘Cramped and squalid conditions’
 
‘We have come across multiple families sharing one small dwelling and living in very cramped and squalid conditions as they try to begin rebuilding their homes. 
 
BANTAYAN ISLAND, VISAYAS, PHILIPPINES. Families are living in makeshift shelters, built from the remains of their previous homes and any other materials that they can find. (Anne Seuren/ShelterBox)

BANTAYAN ISLAND, VISAYAS, PHILIPPINES. Families are living in makeshift shelters, built from the remains of their previous homes and any other materials that they can find. (Anne Seuren/ShelterBox)

 

‘We have also seen a number of cases where families have been split up across the municipality as there simply is not enough space for one entire family to move in with another. 
 
‘There are also many families who need to move out of the temporary shelter they have constructed on sites of their old homes while they build a permanent house.
 
‘Return to a sense of normality’
 
‘In these three different situations, we have been able to provide shelter for the families giving them more space and privacy in some cases or bringing them together in others. For all families they can now begin to rebuild their lives in a greater level of comfort, helping them return to a sense of normality.
 
‘In addition to assessing the need for tents we have also been assessing requirements for other aid. Some of the families we have spoken to will take up to a year to build their new homes and have no tools to use so we have put in a request for toolkits. Mosquito nets are being sent to protect people against disease as well as solar lamps as many homes are still without power.’
 
Thank you
 
ShelterBox’s relief efforts continue in the Philippines with aid still being distributed and more being sent as requests come back from the Response Teams in the country. We have been able to make a difference to communities in need thanks to our generous supporters around the world. We cannot thank you enough.

 

 

In Pictures: Philippines 11 Weeks On

Photo credit: Joseph A Ferris III, Young Pioneer Disaster Response. An aerial view of Santa Fe, Bantayan island, Philippines. Families live in ShelterBox tents whilst rebuilding their homes that were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, January 2014.

Photo credit: Joseph A Ferris III, Young Pioneer Disaster Response. An aerial view of Santa Fe, Bantayan island, Philippines. Families live in ShelterBox tents whilst rebuilding their homes that were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, January 2014.

 

In just 11 weeks ShelterBox has worked tirelessly to bring shelter and vital aid to nearly 4,500 families who lost their homes to the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines on 8 November. 
This slideshow gives an insight into our relief operations out there:
We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ from all the families you’ve helped shelter. Your support continues to make a huge difference. Thank you!

 

Working Together But Miles Apart – ShelterBox In The Philippines

Map showing the five different areas of concentration for ShelterBox’s operational response so far.

Map showing the five different areas of concentration for ShelterBox’s operational response so far.

 

With Response Team members operating across five different islands, ShelterBox’s operational response to Typhoon Haiyan is proving to be one of the most complex and large scale of recent years. 

Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc across the coastal islands of the Philippines causing up to 95% damage in some towns and cities. This left communities reeling but also caused widespread infrastructure and communications damage heavily hampering the ability of governments, aid agencies and NGOs to respond swiftly.

Multiple teams, multiple locations 

ShelterBox’s in country Operations Coordinator for this response is Alice Jefferson (UK) who has the task of overseeing the delivery of aid to the families in most need:

‘We currently have five separate areas within the Philippines from where we are moving either vitally needed ShelterBox aid, our Response Teams or both.’

Alice and her teammates are operating from outside Cebu City on Cebu Island where they are overseeing operations and acting as a key link in the logistics chain as aid passes through Cebu and onwards to Bantayan Islands to the north and Leyte Island in the east.

ShelterBox Response Teams (SRTs) are also operating on the Island of Bohol where earlier in the year a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck, damaging buildings and infrastructure and claiming lives across the region. ShelterBox responded to the earthquake, sending a Response Team to the affected area. The team were distributing aid on Bohol Island when Typhoon Haiyan struck and have been continuing distribution of ShelterBox tents since. Having completed the current distribution on Bohol Island the team is now travelling to join the team on Cebu.

 

ShelterBox tents warehoused ahead of distirbution by the Response Team

ShelterBox tents warehoused ahead of distirbution by the Response Team

 

On the remote island of Bantayan the SRTs have been distributing much needed aid to families who have lost their homes since Typhoon Haiyan hit. The island has a population of 30,000 people and some 27,000 are now feared to be without homes.

Logistical challenges

Meanwhile another SRT has been operating in Manilla to help oversee the movement of aid through to Cebu island. The logistics of getting aid cleared through airports and harbours is, in itself, a challenge due to the damaged infrastructure and the surge of overseas freight arriving in the Philippines. Experience gained from years of responding to disasters such as the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 and the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 has allowed the ShelterBox Operations team to ‘drip-feed’ a constant supply of aid into the Philippines through a variety of different entrance points. This has in turn enabled the Response Teams on the ground in the Philippines to have a continual but manageable flow of aid to distribute amongst the Typhoon affected communities.

A SRT are now beginning assessment and possible distribution of further aid on Leyte Island. ShelterBox aid will continue to arrive in coming weeks and Response Teams on the ground will continue to explore new ways of getting vitally needed shelter and aid to families who have lost everything as a result of Typhoon Haiyan.

Families receive a ShelterBox tent in the Philippines

Families receive a ShelterBox tent in the Philippines

 

If you would like to support our ongoing efforts please donate to the ShelterBox Australia Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Appeal. 

Thank you.

 

 

VIDEO: First Families Move Into ShelterBox Tents Following Typhoon

Jeremiah, his daughter Jingle Heart and their family have moved into a ShelterBox disaster relief tent.

Jeremiah, his daughter Jingle Heart and their family have moved into a ShelterBox disaster relief tent.

 

 

After days and nights out in the open, some families affected by the Super Typhoon Haiyan on the remote Bantayan Island of the Philippines can now call ShelterBox tents ‘home’. 

The most vulnerable families on Bantayan Island are starting to move into ShelterBox tents thanks to the generosity and support of ShelterBox donors across the globe. Thanks to your donations the first batch of tents cleared from Cebu City airport were transported yesterday and distributed immediately upon arrival. More tents are due to arrive today and tomorrow as aid is transported away from the airport.

In this short video ShelterBox Response Team member Simon Clarke (UK) recounts the moment the first families on the island moved into ShelterBox tents and how Simon’s thoughts couldn’t help but turn to the generosity of donors to help families in need especially this close to Christmas.

 

 

Please click here to donate to ShelterBox Australia’s Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Appeal

ShelterBox Helps Earthquake And Typhoon Survivors

A ShelterBox tent amongst the rubble of Lamberto's house, The Philippines.

A ShelterBox tent amongst the rubble of Lamberto’s house, The Philippines.

 

On 15 October, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Bohol and Cebu provinces, damaging buildings and infrastructure and claiming multiple lives across the region. ShelterBox responded to the earthquake, sending a ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) to the affected area. 

Initial reports of the scale of destruction were delayed after the quake struck Bohol due to communications being down. Now almost a month later it is thought over 34,000 homes have been destroyed. 286 ShelterBoxes and 250 tents were dispatched to Bohal to provide shelter and protection to the families affected by the earthquake.

Only three and a half weeks later, the Philippines was struck by the largest recorded storm to reach landfall. With winds of 195mph, Super Typhoon Haiyan caused further damage to an already badly affected area.

Having weathered the storm on Bohol island, ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Mark Dyer (US) worked with colleagues to help local people and organisations which were only confounded further by the devastating Typhoon. ‘When we knew the typhoon was coming we advised people to lower the tents before the storm. So then went back to help people put these tents back up, so they will at least have places to live for the next few weeks.’

‘We will start rebuliding’ 

Mark says ‘The typhoon slowed down earthquake relief but after a day, it was back in full swing.’

 

Lamberto and his family with SRT member Jose 'Sonny' Ongiko (PH)

Lamberto and his family with SRT member Jose ‘Sonny’ Ongiko (PH)

 

 

Lamberto Humanel and his wife had their own home, which was destroyed in earthquake. Their children are grown up and have their own families. They invited anyone in the family who needed a place to shelter to come and join them. Lamberto, his wife, her two sisters and one of their adult daughters are all living in one tent – three of them are senior citizens. It took them three years to build their home, and it was destroyed in 30 seconds during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake – being impacted further by Typhoon Haiyan.

When asked what Lamberto is going to do about his house, he said ‘we will start rebuilding, I’ll probably have to sell some of the land that we have to raise enough money to get the building materials, but we will rebuild.’

Lamberto and his family were living among the ruins of their house, but now all five of them are sleeping in a ShelterBox tent. ‘We want to give a million thanks to all of ShelterBox for this tent, we are much warmer now at night, and I know because of this we will now have a much longer life.’

‘Response’ 

ShelterBox is responding to the aftermath of the earthquake and the typhoon. Mark Dyer has returned home from the Philippines, and another team have now arrived in the area to set up tents and provide lifesaving aid to more families affected by both disasters.

 

Two children remain resilient despite the earthquake and typhoon.

Two children remain resilient despite the earthquake and typhoon.

 

504 ShelterBox tents have now arrived in Manila, Philippines. Distribution of this aid will begin as soon as it has cleared customs. A further 224 ShelterBoxes and 576 ShelterBox tents are currently en route to Cebu, Philippines with airfreight courtesy of DFID. This shipment is hoped to arrive in the Philippines 13 November. Nine SRT members are carrying out assessments in Cebu, Bohol and Tacloban. Additional team members are also on their way.

An extra 200 ShelterBoxes destined for the Philippines were packed by warehouse volunteers at ShelterBox HQ in Cornwall yesterday. ShelterBox are looking to help up to 4,000 families in the Philippines in the immediate future, with potential for more help if it’s needed.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the Emergency Typhoon Haiyan Appeal so far.

You can make a difference: PLEASE DONATE

 

ShelterBox Rallies In Aid Of The Philippines

ShelterBox warehouse volunteers packing aid for the Philippines

ShelterBox warehouse volunteers packing aid for the Philippines

 

The number of people left homeless by Saturday’s devastating typhoon has increased to 800,000 according to the latest United Nations estimate. 

This morning, warehouse volunteers rallied to the ShelterBox headquarters in Cornwall, UK to pack 200 ShelterBoxes. These boxes will be sent to help families affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The typhoon was the biggest storm ever recorded to reach landfall, destroying buildings, wiping out villages and causing over 10,000 people to lose their lives.

‘Devastation’ 

ShelterBox aims to help up to 4,000 families and has launched a Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Appeal. With 504 tents en route now from Dubai to Manila and a possible onward flight to Cebu, this latest shipment of aid is set to arrive on Wednesday 13 November.

ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members are already on the ground in the Philippines carrying out assessments in Cebu, Bohol and Tacloban. Mark Curnow (UK) arrived in country on Sunday.

‘Everyday that goes past we realise more and more the real significance of this disaster and the areas of devastation become more apparent’.

 

Image courtesy of OCHA

Image courtesy of OCHA

 

 

ShelterBox could not carry out any of its disaster relief work around the globe without the support of its donors and the outpouring of support for the charity in the last few days has been overwhelming. Several major media outlets and celebrity ambassadors have rallied by ShelterBox to help spread awareness of the response.

Acclaimed American author, Maureen Johnson, tweeted: ‘Reading about the Philippines. The typhoon has claimed the lives of 10,000 or more people. Never a better time to donate to ShelterBox.’

Everyone involved with ShelterBox is incredibly grateful and humbled by the support that has been shown so far. Our teams are working around the clock to ensure that we do all we can to help the families who have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

YOU CAN HELP BY DONATING HERE: PLEASE DONATE

ShelterBox Monitors Earthquake In Philippines

Photo taken during the ShelterBox deployment in response to an earthquake that hit Visaya island, February 2012, Philippines.

Photo taken during the ShelterBox deployment in response to an earthquake that hit Visaya island, February 2012, Philippines.

 

Three popular central islands in the Philippines have been shaken by a powerful earthquake that hit earlier this morning on a national public holiday. 
The effects of the 7.2-magnitude quake were felt in Cebu and Bohol, where infrastructure has crumbled and major roads have been ripped open and blocked by landslides. There has been loss of life as well as many people injured.
ShelterBox Operations Coordinator Phil Duloy has been monitoring the disaster:
‘There was a tsunami alert but luckily this came to nothing. Although there has been significant damage to buildings there are still no reports of a need for emergency shelter. However we will continue to watch the updates and monitor the disaster in case further news emerges.’
There are warnings of an increase in fatalities as search and rescue operations continue with the full extent of the damage yet to be assessed.
However relief has been expressed that the disaster happened on a public holiday as this meant there were fewer people than usual in many of the major buildings that suffered damage.
Aftershocks continue
The tremor triggered power outages in parts of Bohol, Cebu and neighbouring areas, according to the country’s national disaster management agency. Strong aftershocks still continue.
There is ShelterBox aid prepositioned in the Philippine city of Clarke including disaster relief tents as well as other vital equipment to enable a speedy response if a need is found.
You can help by DONATING HERE thank you