New Video of ShelterBox Response to Oklahoma Tornado

ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Wayne Robinson (US) assessing the need with members of the local affected community, USA, June 2013.

ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Wayne Robinson (US) assessing the need with members of the local affected community, USA, June 2013.

 

Tornados ripped through Oklahoma, USA in May causing inconceivable damage. 
Even when developed countries are hit, and there is seemingly overwhelming support for survivors of disasters, there still can be a need for ShelterBox to provide its experience and aid to support those worst affected communities.
We would like to say a big thank you to our generous donors and volunteers who made this relief effort possible.

 

Newsletter for June 2013

  Welcome to our monthly eNewsletter for ShelterBox Australia.

 

 

June has seen us working from the plains of Oklahoma to the Himalayan mountains of Himachal Pradesh. The crisis in Syria continues to be the main focus of our efforts and the figures above show that although we can be proud of our response so far, the need is still great.

June is traditionally a great month for donations, as people get ready for tax time and Rotary clubs disburse funds to good causes. This June has been no exception and I’d like to thank all our donors for their generous support. Unfortunately, the need for emergency shelter persists all year round and we are always looking for new supporters. To help spread the word, why not forward this newsletter to some of your friends; “like” us on Facebook and share the updates or sign up for the blog?

 

This month’s quote comes from Albert Schweitzer, “The purpose of human life is to serve, to show compassion and the will to help others.”

 

Thanks for your support.

 

Mike

 

Mike Greenslade SRT

Director/Communications Officer

ShelterBox Australia

 

 

NB. You are receiving this newsletter because you have either supported us in the past, signed up via the website or at an event. Should you wish not to receive future newsletters, you can unsubscribe at the bottom of the page. Another great way of keeping up to date with what’s happening with ShelterBox Australia is via our blog, at: https://shelterboxaustralia.wordpress.com

 DEPLOYMENTS

 

 

  INDIA – Floods/Landslides

Many are calling northwest India’s heaviest rains for 80 years a ‘Himalayan tsunami’ and the reasons why are obvious. Almost 100,000 people have been rescued so far, tens of thousands more remain displaced from their homes and thousands are reported to be injured. Infrastructure and farmland have been swept away and landslides have been caused. A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has deployed to the region to assess ways of helping those most in need, especially in remote areas.

 

 USA – Tornado

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has continued to work in Oklahoma, USA to address the shelter needs of communities impacted by last month’s tornados. For the last few weeks, affected families in Bethel Acres and Little Axe have been living in cars, under tarps and in standard tents that are not suitable for extreme weather conditions, especially now the hot summer months have begun. The SRT has been distributing relief tents, working alongside local Rotary and Scouts.

 

 SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS

ShelterBox continues to find ways of helping Syrian refugees and IDPs. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), some 6.8 million people have been forced from their homes in Syria. We have been working below the radar with our partner, Hand In Hand for Syria, to distribute non-food items like water filters and kitchen sets. ShelterBox continues to distribute boxes in Lebanon through it’s network of partners (987 boxes distributed) and is investigating sending more aid to Jordan So far ShelterBox has committed over US$1 million of aid.

 

 HAITI

ShelterBox and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have been working together in Haiti since the devastating earthquake of 2010. Although the IOM has successfully closed 28 camps, many still remain and Shelterbox aid is being utilised as an emergency response, to replace shelter damaged by the frequent tropical storms. Until permanent shelter needs are met, ShelterBox will continue to work in collaboration with IOM to help Haitian families in need.

 

 

 

 FUNDRAISING

 

 DONATE PLANET

Donate Planet is a not-for-profit foundation who’s website brings charities together in one place, making it easier for people to donate online. From 30th June – 7th of July ShelterBox Australia will be their featured charity. Hopefully this will raise our profile and some much needed funds. You can visit the site at http://www.donateplanet.com

 

 Odd Sox For ShelterBox

Have you heard of our new fundraising initiative, “Odd Socks For ShelterBox”?! Clubs, schools and businesses are encouraged to hold an “Odd Socks” day to help raise awareness and funds for Shelterbox. We are also seeking donations of signed socks from celebrities, sports personalities and public figures to auction. Do you know someone famous that may be able to help out? For more details and help organising your “Odd Socks” day please contact our head of fundraising, PDG Carolyn Krueger at Carolyn Krueger, noosa@bigpond.net.au or mike.greenslade@shelterbox.org.au

 

 

Have you held a successful fundraising event or are you planning one? Please send me the details for inclusion in the newsletter and promotion on the Blog at:
mike.greenslade@shelterbox.org.au

 

ShelterBox Helps Communities in Oklahoma, USA

Debris being cleared that was left behind by the tornadoes' destruction in Oklahoma, USA, May 2013.

Debris being cleared that was left behind by the tornadoes’ destruction in Oklahoma, USA, May 2013.

 

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) continues working in Oklahoma, USA to address shelter needs of communities impacted by last month’s tornadoes.
For the last few weeks, affected families in Bethel Acres and Little Axe have been living in cars, under tarps and in standard tents that are not suitable for extreme weather conditions, especially now the hot summer months have begun.
‘The damage here is incomparable to the major disasters I’ve responded to,’ said SRT member Alan Monroe (US). ‘There are massive piles of debris everywhere; personal items hanging out of trees, twisted mobile homes… people are living in their damaged cars that were tumbled during the tornadoes.’
ShelterBox’s high-quality disaster relief tents are being distributed amongst the communities to provide them with a temporary solution to bridge the gap from now until rebuilding is complete in a few months’ time.
Why now?
Why is ShelterBox assisting now, several weeks following the disaster, as opposed to in the immediate aftermath? Neighbours, churches and other community groups were addressing the needs of impacted people in the early days of recovery. However, over time some needs have changed and people want to be amongst their own community and near to work, family, and other important social structures. ShelterBox was contacted when it became clear a flexible but safe shelter solution was needed to supplement other efforts.
‘People here cannot, and do not want to, leave as their work is nearby,’ added Alan. ‘In rural USA, the nearest city is no less than an hour away. People don’t want to go to the shelters offered there when they have no running vehicle to travel to work everyday, it would be impossible for them.
‘Staying here not only enables them to continue earning a living but they can also oversee the rebuilding process. They should have the shelter and privacy of living in a tent rather than a half-squashed car until the building is done.’
 
Community-minded
Even though the SRT members say it is heartbreaking to see the trail of destruction left behind by the tornadoes, how one house is completely destroyed and another hardly touched, they are inspired by how very community-minded everyone is there.
‘There is a sense of resilience here, a sense of hope,’ continued Alan. ‘We are working with community leaders, Rotary and Scouts, who are assisting us with assessing needs and setting up the tents. Everyone is willing to lend a hand to those in need and it’s heartwarming to see.’
ShelterBox has collaborated with Amerijet, DHL and DHL Global Forwarding, which have provided transportation and logistical support for the charity’s response in Oklahoma.

 

Response Team Assessing Need in Oklahoma, USA

The Oklahoma tornado as it passed through the south of the city. Photos used with permission from Ks0stm, licensed under Creative Commons.

The Oklahoma tornado as it passed through the south of the city. Photos used with permission from Ks0stm, licensed under Creative Commons.

 

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is in Oklahoma, USA, assessing the need for emergency shelter and other lifesaving supplies following a two-mile wide tornado that left a path of destruction through the city’s suburbs. 
SRT members Wayne Robinson (US) and Jeff Deatherage (US) were deployed soon after the disaster and have been able to travel quickly to Moore, the most affected area, to carry out assessments of unmet needs among impacted families and communities.
‘Neighbourhoods have been flattened leaving thousands of people displaced,’ said Wayne Robinson (US). ‘We will be arriving late on Tuesday evening but will begin making our assessments at first light on Wednesday.
Key Statistics

Key Statistics

 

‘As seen with Hurricane Sandy, these situations often require non-food items like blankets. We were able to assist families living in New York and New Jersey impacted by the storm by providing these items. It may be the same case in Oklahoma.’
The tornado battered Moore for 45 minutes and since has been upgraded to the most powerful level of twister.
State of emergency
As US President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in the city on Tuesday, emergency workers pulled more than 100 survivors from the ruins of homes, schools and a hospital.
A natural-colour satellite image of the supercell thunderstorm in central Oklahoma that spawned the tornado that passed just south of Oklahoma City, NASA’s Earth Observatory

A natural-colour satellite image of the supercell thunderstorm in central Oklahoma that spawned the tornado that passed just south of Oklahoma City, NASA’s Earth Observatory

 

‘The people of Moore should know that their country will remain on the ground there for them, beside them as long as it takes for their home and schools to rebuild.’
‘Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this catastrophe,’ said Emily Sperling, ShelterBox USA president. ‘In the following days, our team will be focusing on the most impacted areas to identify unmet shelter and non-food needs.’
Please support our relief efforts, donate today

 

 

 

ShelterBox Monitors Tornado-Hit Oklahoma in USA

Oklahoma Tornado: Key Statistics

Oklahoma Tornado: Key Statistics

A devastating two-mile wide tornado has torn through Oklahoma City suburbs in USA with winds of up to 200mph (320km/h), destroying neighbourhoods and schools. 
ShelterBox Operations department is monitoring the disaster and in contact with one of its affiliates, ShelterBox USA, for the latest updates.
‘We are talking to our affiliate in the United States to get the most recent information on the disaster area,’ said ShelterBox Operations Coordinator Alice Jefferson. ‘We are also looking into whether to send a ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) to the affected area to carry out a needs assessment. We are seeing which SRT members are available, closest to Oklahoma, which would enable a rapid response to support rescue efforts and help families in need.’
Moore in the south of the city is the worst hit where 41,000 people took shelter underground during the storm. News reports show debris everywhere, houses destroyed, upturned vehicles, street signs gone and power shortages.
Emergency crews are searching for people who may still be buried under the rubble. So far almost 100 people have lost their lives and nearly 250 are injured, a quarter being children due to the collapse of several schools.
‘Homes completely gone’
Shocked survivors are now seen picking through the remains of their homes.
‘There’s shingles and pieces of sheet rock and wood in our yard and all across our neighbourhood,’ Melissa Newton told the BBC. ‘Some homes are completely gone. It’s devastating.’
Ricky Stover is another survivor: ‘We locked the cellar door once we saw it coming, it got louder and next thing you know is you see the latch coming undone. We couldn’t reach for it and it ripped open the door and just glass and debris started slamming on us and we thought we were dead, to be honest.’
All of us at ShelterBox extend our heartfelt thoughts to everyone affected.