We’re no strangers to storms, as surfers. We track and chase them around the world, though we’ll never be able to control them. So when nature rears its ugly head and destroys a place like the Philippines, we should recognize our duty to pay forward some relief to those affected. Since making landfall on Nov. 8, Typhoon Haiyan has claimed the lives of an estimated 2,275 people, destroying 80,000 homes and leaving more than 500,000 homeless, according to the Philippine government. They’re living without shelter, food, or clean water, searching for missing family members and competing for scarce resources.
So far, relief efforts are mounting but remain ineffective in the most badly hit regions of the Philippines. Access is limited in these areas due to closed roads, destroyed airports, and layers of debris. Once the aid is able to forge its way to those in need it will be of utmost importance that they have the necessary support to make a difference on the ground. Here is a short list of ways you can help various organizations in their aid efforts:
SURFAID | http://www.surfaidinternational.org//
SurfAid has sent experienced staffers from Indonesia to deliver assistance and address key health issues at the community level, including disease prevention, hygiene, and sanitation. In addition, they have been working closely with German Organization Johanniter to distribute food and shelter packages.
WAVES 4 WATER | wavesforwater.org/
Waves For Water is mobilizing an urgent clean water disaster relief initiative in response to the Super Typhoon, Haiyan, currently decimating the Philippines. Their goal is to help mitigate some of the immediate suffering by providing victims with access to safe water.
THE SURF INSTITUTE | thesurfinstitute.com/
The TSI team will meet up with the Waves 4 Water crew in Cebu City, located in the Visaya region of central Philippines, where base camp will be established and efforts will be coordinated. They are coordinating to strike hardest hit areas like Guiuan, who saw the eye of the storm go directly over them, via helicopter, private plane, or military assistance.
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS | icrc.org/
As staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) move into position to join a major relief effort, a clearer picture is emerging of the devastation and the resulting needs on Samar Island, where the typhoon made first landfall in the Philippines. The organization is focusing its initial relief efforts on the island, also affected by a protracted armed conflict, where it has been working for many years.
INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE (IRC) | rescue.org/
The International Rescue Committee is on the ground in the Philippines mobilizing a humanitarian response. Millions of people have been affected by this catastrophe.
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS | doctorswithoutborders.org/
In the storm-ravaged central Philippines, MSF teams are traveling by car, boat, plane, and helicopter to assess the damage in the area and the medical needs of the populations.
UNICEF | unicef.org/
Asking for donations to help aid the estimated four million children affected by the disaster. Volunteers have distributed portable toilets in Tacloban and sent trucks loaded with soap, detergent, and other personal hygiene products, as well as educational and recreational items. They've sent water purification supplies, generators to assist with collapsed electrical lines, and have set up therapeutic feeding centers to stave off severe acute malnutrition.
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS’ EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND | internationalmedicalcorps.org/
International Medical Corps has deployed a ten-member international Emergency Response Team that includes medical professionals and water and sanitation experts. The organization has also recruited 40 local medical volunteers to staff mobile medical units (MMUs) in and around the hardest-hit coastal towns of Tacloban and Tanauan.
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME | wfp.org/
WFP is working alongside the Philippine government to coordinate relief efforts, set up operational hubs, and organize supply airlifts. They've dispatched truckloads of emergency high-energy biscuits to aid in the worsening malnutrition of survivors.
SAVE THE CHILDREN | savethechildren.org/
Save the Children is mounting disaster relief efforts to help children and families with emergency assistance during this difficult time. Your support will help protect vulnerable children and provide desperately needed relief to families.
AMERICARES | americares.org/
AmeriCares has sent an emergency shipment loaded with supplies for 20,000 survivors that includes antibiotics, wound care supplies, and pain relievers. Additionally, they're donating $10,000 to their in-country partner to purchase and distribute emergency supplies on the ground. They're in the process of compiling supplies for another shipment.
SHELTERBOX | shelterboxusa.org/
ShelterBox delivers the essentials that a family needs to survive displacement or homelessness in the wake of disaster. Each lightweight and waterproof box typically contains a tent for a large family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, and a children's activity pack. So far, they've committed aid for 4,000 families in the Philippines. 504 tents have arrived in Manila, while 224 boxes and 576 tents are en route to Cebu.
TEAM RUBICON | teamrubiconusa.org/
Unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. In Tacloban, TR has facilitated search-rescue efforts and medical triage for a full-scale field hospital in the city, as well as help in distributing medical and relief supplies.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY | habitat.org/
Raising money to provide families with 50,000 cleaning kits, 30,000 shelter-repair kits, and 10,000 core houses to help rebuild the damage caused by Haiyan.