The global Red Cross network is responding to the needs in the Philippines with water, food and relief supplies, and the American Red Cross is lending people, expertise and equipment to further the efforts.
Roads are blocked and infrastructure has been destroyed making the response to Typhoon Haiyan extremely difficult. Communication lines are down making it very difficult for Southern Nevada families to check on the well being of their relatives in the region. The Philippine Red Cross has been distributing relief supplies and volunteers are packing more supplies to send to all the affected areas. But the delivery of these supplies has been constrained greatly by the damage to the local infrastructure.
Specialized emergency response teams from Red Cross societies from around the world are moving into the region to assist. These teams include specialists in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation. Four of these specialists have arrived from the American Red Cross, two who specialize in telecommunication who are traveling with satellite equipment, and two others who specialize in disaster assessment. They will serve as support staff for the Philippine Red Cross.
The Philippine Red Cross is leading the response effort. Their volunteers have been caring for people even before the typhoon made landfall. Prior to the storm, Philippine Red Cross worked with local disaster authorities in supporting evacuations. More than 125,000 families were evacuated to shelters. In addition, volunteers disseminated early warning messages and safety tips to homes in the typhoon’s path. With extensive experience in search and rescue and large scale relief and recovery operations, the Philippine Red Cross is the largest humanitarian organization in the country, with 1,000 staff and an estimated 500,000 volunteers working on this response.
The American Red Cross is helping to reconnect families that may have become separated by the typhoons in the Philippines. Many phone lines are down in the area, and getting through will be difficult. If a person is unable to get through, they’re advised to contact their local Red Cross chapter and begin a Family Tracing case with a caseworker.
Local Filipino business leaders and friends have met to form plans on how best to help those suffering back home, and they’ve reached out to the Red Cross to help raise funds and start reuniting family members. If someone is trying to reach family members in the damaged region, they can call the Chapter offices and talk to an International Caseworker to begin a search. You can call 702-697-1711.
People who want to help those displaced by the typhoons in the Philippines can go to redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. They can also mail their check to the local chapter at 1771 E. Flamingo Road, Suite 206-B Las Vegas, NV 89119. Please be sure to write “Philippine Typhoons” in the memo line of your check if you’d like the money to be earmarked for the response in the Philippines.