ShelterBox is responding in the Philippines to Super Typhoon Rai which made landfall on Dec. 16th, killing at least 375 people and displacing hundreds of thousands more. ShelterBox is preparing emergency shelter, solar lights, water purification units, and other essential items to support communities devastated by the disaster. 
 
The Rotary Club of East Jefferson County supports the Chimacum High School Interact Club, which annually raises money to provide funds for Shelterbox. 

Known locally as Odette, the super typhoon is the strongest storm to hit the country this year. Thanks to our local warehouse and pre-positioned emergency shelter aid in Cebu, ShelterBox is uniquely positioned to respond to widespread disaster related displacement in the Philippines.  

With gusts of up to 150 mph, the typhoon was the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane and one of the most severe storms in the world this year.The storm has displaced more than 631,000 people and affected areas where many live in extreme poverty. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, a total of 159,842 houses are reported damaged; 61,918 are totally damaged and 97,924 are partially damaged, these numbers are expected to increase.  

The deadly and severe winds knocked down trees and walls and caused flash flooding and landslides. Some central provinces have been left without power, food, water or means of communication. Fuel shortages and COVID-19 travel restrictions will make relief efforts more challenging. 

Many displaced by the typhoon are taking refuge in collective centers and urgently need emergency shelter and supplies to protect themselves from COVID-19. Safe drinking water is also needed as the typhoon damaged several water sources.  

ShelterBox established an operations warehouse in centrally located Cebu, stocked with emergency shelter materials and non-food items, such as water containers and solar lights. ShelterBox was registered in the country as a local NGO in 2017 and welcomed its first local staff members in January 2019.  

“ShelterBox is mobilizing to assist communities affected by Super Typhoon Rai. We are conducting rapid needs assessments to provide immediate relief to displaced families who are now vulnerable to the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kerri Murray, President of ShelterBox USA. “The devastating typhoon has left hundreds of thousands homeless during the holidays. We will be responding with emergency shelter to help Filipinos whose homes were destroyed by the storm. The ShelterBox Operations Philippines warehouse was established precisely for disasters like Typhoon Rai. Our in-country staff and local warehouse allow us to respond in the most effective and efficient way possible, enabling the timely deployment of emergency aid. We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure no family is left without shelter in the aftermath of Typhoon Rai as the country prepares for more impending storms.” 

To find out more about the relief effort and how to help as families start to rebuild their homes, visit the ShelterBox website –  Super Typhoon Rai - ShelterBox USA