American Red Cross Contributes an Initial $6 Million to Support Typhoon Haiyan Response Efforts in Philippines

Jasmin Ursal is staying at evacuation centre in Bogo. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

Jasmin Ursal is staying at evacuation centre in Bogo. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

WASHINGTON, Wednesday, November 13, 2013 – The American Red Cross today announced an initial contribution of $6 million in support of the global Red Cross response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. These funds will be used to distribute relief items, repair and rebuild shelters, provide healthcare and ensure access to clean water and sanitation systems.

“We are grateful for the American public’s generosity and compassion following what has been called one of the strongest storms in world history,” said David Meltzer, chief international officer for the American Red Cross. “The American Red Cross is in a unique position to help provide support by airlifting relief supplies from its warehouses around the world, providing trained disaster responders specializing in damage assessment and telecommunications, and by channeling its financial support to the Philippine Red Cross and its more than 500,000 staff and volunteers and our other global partners in the Red Cross network – all of which go to providing relief from this devastating storm.”

In addition to financial assistance, the American Red Cross is lending people, expertise and equipment to this effort with four specialists already on the ground in the Philippines. These include two people who specialize in telecommunication and who are traveling with satellite equipment, and two others who specialize in disaster assessment.

The Philippine Red Cross has extensive experience in search and rescue and large-scale relief and recovery programs. The Philippine Red Cross is the largest humanitarian organization in the country, with 1,000 staff members and an estimated 500,000 active volunteers engaged in this disaster response. Their volunteer relief teams continue to provide assistance in the hardest hit communities, including assisting in search and rescue efforts.

suppliesThe Philippine Red Cross has begun distributions of emergency supplies and has provided meals to people affected by the storm. On Sunday, 6,000 packs of relief supplies were sent to Leyete and other affected communities. However, supply delivery in the worst affected city of Tacloban has been significantly constrained by destroyed infrastructure, blocked roads, and downed communication lines.

Specialized emergency response teams from Red Cross societies across the globe are moving into the Philippines to assist the Philippine Red Cross. These include teams with expertise in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.

“A global Red Cross relief effort is well underway and we are working closely with our international partners to help get aid where it is needed,” said Meltzer.

Despite the tragic aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, thousands of survivors are grateful for their lives. The Philippine Red Cross worked closely with local disaster authorities to support preemptive evacuations, helping move more than 125,000 families to safer shelter prior to the storm making landfall. The Philippine Red Cross also disseminated early warning messages and safety tips in areas along the path of the typhoon.

Here in the United States, the American Red Cross is helping to reconnect families separated by the typhoon and has activated its family tracing services. If people are looking for a missing family member in the Philippines, please remember that many phone lines are down. If people are unable to reach loved ones, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a family tracing case.

The American Red Cross expects to make additional contributions to support the humanitarian response in the coming weeks. Donations received from American Red Cross and other Red Cross partners will aid the Philippines relief and recovery efforts through the Philippine Red Cross and possibly other organizations as experts on the ground determine the best way forward.

HOW TO HELP Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS to donate to typhoon relief. People can also mail in a donation to their local Red Cross chapter. Gifts to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific crisis, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other crises.

In a new partnership, Facebook is making it possible for users to donate directly to the American Red Cross either through a notification in News Feed, or directly on the Red Cross Facebook page. This is the first time that the American Red Cross has engaged in such a large-scale fundraising program with a social platform. For the Red Cross that means that with the click of a button on Facebook, we can connect people who want to help with those who are so desperately in need in the Philippines. This Facebook effort for the Philippines in the United States will continue through November 15.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

How to Help: Donate to Typhoon Relief on Facebook

Posted on November 13th, 2013 by Gloria Huang

For the next few days, Facebook is making it possible for users to donate directly to the American Red Cross either through a notification in News Feed, or directly on our Facebook page. We’re excited and grateful that they are activating this feature to support the massive global response effort following the impact of Typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines this past week.

If you visit your Facebook News Feed, you will see this at the top of the screen:

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Clicking Donate $10.00 will bring you to a simple payment screen, where you will be asked for your payment information (Facebook will retain this information for any future Facebook purchases – see below for more info).

Just follow the simple directions to complete the donation, and you’re done!

If you’d like to give a different amount, you can also visit the American Red Cross Facebook Page to make a donation.

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100% of the funds raised through Facebook will go to the American Red Cross. All of the donations will be provided by the American Red Cross to the Red Cross groups that are working on the typhoon response. The Philippine Red Cross has been leading this response effort, aiding with search and rescue immediately after the disaster, providing shelter, food, and water, and distributing relief supplies. However, as we mentioned earlier, this has truly been a global response effort. Specialized emergency response teams from Red Cross societies across the globe are moving into the affected area to assist. These include teams with expertise in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.

Typhoon Haiyan 2013
Volunteers and staff working with food items at Philippine Red Cross HQ. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

To read more about the response so far, please visit this page.


Have more questions?


Why did Facebook decide to do this?
Facebook is a place to connect to the people, places, and things they care about most. In times of disaster or crisis, people turn to Facebook to check on loved ones, get updates, and to learn how they can help. We regularly work with relief organizations, government organizations, media partners, and private industry to be part of this effort so we can all improve preparation for disasters, contribute to relief efforts, and bring to the forefront the needs of those directly impacted. This is just another way for us to help – and make it as easy as possible for people to help those impacted by the typhoon.

Why hasn’t Facebook done this for other natural disasters?
Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. We regularly work with relief organizations, government organizations, media partners, and private industry to be part of this effort so we can all improve preparation for disasters, contribute to relief efforts, and bring to the forefront the needs of those directly impacted. This is just another way for us to help – and make it as easy as possible for people to help those impacted by the typhoon.

We’re always exploring various options for helping people contribute and assist during a time of crisis. This is just another step towards making the assistance even easier, and we’re committed to evolving our products to find new solutions over time.

Will Facebook offer this for other causes other than natural disaster?
We’ve always exploring various options for helping people contribute and assist during a time of crisis. This is just the latest evolution, and we’ll continue to keep finding new and different solutions.

Why are people in New York and California unable to donate through Facebook?
We are currently working to get approval from NY & CA regulators for direct donations. We hope to have these states up and running as soon as those state regulators give their approval.

Does Facebook get a cut of these donations?
No, all of donations will go to the American Red Cross.

How secure is my payment information?
Your payment information is completely secure. When you make a donation on Facebook, your payment information will only be stored with Facebook and not shared externally.

For additional information on the security of your payment information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/help/241215262666597

Will my donation be broadcast to my Facebook friends?
No, your donation will be kept private. You can, however, let your friends know via a status update if you would like to share.

Are You Ready for Winter?

Tips provided by: Wisconsin Emergency Management

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“Get an emergency kit in your car. It could save your life”

Governor Scott Walker has declared November 4-8, 2013 as Winter Awareness Week in Wisconsin.  The annual campaign, sponsored by Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM), its ReadyWisconsin preparedness program and NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), is to remind people to be prepared for winter conditions that could threaten their safety.

“The number one thing to do: make sure you have an emergency supply kit in your car – it could save your life,” says Brian Satula, Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator

winter_car_kitReadyWisconsin will air Television and Radio Public Service Announcements in November, urging viewers and listeners to keep an emergency kit in their vehicles. Starting November 1st, Wisconsin residents can sign up for a chance to win a winter survival kit on the ReadyWisconsin website: readywisconsin.wi.gov.

Winter storms are considered deceptive killers because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. For example, in the last five years Wisconsin has averaged 50,000 motor vehicle crashes during winter months. An average of 45 people are killed and more than 5,000 injured on icy or snow-covered roads.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a danger. According to the Centers for Disease Control, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States, with more than 20,000 people visiting the emergency room and nearly 500 killed each year from overexposure to the gas.

Now is the time to winterize your car and home, gather items for an emergency kit in your car, and make sure you have a NOAA Weather Radio with fresh batteries. Additional winter weather tips and how to put together a winter emergency kit are available at the ReadyWisconsin website. or www.redcross.org  In addition, there are numerous winter storm maps and a history of Wisconsin’s winter weather produced by the National Weather Service.

Be Ready to “Fall Back”

Tips Courtesy: Wisconsin Emergency Management

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Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday as we “fall back” and set clocks back one hour.

This is also a great time to check the things that keep us safe and ready for emergencies. ReadyWisconsin urges you to check these items:

Smoke Detectors

Check and replace batteries if needed and make sure the devices around your house are working properly. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that about 16 million homes in the country have smoke alarms that do not work, due, in most cases, to dead or missing batteries. Nearly 2,700 people die and more than 15,000 are injured each year because of fires that started in their homes.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. More than 20,000 people visit the emergency room and nearly 500 are killed each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.

To protect your family from carbon monoxide, follow these simple safety tips:

  • Make sure you have working CO detectors. All homes and duplexes in Wisconsin are required to have CO detectors on every level including the basement, but not the attic or storage areas.
  • Have your furnace or wood-burning stove inspected annually to make sure it is structurally and functionally sound and vents properly to the outside of your home.
  • Never run a gasoline or propane heater or a grill (gas or charcoal) inside your home or an unventilated garage.
  • Any heating system that burns fuel will produce carbon monoxide. Use a battery-powered detector where you have fuel burning devices but no electric outlets, such as in tents, cabins, RVs, and boats with enclosed cabins.
  • Never run a car in an enclosed space. If a vehicle is running, you must have a door open to the outside.
  • Generators should be run a safe distance from the home.
  • Never run a generator in the home or garage, or right next to windows or doors.

Breathing carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen in the blood and can cause death within minutes at high levels. Symptoms of overexposure to carbon monoxide are often mistaken for the flu and include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath/chest pain, nausea/vomiting, and confusion. If you experience any of these symptoms, or your carbon monoxide detector sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911.

Emergency Kits

Everyone should have a basic emergency kit in their home with supplies such as food

and water to last you and your family for at least three days. Other items like a battery powered or crank radio, flashlights, first aid kit should also be included. Daylight Savings Time is a perfect time to get a kit and if you already have a kit, check it to make sure food and other items are not near or past their expiration dates.

For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning,

Visit: http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/eh/Air/fs/CO.htm

For additional tips on emergency preparedness:  www.redcross.org