Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Relief Efforts - A Guide

Mark Florido (API KC Region 2 Representative)

November 18, 2013

On November 8th, 2013, one of the strongest storms ever recorded made landfall in the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda as its locally known) blew through the county with 160mph wind gusts and torrential rains causing major flooding and destroying homes, crops, and entire villages. The number of those who lost their lives is still unclear. Some city officials are estimating death tolls to be well over 10,000.  More than half a million people are homeless, even more are hungry and without power. 

Typhoon Haiyan is the second super-typhoon to hit the Philippines in a years time, Typhoon Bopha swept through the southern part of the country last December. The Philippines has also experienced a number of earthquakes recently, including a minor one that hit just a couple of  days ago.  As such, over-burdened relief organizations are around the clock to assist those affected by the storm. Efforts all around the world are being organized in order to provide aid and basic provisions. to the survivors of the storm. Food, clean water and basic medications are scarce. 

No doubt many of you wish to assist in the relief efforts. Below is brief guide on how to do just that. Please consider raising funds at your institution to help those in the Philippines affected by Haiyan. 

Many of us - students, staff, faculty and administrators - are connected to the Philippines in one way or another. Let us keep in mind those who will have to go through the pains of losing loved ones, of being homeless and of not having food to eat because of the destruction of the storm.

Typhoon Haiyan Relief Work – A Guide

Many of us, our students, and our colleagues have been affected by the devastating typhoon that swept across the Philippines. This brief guide is meant to aid individuals and schools determine the best course of action to assist with the recover and relief efforts taking place in the Philippines. This is not meant to be a comprehensive manual; there are many ways to get involved and to send aid.


After speaking to a number of relief work agencies both in the US and in the Philippines. At this point, monetary donations seem to be what will provide the most impact at this moment. Shipping costs may end up not being cost-efficient for both you and any organization you are donating to. Nonetheless, I’ve compiled a list of items that are priority need.

 Donations That Are Priority:

•       Medicine and First Aid Kits – Survivors are in desperate need of basic medications (think robitussin, Tylenol, benedryl) and medicine to treat basic wounds.

•       Candles and Matches – Electricity is down so lighting is non-existent. These can also be used to start fires necessary for warmth and cooking.

•       Flashlights – Again, electricity is down. There is high demand for solar powered or crank flashlights (those that don’t require batteries)

•       Batteries – It is reported that the area in which the typhoon hit can be without power for up to two months.

Donations That Are NOT Priority At This Moment:

•       Food that Requires Water – This includes rice, noodles and many instant foods. Also try to send canned goods that don’t require a can opener (can’s with the pop tops)

•       Clothes – This is simply not a high priority item.

•       Toys, Stuffed Animals, Games, etc. – While it may seem like a heartwarming gesture, these sorts of donations tend to clog up donation sorting and will probably not be handed out in the near future as they are non-essential items. 

NOTE: If you do choose to collect donatable items, please sort and clearly label your donations. This will help organizations distribute your donations.

Where To Send In-Kind Donations

US Based - Your best bet is to donate to the American Red Cross. Some chapters of  the American Red Cross are accepting In-Kind donations in bulk. Contact your local chapter to see if this is the case.

Philippines Based - There are a number of organizations based in the Philippines that are accepting In-Kind donations. For the most part, you will need to organize (and pay for) shipment to these organizations yourself. Some organizations to check out:

•       Gawad Kalinga
•       ABS-CBN
•       Caritas

Locating People In The Philippines

Google has set up a web page that allows visitors to locate persons possibly affected by the typhoon. There is Mobile version available. You can also search with SMS by texting 2662999 (Globe), 4664999 (SMART), 22020999 (Sun), or +16508003977 with the message Search [name]. 


The following is a small listing of charitable organizations that are asking for donations to help directly with disaster relief work.

 National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) - http://nafconusa.org/programs/

What They Are Doing: At this time, NAFCON will assist in the direct transfer of MONETARY donations. Your donation will be sent directly to Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan or BALSA (People’s Cooperation for the People), a national grassroots relief and rehabilitation organization composed of broad church-based organizations, schools, disaster response NGOs, and individuals, working with victims of disasters in the Philippines

American Red Cross / Philippine Red Cross - www.redcross.org/ / http://www.redcross.org.ph/

What They Are Doing: The Red Cross is using monetary donations to help with their family reunification system and their general disaster relief efforts, which includes sending food and medicine.

 World Food Program - https://www.wfp.org/

What They Are Doing: Working with our partners, WFP is mobilising quickly to reach those in need with High Energy Biscuits – helping ensure families and children have nutritious food in these first few days of the emergency. We need your help. For every $100 you give, WFP can provide 1,000 packs of biscuits.

UNICEF - http://www.unicef.org/

What They Are Doing:  The UNICEF Branch in the Philippines is working is directing donations to helping provide drinkable water, medical supplies, food and shelter to survivors.

FACEBOOK GROUP - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aid-for-Typhoon-Haiyan-Victims/537502563006781 

Please only use this for information and updates. This pages provides updates and information and to help spread the word about relief efforts.


ADDITIONAL INFORAMTION - AAPA STATEMENT ON SUPER TYPHOON HAIYAN: http://aapaonline.org/news/aapa-statement-on-super-typhoon-haiyan/

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