There are no words to comprehend the scale of devastation. Feeling helpless, my housemate and I scanned through the BBC, CNN and Philippines news stations, watching concrete and steel buildings flattened by wind, waters engulfing farmland and roads. We watched the rising toll of the missing and the dead. Everyone we knew with loved ones in the islands waited with a lump in their throats, reaching out through Skype, email, Facebook, text and even Twitter for status updates.
Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda, is the worst typhoon in recorded history. Our generation is witness. Although storms happen every year in places like the Philippines, they are getting worse, signaling our new climate reality. Perhaps it's sadly fitting that the typhoon ends at the start of U.N. climate talks. Philippine delegates are bringing their heartfelt urgency to one of the most promising - and failed - international processes to curb global greenhouse levels.
"What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness,” said Naderev “Yeb” Saño, lead negotiator for the Philippines at the climate talks. “The climate crisis is madness. We can stop this madness. Right here in Warsaw. Typhoons such as Haiyan and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action.”
Through all the madness I have taken slivers of hope at how people are expressing care, concern, and prayers. In times of crisis, we recognize that deep sense of responsibility to one another.
As groups organize ways to address the deeper issues resulting in tragedies like Typhoon Haiyan, this is a time to make our dollars count for immediate support. Below is a (non-comprehensive) list compiled through various community members in the SF Bay Area. I personally prefer to send support through grassroots organizations and I urge you to do your own research. I've also summarized a message from a friend and colleague, Lloyd Nadal, that was on point:
2) Be compassionate about what's happening. Remember that many are still waiting to hear from loved ones.
3) Learn why this was the largest typhoon in history.
Ways to Send Support
Akbayan Call for Donations, Medical Volunteers https://akbayan.org.ph/news/371-a-call-for-donations-and-volunteers-to-help-the-victims-of-typhoon-yolanda
Ayala Foundation, Laging Handa Fund http://feedthehungryphil.org/ayala-foundation-inc/
California Nurses Association. RNRN's goal is to send teams that can respond effectively to problems of dehydration, sepsis, a lack of access to clean water and lapses or lack of proper medication due to the storm. http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/blog/entry/national-nurses-mobilize-for-philippines-relief-effort/
Catholic Relief Services is accepting donations online.
De La Salle University - Disaster Management Response Program http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/philippines-disaster-response/
Gawad Kalinga http://www.gk1world.com/ArticleViewer.aspx?ID=61578
NAFCON w/ Visayas Primary Healthcare Services http://nafconusa.org/programs/
Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) explains on its website that it has emergency teams in Cebu.
TIGRA - Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action. Relief and resilience efforts, https://www.causes.com/v2actions/1763233-donate-to-tigra-transnational-institute-forgrassroots-research-and-action
Unicef is accepting donations online as part of an emergency appeal.
West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center will open its doors starting today at noon as a drop off point for anyone interested in donating food and medicine, www.westbaycenter.org
Bay Area Filipino/Americans on relief efforts, KQED: http://www.kqed.org/radio/listen/
FACES on climate justice, resiliency and relief: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/513921/55feb49310/1583503680/a56f41e556/