Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful storm to ever make landfall, hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013, destroying millions of homes and displacing millions more people.
With the help of Philippine Airlines, ShelterBox quickly deployed a 5-person team to aid in distribution of relief supplies. ShelterBox supplies immediately began pouring through Manila into Cebu, where response teams were working to allocate the vital equipment to the areas most in need. Teams worked in 5 key areas in the islands: Manila, Bantayan Island, Cebu City, Leyte Island and Bohol. These much-needed supplies included tents, tool kits, blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, mosquito nets, and children’s activity packs.
ACTS World Relief (now GR3) identified key areas in Tacloban and Cebu that needed immediate relief, including debris-clearing, emergency medical response, and opening of hospitals that were closed in each area. Airlink airline partner United Airlines helped provide air transportation to several doctors and other medical professionals from Harvard University Disaster Fellowship to provide medical care and, in partnership with Innovative Water Systems and the Rotary Club, ACTS World Relief also installed two water purification systems for the City of Tacloban and local hospitals and academic facilities.
IGR Ready sent in its Emergency Management tea, whose personnel have a diverse array of skills including Incident Management, Medical Triage and Treatment, and Logistical Management, to execute a one-week engagement in coordination with the Paibare Legacy Corps and Operation Blessing to: a) Build an emergency operations center (EOC) and train a local NGO in using incident management principles, b) create an Air Bridge from Manila to Guiuan, and c) support incoming demand for medical services.Thanks to the generosity of Etihad Airways and Airlink, IGR Ready was able to safely deliver 385 pounds (175kg) of relief supplies to those in need in the aftermath of the typhoon. They also facilitated an airbridge that channeled more than 100 tons of food, WASH supplies, and medicine to Guiuan.
Rescue Global deployed for a 6-week period using their own King Air 90c aircraft. Geographical isolation proved to be a very large obstacle to recovery for many areas, especially the Cuyo Island Atol, which lacked aid supplies and assistance.
Rescue Global’s initial mission was to establish needs, perform reconnaissance of previously un-assessed areas, and check on areas already serviced for progress updates and further assistance. All aspects of the mission profile were completed working closely with local communities, partner charities, the Philippine authorities and NGOs. Airlink’s support allowed them to deploy an additional Pathfinder resource once a base had been established. In total, the team provided 400 children with emergency aid and 50,000 people with clean water, as well as assisting the Philippine Air Force with evacuation of casualties to Manila.
Afya Foundation, in collaboration with logistics and transportation providers Airlink, American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN), Kuehne + Nagel, LIFT, and Nippon Cargo Airlines, was able to send a large shipment of disaster relief aid in five separate shipments. These goods included medical supplies, Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MREs), and two Axenika water filtration systems. As a result, the organization was able to provide 10,000 people per day with clean water, as well as providing 11,800 meals, and donating nearly 9,000 pounds of medical supplies to the Philippine Red Cross.
Help.NGO (Global DIRT) deployed a team of assessment specialists in coordination with Immersive Media (who donated personnel and software support) to insert and setup 360 mapping in Leyte, Philippines. After the initial reconnaissance and assessment, they were able to deploy communications specialists in coordination with CISCO, Intelsat, and GATR. Technologies (who donated personnel, equipment, and satellite coverage) to insert and setup emergency telecommunications equipment in Leyte, Philippines. After their initial assessment, they got underway with search and rescue activities, deploying K-9 units to assist with live find and human remains detection. In conjunction with this operation, the team also initiated a remove outpatient medical support mission, reaching areas without medical capacity by road and helicopter. Thanks to Etihad Airways and United Airlines, Airlink enabled the organization to deploy 13 volunteers.
Relief International mobilized its Rapid Emergency Deployment (RED) Team to deliver vital primary medical care to survivors in Tacloban and surrounding areas. RI’s team, consisting of 32 volunteer medical staff, staffed a city hospital and two mobile clinics. RED Team also made door to door medical visits to survivors in Tacloban City. Through the kind generosity of United Airlines and Philippine Airlines, Relief International deployed additional medical personnel to help support those affected in this hard-hit area.
All Hands Volunteers (now All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response) launched two simultaneous projects to assist the Philippines recovery efforts: Project Bohol, to assist with recovery from the October 2013 earthquake and Project Leyte for Typhoon Haiyan. Through Airlink, air transportation was provided to move All Hands administrators, volunteers and cargo from locations in the United Kingdom and in the USA into the affected areas. Etihad Airways, KLM, Philippine Airlines and United Airlines supported this vast program.
In late November, a team from Pureworks Foundation was sent to provide medical supplies and relief in Ormoc City and the surrounding areas. Through Airlink, transportation was secured on Philippine Airlines from Los Angeles, CA, for relief workers in Pureworks’ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team to rapidly deploy and deliver aid as quickly as possible. Upon arriving in Ormoc City, Pureworks teamed up with IsraAid a relief organization from Israel, as well as a German team and local Filipino doctors and nurses. The team spent much of the time staffing local health clinics, supplementing an already ailing health system that had been devastated by a disaster.
After conducting initial wireless service surveys, mapping, and medical needs assessments, the Disaster Tech Lab team set up Wi-Fi access points to serve a major disaster response and rebuilding hub in Arapal within weeks of arrival. Once the hub was in place, the medical team traveled to Bantayan Island, where they trained local EMTs, provided much-needed medical supplies to the ambulance service in Santa Fe, and evacuation injured people to Cebu City main hospital.
Over the course of their response from December 2013 to April 2014, the medical team responded to a number of emergencies, conducted medical assessment missions in rural areas, provided medical training (first aid, CPR, and wilderness rescue) for local communities, and operated clinics in the small island communities surrounding Cebu. In February, after initial surveys had been completed, a satellite broadband dish was installed at Camp Arapal, providing the local community with a resilient means of communication. Thanks to the generosity of Etihad Airways and Philippine Airlines, Airlink was able to help Disaster Tech Lab send 7 tech and medical relief personnel to help with response over the course of the response period.