How to Help those Afflicted by Typhoon Hayian

How to Help those Afflicted by Typhoon Hayian: A Message from NHMA President Ed Thomas

Our hearts go out to those already afflicted by Typhoon Haiyan; and also to those who will soon be affected. Folks have asked us at the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association (NHMA) how best to help. The simple answer is: send money and prayers..

There will be dozens, possibly hundreds of relief and other Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) involved in Response and Recovery operations in the Philippines, and elsewhere in Asia. I have appended a list of some of the more prominent ones below. .

If anyone wants to help immediately, donation of money to one of those groups, or to the American Red Cross (with a designation for Pacific Typhoon Relief) is definitely the best immediate way. So is sending prayers along.

If one wanted to quickly get funds in hand to a relief organization, the American Red Cross is accepting donations, designated for the Pacific Typhoon relief, at the local Red Cross chapter offices, and on line right now:

I would also expect that there will be many studies of the disaster conducted, including possible quick response studies conducted by organizations such as the Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, and the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.

In terms of long term recovery, let me introduce you to the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association Co-Chairs of our International Committee. They will be the best informed folks, of whom I am aware, of what will be taking place in terms of making the area safer on a long term basis:

Miriam Bibelda:

Dr. Michele Companion:

Our friends Dr. Kristina Peterson, and Rev. Richard Krajeski, both of whom are involved with NHMA, have been involved for years with on the ground provision of disaster assistance, and have many, many international connections. Kris and Dick may well offer suggestions and comments, those comments and any updates from the NHMA International Committee, the Natural Hazards Center or other NHMA partners will be posted on line at:


Action Against Hunger (AAH)
Develops and runs emergency programs in nutrition, health, water and food security for countries in need.  Also provides disaster preparedness  programs with the goal of anticipating and preventing humanitarian crises.

CARE is one of the world’s largest private international humanitarian organizations, committed to helping  families  in  poor  communities  improve  their  lives  and  achieve  lasting  victories  over poverty. Founded in 1945 to provide relief to survivors of World War II, CARE quickly became a trusted vehicle for the compassion and generosity of millions.

Caritas Internationalis
Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations working to build a better world, especially for the poor and oppressed, in over 200 countries and territories.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS – USCC)
Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and disadvantaged outside the country.  Working through local offices and an extensive network of partners, CRS operates on 5 continents and in over 90 countries. They aid the poor by first providing direct assistance where needed, then encouraging these people to help with their own development.  Together, this fosters secure, productive, just communities that enable people to realize their potential.

Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders delivers medical help to populations endangered by war, civil strife, epidemics   or natural   disasters.   Each   year   over 2,000   volunteer   doctors representing   45 nationalities work worldwide in front-line hospitals, refugee camps, Disaster sites, towns and villages providing primary health care, performing surgery, vaccinating children, operating emergency nutrition and sanitation programs and training local medical staff.

Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN)
Independently   funded   organization   based in Dublin, Ireland   UK.  Works   to improve the effectiveness of emergency food and nutrition interventions by providing a means of information exchange between field staff, humanitarian institutions, academics and researchers.

Food For The Hungry International (FHI)
Food  For  The  Hungry  is  an  international  relief  and  development organization of Christian motivation, committed to working with poor people to overcome hunger and poverty through integrated self-development and relief programs.

Hunger Plus, Inc.
Not-for-profit relief agency that provides food and related supplies for emergency use. Partners with individuals, NGOs, government agencies, church and civic groups.  Projects in self sufficiency focus on food preservation, agriculture,   water, health, education, housing and technology.

InterAction is a coalition of over 150 US-based non-profit organizations which are usually the first to respond to a crisis. InterAction coordinates and promotes relief aid programs. With more than  160  members  operating in every  developing  country,  they  work to overcome  poverty, exclusion and suffering by advancing social justice and basic dignity for all.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
The ICRC, independent of all governments and international organizations, endeavors to promote international humanitarian law and the fundamental human values underlying that law. The ICRC was founded by Geneva citizens in 1863 and has its headquarters in Geneva.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
The  IFRC  is  one  part  of  the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which comprises National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies, the International  Federation  of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the Federation), and the ICRC. The IFRC is the permanent liaison body of the National Societies and acts as their representative internationally. It organizes and coordinates international disaster response in support of the actions of the affected National Societies, encourages the creation of new National Societies and assists them in developing their structures and programs. The IFRC Secretariat in Geneva is staffed by more than 245 people of some 30 different nationalities.

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
The IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. As an intergovernmental body, IOM acts with its partners in the international community to:  Assist  in  meeting  the operational  challenges  of  migration; Advance  understanding of migration issues; Encourage social and economic development through migration; Uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.

International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee is the voluntary organization involved in resettlement assistance, global emergency relief, rehabilitation, and advocacy for refugees. The IRC delivers lifesaving aid in emergencies, rebuilds shattered communities, cares for war- traumatized children, rehabilitates health care, water and sanitation systems, reunites separated families, restores lost livelihoods, establishes schools, trains teachers, strengthens the capacity of local  organizations  and  supports  civil  society  and  good-governance  initiatives.  For refugees afforded  sanctuary  in  the  United  States,  IRC  offices  across  the  country  provide a  range  of assistance aimed at helping new arrivals get settled, adjust and acquire the skills to become self- sufficient.  Committed to restoring dignity and self-reliance, the IRC is a global symbol of hope and renewal for those who have taken flight in search of freedom.

Lutheran World Federation
Specializing in emergency   relief linked   to disaster   preparedness   (risk   management) and sustainable development.

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)
Relief and development arm of the North American Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches. MCC sends people, food and material goods to communities recovering from war and natural disasters.

Mercy Corps (MC)
Nonprofit organization providing emergency relief and supporting development programs in agriculture, economic development, health, housing and infrastructure, and strengthening local organizations.

Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
Independent think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues.

Oxfam is a development and relief agency working to end poverty. Oxfam International is a confederation of 12 organizations working together with over 3,000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty, suffering and injustice.

Refugees International
Refugees International generates lifesaving humanitarian assistance and protection for displaced people around the world and works to end the conditions that create displacement. Refugees International advocates for refugees through diplomacy and the press.

Relief International
Founded  in  1990,  Relief  International  provides  emergency,  rehabilitation and  development services  that  empower  beneficiaries   in  the  process. RI’s programs include health, shelter construction, education, community development, agriculture, food, income-generation, and conflict resolution.

Save the Children
Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating real and lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. It is a member of the International Save the Children Alliance, comprising 27 national Save the Children organizations working in more than 100 countries to ensure the well-being of children. Save the Children responds to any emergency that puts at great risk the survival, protection, and well-being of significant numbers of children, where addressing the needs and well-being of those children is beyond the indigenous coping  capacity,  and  where  Save the Children  is  able  to  mobilize  the  financial  and human resources to take urgent action on their behalf.

The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
OFDA is the office within USAID responsible for providing non-food humanitarian assistance in response to international crises and disasters. Responsible for facilitating and coordinating U.S. Government emergency assistance overseas and to provide humanitarian assistance to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and reduce the social and economic impact of natural and man-made disasters worldwide.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
While working to ensure the survival, protection and development of children and advocating a high priority for them in the allocation of resources at all times, UNICEF continues to give relief and rehabilitation assistance in emergencies. The agency was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in1965.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The UNHCR provides protection and assistance to the world’s refugees. Today, the UNHCR is one of the world’s principal humanitarian agencies, with headquarters in Geneva, and offices in some 115 countries. More than 80 percent of UNHCR’s 5,000-member staff work in the field, often in isolated, dangerous and difficult conditions. The UNHCR has twice been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its work.

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
OCHA  is  mandated  to  mobilize  and  coordinate  the  collective  efforts  of the international community, in particular those of the UN system, to meet in a coherent and timely manner the

US Committee for Refugees (USCR)
Provides aid and resources for refugees worldwide..

World Vision International
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. In addition to these resources, ReliefWeb (  provides a comprehensive Directory of Humanitarian Organisations.

Thanks for considering how best to help those in need!


Edward Thomas Esq.
Natural Hazard Mitigation Association