Kelli Merritz

Author's details

Name: Kelli Merritz
Date registered: April 18, 2013

Biography

Author and liaison for info4disasters.

Latest posts

  1. Do No Harm: Humanitarian Volunteer Self-care — May 27, 2015
  2. Do No Harm: Embracing Core Humanitarian Standards — May 27, 2015
  3. Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) Resources — December 5, 2014
  4. Info4 Ukraine in Crisis — March 5, 2014
  5. Yolanda: Update and Resources — November 15, 2013

Author's posts listings

Do No Harm: Humanitarian Volunteer Self-care

I know that many of you are quietly working away. Your gift is beautiful and you are changing the world. But the world needs you rested too.

-Heather Leson, President Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team -heather.leson@hotosm.org

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Tips For Humanitarian Volunteer Self-care… From Experience

  • Set boundaries.  If struggling to do so, you may need to reach out for support.
  • Rationalization is a dangerous mechanism.  It doesn’t matter the types of tasks you assign or complete: you still need to practice self-care and enhance well-being.
  • Do no harm: don’t bring affected population into your decision-making if you lack the ability to think clearly, overwhelmed or are suffering from sleep deprivation or insomnia.  You are incredibly more useful when your head is on straight.
  • Do no harm: if you are a leader, what kind of example are you setting for your team?  People look up to you and are most likely are following your lead.
  • You are not alone!  Other disaster response and humanitarian volunteers have experienced burnout, compassion fatigue, anxiety, toxic stress, and other physical and mental issues.  Support is available if you just ask for it!
  • You are a human being.  You will make mistakes.  You are susceptible to the circumstances you are in and exposed to.
  • Coordinators or leaders, it may seem like it all falls on you.  It doesn’t.  Life happens, events can never be fully controlled.  Your sole mission isn’t being present every minute.  You are more effective when you allow yourself to sleep, eat, take breaks, and breathe.  If you’re worried about leaving your crew, take breaks together.
  • Remember that the fact that you are providing aid or responding does not harden you from being personally vulnerable to disturbing content, no matter how you’ve coped in the past.
  • Asking for help shouldn’t have shame or stigma attached.  Make self-care a top priority and focus, not what others think.  It is absolutely to critical reach out if you can’t cope anymore.
  • Suppression, bottling up emotions and dishonesty are not coping mechanisms!
  • Difficulty thinking and performing simple tasks means your brain needs rest.
  • Be proud you are smart enough to recognize the need to rest, take care of yourself and/or reach out for help.
  • Listen to your body.  If you don’t feel well, or can barely keep your eyes open then rest, don’t rationalize.  Physical cues from your body mean you need to act now, or suffer later.
  • Observe yourself from time to time to make sure you’re in a healthy place emotionally, and mentally.
  • Refresh and revitalize!  Listen to your favorite music, read a book, enjoy the outdoors, do something you love.
  • Stay hydrated.  How much water are you drinking versus coffee?  If you don’t prefer water, there are other choices, non caffeinated and healthy.
  • Spend uninterrupted time with those you love.  Log off, stay off.  They need and deserve your love and time.  You do too.
  • Respect yourself and your well-being.   If scheduled and dreading the next time you volunteer, don’t.  Tell your coordinator you will not available.  Talk to someone you love or trust.
  • Don’t be talked into working longer than you planned.  Just because someone isn’t present doesn’t mean it’s automatically your responsiblity to take their place.
  • Keep a log of hours worked.  If you don’t have an official schedule, keep one.  See for yourself how long those “few extra minutes” turned into.
  • Consider the value in preserving your long-term ability to help others.

Relevant Self Tests

Tests don’t diagnose, but they are useful for evaluation and self-reflection.

Life Stress Test

PDF DIRECT LINK: http://www.compassionfatigue.org/pages/lifestresstest.pdf

Professional Quality of Life Scale Test

PDF DIRECT LINK: http://www.proqol.org/uploads/ProQOL_5_English_Self-Score_3-2012.pdf

Compassion Fatigue Test

HTML ONLINE TEST: http://www.compassionfatigue.org/pages/cfassessment.html

Anything We Can Help With?

When you press send submit it may not look like anything happened… I would like to assure you, your request REALLY has actually been submitted!

Privacy notice: We will never share your information with ANY third-parties unless YOU ask us to, or if we have SIGNIFICANT REASON to believe you are in imminent danger.

 

Do No Harm: Embracing Core Humanitarian Standards

Introduction

Technology has presented many opportunities and challenges for those involved in the emergency, humanitarian crisis and disaster relief fields.  Revolutionary advances have allowed support teams to evolve in many ways to assist operations on the ground from remote locations.  Disaster and humanitarian-related remote volunteers sometimes experience extremely high stress levels, compassion fatigue, lower priority of self-care, and vicarious trauma, alongside other physiological and psychological effects.  This post aims to discuss research related to health, volunteering in humanitarian and disaster response covering the concept “do no harm”, am humanitarian core standards.

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Manner of Response Determines Results

During response to disasters, volunteers become submerged in their work, feeling a duty to the people they are helping.  Under high stress levels, workers perform with all of their energy, working longer and longer hours.  Mixed motivational messages can occur when a team leader or facilitator continually recognizes achievements of volunteers while failing to maintain a healthy working environment.  A health-centered work environment has volunteers take regular breaks, promotes emotional well-being, advocates self-care, respects personal priorities, supports team members in building amicable relationships, and encourages a non-hostile working space.

Workers may ignore the red flags of overwork and fatigue.  In supportive environment, teaching the signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and toxic stress are now more commonly addressed.  Increased irritability, confusion, headaches, symptoms of cold/virus, or extreme exhaustion are glaring signs of overwork and toxic stress levels. These may go either unnoticed or simply pushed aside.

With little to no energy left from prolonged hours of work, basic needs and personal wants may begin to become neglected.  What a person loves to do: spending time with family and friends, playing with a pet, engaging in sports and physical activities, enjoying social outings or the luxury of relaxing and pursuing peace of mind… these aspects are usually sacrificed first in order to “finish up those details”.  These basic wants help contribute positively to health and emotional well-being and are unique for each person.  Even basic needs that we all share, such as: consumption of food and water, a healthy amount of sleep, regular practice of hygiene, exercise, and maintaining emotional well-being may become secondary.

 

Some of these items seem simple or extravagant considering the emergency at hand, but many of us have burnt out during emergencies.  It will sneak up on you – the stress and the rollercoaster.  You may downplay it.  This is why we share to remind you that digital contributors can become strained too.

-Heather Leson, President Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team -heather.leson@hotosm.org

Overload vs. Sense of Coherence

Overworked responders’ stress can reach toxic levels, causing their coping mechanisms to fail.  Toxicity of stress goes largely undiscussed, and magnifies stress as it combines with encounters of highly distressing information.  Witnessing unbearable scenes with the haunting faces of destruction, death, and suffering is unfortunately a common occurrence in disaster response and humanitarian crises.  Toxic stress happens when “unsuccessful coping due to lack of adequate internal capacities as well as poor external support” happens, or if a worker’s neural architecture is simply unable to handle stressors (McEwen, 1998).

Increasing hours worked means increasing exposure to deeply tragic elements.  Elements that aren’t fun to talk about, aren’t faced with ease, and can leave within us incredibly charged emotions.  Suppression and plowing onwards serve only as temporary coping mechanisms. Lack of proper self-care and toxic stress may reach what feels like the point of no return.  In all cases, this “allostatic overload” is volatile (Dias-Ferreira, et al., 2009).  Allostatic overload eventually leads to physiological dysregulation. Physiological dysregulation may then cause physical or mental disease.  It is important to remember however, that jobs creating worker burnout and/or depression can happen in any line of work.

Observations have shown that volunteer participation in group collaborative activities gives each volunteer a “Sense of Coherence” or SOC.  SOC is significant in that it helps build and strengthen coping abilities for situational stressors when a volunteer identifies their experience within a group as “comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful (Haraoka, Ojima, Murata, Hayasaka, 2012).”  When a team encounters “collective stressors”, SOC is felt at very high levels.  “The present findings show that strength of SOC in a community links more with willingness to carry out collaborative activities with volunteers (Haraoka, et al., 2012).”  Mutual support within a responding volunteer community is vital for the group’s collective SOC to solve problems more effectively.

Embracing Core Humanitarian Standards

A volunteer collective that tackles obstacles together might be a new concept for coordinators. Practices that consider the well-being of each person in the organization must evolve to develop a healthy level of community SOC that benefits everyone.  Only then, can volunteers develop better stress coping abilities, and have their problem-solving capabilities strengthened.  The organization can offer greater impact when working as a cohesive unit. It is a collective responsibility to see that volunteers within every community treated with dignity and care.  Leaders too often add to factors of burnout and depression in workers, weighed with the truth that ultimately only the worker can follow through with self-care and maintenance.

Leaving sole volunteers to deal with problems during a crisis with no help from the rest of the community represents a harmful expectation.  It isn’t a healthy experience for volunteers to face stressors without leader and community support.  Additionally, members of a volunteer community may see this and experience a higher burden of stress themselves because of projected expectations.  The SPHERE Project’s Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards, particularly the 6th core standard, reminds leaders and organizations of the responsibilities and rights of their workers, “Equally, agencies are responsible for enabling aid workers to perform satisfactorily through effective management and support for their emotional and physical well-being (SPHERE Project, 2012).”

Common Sense: Do No Harm

I have heard time and again volunteers referred to as handy tools, free labor, time savers, and other disparaging terms when some organizational leaders and coordinators discuss affiliated volunteers publicly.  In these cases, there is little consideration of the volunteers’ well-being or SOC, collectively or individually.  Volunteers make the choice to dedicate time, often with specialized skill-sets.  I do not write to accuse, but rather to discuss, educate, and remind organizations of the positive or negative effects they have on volunteers.

Conclusion

If humanitarian and disaster response organizations continue to embrace the core humanitarian standards, and the principle “do no harm” to those they serve, it MUST be equally important to these organizations to avoid deleterious internal treatment and harmful practice to those who volunteer their time, intellect, and heart.  In the same way, if humanitarian and disaster volunteers wish to embrace and admonish “do no harm” and core humanitarian standards to those around them with equanimity, they MUST include care and treatment of self.  It is emotionally and physically essential for volunteers to consider that it is those around them, are directly affected by the personal decision to embrace, or deny their own well-being and self-care.  For responders, “do no harm” must stay a vital concern when considering those affected and in need due to humanitarian crises and disasters… the same must apply to themselves, and those closest in heart and home.

 


 

References

Ahola, K., Hakanen, J., Perhoniemi, R., & Mutanen, P. (2014). Relationship between burnout and depressive symptoms: A study using the person-centered approach. Burnout Research, 1(1), 29-37. Retrieved December 1, 2014, from www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213058614000060

 

Dias-Ferreira, E., Sousa, J., Melo, I., Morgado, P., Mesquita, A., Cerqueira, J., & Sousa, N. (2009). Chronic Stress Causes Frontostriatal Reorganization and Affects Decision-Making. Science, 325(4290), 621-625. doi: 10.1126/science.1171203.

 

Enman, N., Sabban, E., Mcgonigle, P., & Bockstaele, E. (2015). Targeting the neuropeptide Y system in stress-related psychiatric disorders. Neurobiology of Stress, 1, 33-43. Retrieved March 26, 2015, from www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352289514000083

 

Franklin, T., Saab, B., & Mansuy, I. (2012). Neural Mechanisms of Stress Resilience and Vulnerability. Neuron, 75(5), 747-761. doi: 10.1016/j.ynstr.2014.09.001.

 

Haraoka, T., Ojima, T., Murata, C., & Hayasaka, S. (2012). Factors influencing collaborative activities between non-professional disaster volunteers and victims of earthquake disasters. PloS one, 7(10), e47203. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047203.

 

McEwen, B. (1998). Seminars in medicine of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators. New England Journal of Medicine, 338(3), 171-179. Retrieved March 28, 2015, from www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199801153380307

 

McEwen, B., Gray, J., & Nasca, C. (2015). Recognizing resilience: Learning from the effects of stress on the brain. Neurobiology of Stress, 1, 1-11. Retrieved March 26, 2015, from www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352289514000022

 

SPHERE Project, The. (2012). Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response. Retrieved May 1, 2015, from http://www.spherehandbook.org/en/core-standard-6-aid-worker-performance

 

WHO, War Trauma Foundation, & World Vision International. (2011). Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers. Retrieved May 1, 2015, from http://whqlibdoc.who.int/ 

 

Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) Resources

(Last Updated: April 24, 2015 22:09 EST)

This page was strictly dedicated to Typhoon Ruby resources.  The links are updated and organized by closest related subject.  Visit the GOVPH Official Gazette Page for Typhoon Ruby Updates.  Visit PAGASA-DOST for weather updates. The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) remains a vital resource; listen to their advice carefully.

 

Communications

Directory of Gov PH Social Media Accounts to Follow for Updates

Google’s Typhoon Ruby Map

Project AGOS Map

 

Updates and Effort

Comprehensive Matrix of Typhoon Ruby actions

Situation Reports (PDF)

* Situation Report 16 was not made available on website

Field Bulletins

 

Weather-Related

List of Multihazard Maps in the “Yolanda Corridor”

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA-DOST)

PAGASA-DOST Mobile (Android) Downloads

 

Ruby Preparedness Measures Situation Reports Archive (PDF)

 

Quick Note on the use of #RubyPH

The Philippine Government and PRC have been using the #RubyPH on Twitter & other micro-blogging platforms for outreach, crisismapping and social media monitoring.  Please use the hash-tag appropriately, especially when residing (and using) internationally.

 

Explanatory

Online information for natural calamities

What does it mean if an area is under a state of calamity?

Make sense of PAGASA’s color-coding signals

Learn more about PAGASA’s public storm warning signals

Infographic: Mga paalala ukol sa storm surge

Infographic: Mga paalala ukol sa baha

 

See Something Missing? Let Me Know!

If you see a missing resource in this list please comment below, and I will be happy to add the information!  Always looking to add to the list of Typhoon Ruby resources if you want to contribute! (:

 

Info4 Ukraine in Crisis

Flag-of Ukraine

In light of the events that continue to unfold in Ukraine, we have created an Info4 Ukraine Initiative.

Info4 Ukraine is a Facebook page dedicated to providing useful information including medical and mental health care available to the people of Ukraine, some news, other resources, and human rights information.  Info4disasters is also working with translators to translate basic first aid information and instruction for civilians through 1stAid4’s Ukrainian Twitter account, @1staid4ukrainia.

Learning Resources

As it happened: Ukraine crisis (Live Updates)
Reddit Page for Ukraine Crisis
Three maps to help understand what’s going on in Ukraine
Ukraine: ICRC urges respect for medical aid and humanitarian work
Ukraine revolution in pictures: Latest photos from Kiev’s Independence Square
Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda

(For more links please visit our Facebook page Info4 Ukraine)

Resources Useful for Ukrainians

@1stAid4Ukrainia – Twitter account provides medical and first aid tips

Департамент охорони здоров’я інформує про надання психологічної допомоги у м. Львові та Львівській області (оновлено) / This link is from the Department of Health, and provides information on the provision of psychological assistance in Lviv and Lviv region (updated and in Ukrainian)

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group On Human Rights in Ukraine (in Українська and Русский )

Товариство Червоного Хреста: Личаківського району / Red Cross: Lucakivskovo area (link in Ukrainian)

(For more links please visit our Facebook page Info4 Ukraine)

ReliefWeb

Updates on Ukraine / 02 Apr 2014

Source: International Crisis Group
As the Central African Republic becomes increasingly fractured along communal and regional lines, the re-emergence of the rebel Front populaire pour le redressement (FPR) in the north further worsened insecurity. Muslims continue to be targeted daily. African Union peacekeepers fell victim to two … Read more

 

Additional Information About Ukraine
 
Geography

Ukraine’s borders many countries: the east and northeast parts of Ukraine border Russia, the northwest region borders Belarus, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary constitute Ukraine’s western border.  Romania and Moldova establishes Ukraine’s southwest border.  The Black Sea and Sea of Azov are the south and southeast boundary.

 
Administrative Divisions

Ukraine is a unitary state, comprised of 24 oblasts (provinces), 2 municipalities (Kyiv and Sevastopol), and one autonomous republic (Crimea). There has been some confusion by some that Crimea has only recently designated itself as an autonomous republic. Due to severe ethnic tensions in the early 1990’s, pro-Russian groups pushed for the secession of Crimea and annexation to Russia. The Ukrainian and Crimean Parliaments came to the resolution that Crimea was to become autonomous republic, while still being a part of the Ukraine.

 
Complexities

It is vitally important to emphasize when considering the history of Ukraine and it’s conflicts that inflamed ethnic tensions between groups over time has warranted concern of increased ethnic and religious tensions as well as hate speech, but this concern has also prompted community and religious leaders to take action and remind that differences be put aside for common goals.

 

Ukrainian Red Cross (Video)

Since tensions began mounting in Kyiv in January 2014, the Ukrainian Red Cross has been on the front line, helping all the injured without distinction. So far, 300 people have received treatment. This short video shows the Ukrainian Red Cross in action.

 

ReliefWeb

Updates on Ukraine / 08 Mar 2014

Source: UN News Service
7 March 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today emphasized the need for peace and stability in Ukraine’s Crimea region, where the announcement of a referendum on joining Russia constitutes a “worrying and serious” development. Lawmakers in the autonomous Ukrainian region of Crimea voted … Read more
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
**Period covered by this update: 12 February to 5 March 2014.** **Summary:** Due to the escalating situation, the original sum of CHF 139,302 that had been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 13 December 2013 to support the Ukrainian Red Cross Society to enhance … Read more
Source: Amnesty
With journalists, activists and peaceful protestors facing increasing harassment and intimidation in Crimea, there is an urgent need for a strong international monitoring mission in Ukraine, said Amnesty International. It is calling for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe … Read more
References

Luxmoore, Jonathan. “CatholicPhilly.com: News from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.” Ukraine Church Urges Return to Peace amid Spiraling Street Violence. Catholic News Service, 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

“Military.” Autonomous Republic of Crimea. GlobalSecurity.org, 02 Mar. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

“Regions and Territories: Crimea.” BBC News. BBC, 22 Nov. 2011. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

The Catholic Free Press. “Ukrainian Churches Urge Peace as War Clouds Gather over Crimea.” The Catholic Free Press. Catholic News Service, 28 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

“The World Factbook: Europe: Ukraine.” Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.

“Ukraine: ICRC Urges Respect for Medical Aid and Humanitarian Work.” – ICRC. International Committee of the Red Cross, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

Релігійно-інформаційна служба України. “Точка зору.” Рада Церков висловила підтримку легітимній владі України і закликала громадян сумлінно виконувати свої обов’язки. Інституту Релігії та Суспільства Українського Католицького Університету, 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

Yolanda: Update and Resources

As of November 11, the DSWD has extended free satellite net service to close to 2,000 individuals in areas in Tacloban affected by the supertyphoon. Among those who have used the service are members of the media and NGOs. Said service was made available for our countrymen who wish to contact their loved ones.

Quick Links:

Emergency hotlines
Report on government response efforts
Info for those who want to donate or volunteer in Cebu, Tacloban, or CDO
Telco services restored in more typhoon-hit areas
Matrix of international pledges
List of evacuation centres.
The Red Cross’s Yolanda – RFL and Tracing Form
List of Casualties
A Compiled List of Yolanda / Haiyan Informational Maps: Space-based information

Summary: 8 Days Ago (7th of November)

When Typhoon Yolanda, internationally known as Typhoon Haiyan, formed as an identified tropical depression “31W”, meteorologists began tracing her path towards the Philippines there was little attention given from the international media on her potential impacts as developments in her size and path became a concern. “As of 12 noon, the number of families affected by typhoon Yolanda has reached the two million mark composed of 9.53 million persons as Local Government Units (LGUs) from Regions IV-A and B, V, VI, VII, VIII, X, and CARAGA continue to assess the extent of the disaster.” The day Yolanda made landfall on the Philippines as a Category 5 Super-Typhoon images and footage rolled in the international media began incredulous coverage of the Typhoon Yolanda, most continuing coverage of the complex emergency and devastation left behind.  There is (obviously) national coverage of the ongoing crisis in some detail, though many small, local news sources are not available because of the great infrastructural damage in most affected regions.

Summary: Eight Days Later (15th of November)

Eight days later, there are many concerns in the Central Philippines that have yet to be alleviated. Due to massive damages to the infrastructure it has been a challenge to get needed supplies areas critically affected by Typhoon Yolanda, but aide has arrived or is en-route.  The Department of Energy has deployed generators to Yolanda-hit areas.  
 

 A total of 17,890 personnel, 844 vehicles, 44 seacraft, 31 aircraft, and other assets / equipment from National and Local Agencies, Responders and Volunteer Organizations were prepositioned and deployed to strategic areas to facilitate response operations. —NDRRMC Situation Report on the effects of Typhoon YOLANDA, November 14, 2013 (6:00 p.m.)

State of National Calamity

Major media outlets have reported on the hard hit areas, most covering the scathed capital city of Leyte; Tacloban City. Due to its large size, the damage is apparent, and the emergent needs of this city are undoubtedly great, as are the needs of all towns, cities, and barangays in Samar, Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, and Palawan. The Presidential Proclamation No.682, dated November 11, 2013 declared a State of National Calamity, affecting Samar, Cebu, Leyte, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, and Palawan. As of November 11, the DSWD has extended free satellite net service to close to 2,000 individuals in areas in Tacloban affected by the supertyphoon. Among those who have used the service are members of the media and NGOs. Said service was made available for our countrymen who wish to contact their loved ones.[/quote ]With not enough people to properly identify every body found, it is anticipated that a number of victims will go unidentified, and with regional environmental and weather factors, time is an important factor for both identification and needed burial.  There are plausible concerns of flood waters and additional rains causing sickness, infection. Hospitals are reporting they are close to running out of needed medicines as well as doctors and nurses concerned they won’t be able to meet the needs of critical care for patients.

 

Many hope that with international resources combined, food, medical supplies and basic necessities will be able to be delivered faster and in greater quantity. Combined forces, assembled medical personnel teams, along with aid and relief packages that are now arriving in greater numbers in the proclaimed State of Calamity areas.  Measures  are being taken to help fix immediate obstacles, assist those in need of rescue, restore peace and order, maintain security, and a price freeze on essential medicines has been implemented. These examples are all indicators of the strong response that has become more tangible now that efforts have increased in pace and overall progress.

Updates from The Official Gazette

Official List of Casualties

Deceased: 3633
Injured: 12487
Missing: 1179
 

The DSWD has opened satellite repacking centers of relief goods in the NCR and in affected regions. Meanwhile, the schedule for volunteers at DSWD-NROC is already full until November 18. All those interested in volunteering, please call 851-2681/852-8081.

Food and Water

Field Bulletin No. 3: On relief operations in Yolanda-affected areas

Field Bulletin No. 2: On relief operations in Yolanda-affected areas

Status of relief and rehabilitation efforts in Yolanda-affected areas as of November 15, 2013 (6:00 a.m.)

DSWD assures faster relief ops

Medical

Field Bulletin No. 4: On relief operations in Yolanda-affected areas (medical supplies)

Field Bulletin No. 3: On relief operations in Yolanda-affected areas (medical supplies)

Contact persons and hotlines from the Department of Health, Eastern Visayas & Central Office

“We won’t stop until we get all medical teams on the ground” – DOH

Shelter

Funding and Foreign Aid

Interagency One-Stop-Shop for donated relief goods fully operational

Infrastructure

Relief effort reaches typhoon-ravaged areas via supply routes

Power

AFP opens communication cells in Tacloban, Mactan, and Roxas City

Communications

Restoring communications after Yolanda: Updates as of November 12, 2013

DSWD provides Taclobanons with satellite Internet service

Security

Peace and security efforts in Yolanda-struck areas

Resources:

Maps

Google Crisis and Relief Map

DSWD Disaster Mitigation and Response Situation Map

DENR GDIS Map

A Compiled List of Yolanda / Haiyan Informational Maps: Space-based information

Weather

PAGASA 

Project NOAH

Reports

NDRMMC Situation Report

Status of Municipalities, Towns and Cities, in Leyte, Eastern Samar, Western Samar (The matrix is up to date as of November 15, 2013, 5:00 p.m.)

International Assistance Matrix

People Finder

Google Person Finder

A mobile version of this tool is available. You can also search with SMS by texting 2662999 (Globe), 4664999 (SMART), 22020999 (Sun), or +1.650.800.3977 with the message Search . For example, to search for Joshua, text Search Joshua.

Person Finder is a searchable missing person database written in Python and hosted on App Engine. Person Finder implements the PFIF data model and provides PFIF import and export as well as PFIF Atom feeds. It was initially created by Google volunteers in response to the Haiti earthquake in January 2010, and today contains contributions from many volunteers inside and outside of Google. It was used again for the earthquakes in Chile, Yushu, and Japan, and now runs at http://google.org/personfinder/.

Red Cross RFL and Tracing Form

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has deployed assessment and rescue teams to the areas affected by recent typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), locally known as Yolanda, to evaluate the damage and to support rescue efforts. Welfare Desks including RFL and tracing services are established in the affected areas. National Societies abroad that are approached by families without news of their loved ones can contact the PRC Social Services Department Email: sos@redcross.org.ph, zenaida.beltejar@redcross.org.ph Mobile: 09175328500 Landline: 5270000 loc. 126, 5270867 Twitter: @philredcross @justcallmelloyd @ilovemishang @lynvgarcia or use the #TracingPH Email: lyn.garcia@redcross.org.ph, kenneth.dimalibot@redcross.org.ph, opcen@redcross.org.ph

Other Resources

StatusPH: Real-time location based information aimed at both users and systems

Creating a map and database that shows ongoing actions such as rescue missions, hospitals, meeting points, points of internet, points of phone reception.

Super lightweight, fast and mobile optimised. Focus is on the INPUT side as well as allowing individuals with mobile access to see what’s available near them.

StatusPH (http://www.statusph.net/) has an API and now needs developers to assist in writing more scripts to help StatusPH get additional actionable data from other sources.  They have a complete guide and documentation for how any developer can contribute and work, in any language.  Simply visit https://github.com/PimDeWitte/spowerscripts.

Effects of the storm

Visit www.piacaraga.com’s Yolanda page.

Online information for natural calamities

What does it mean if an area is under a state of calamity?

Make sense of PAGASA’s color-coding signals.

Learn more about the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

Learn more about PAGASA’s public storm warning signals

Infographic: Mga paalala ukol sa storm surge

Infographic: Mga paalala ukol sa baha

Other Local Government Units (links to Local Government Academy website)

 

If you have something you see missing in this list of resources, or have a suggestion of a resource, or a compiled list of resources to add, a map, or a volunteer opportunity, please comment below, and once verified, they information will be added. Thank you!

 

Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)

(Author’s Note:  There is an updated post on Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) written 15 November, 2013. Please visit http://info4disasters.org/yolanda-update-resources/ and be informed of the most recent and up-to-date information.  Thank you!)

Typhoon Yolonda Gallery:

 

Super Typhoon Yolandai (internationally known as Haiyan), thought to be the largest typhoon of this year’s season, measures 600km in diameter, and at 4:40AM Philippine Standard Time, Yolanda made landfall over Guiuan, Eastern Samar.ii  PAGASAiii predicts that on Saturday morning, Typhoon Yolanda is expected to be 240km West Northwest of Coron, Palaan. It will be Saturday evening before Yolanda will be outside of PARiv. Maximum sustained winds are predicted to reach 235kph near the centre and have gusts up to 275kph, accompanied by an average of 10.0 – 30.0mm per hour within the 600 km diameter of the Super Typhoon.v

 

”YOLANDA”, after hitting Guiuan ( Eastern Samar), is expected to traverse the provinces of Biliran, the Northern tip of Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Romblon, Semirara Island, the Southern part of Mindoro then Busuanga and will exit the Philippine landmass (on Saturday early morning) towards the West Philippine Sea. Estimated rainfall amount is from 10.0 – 30.0 mm per hour (Heavy – Intense) within the 400 km diameter of the Typhoon. Sea travel is risky over the seaboards of Northern Luzon and over the eastern seaboard of Central

Luzon. Residents in low lying and mountainous areas under signal #4, #3 and #2 are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas under signal #4, #3 and #2 are alerted against storm surges which may reach up to 7-meter wave height. The public and the disaster risk reduction and management council concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 AM today.

 PAGASA and JTWC Updates

PAGASA has issued images showing the predicted path of Yolanda. PAGASA has also provided hourly updates, bulletins, and warnings that can be accessed by visiting http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/wb/tcupdate.shtml. The JTWCvi has also issued images of predicted path, satellite composites, and enhanced imagery. JTWC’s updates, forecast discussions, and warnings can be found at http://www.usno.navy.mil/JTWC/.

 PAGASA Signals

There are warnings. also known as signals that given to the public from PAGASA.  These warnings, or signals, are called Philippine Public Storm Warning Signals, and abbreviated as PSWS.vii  PSWS range from low to high intensity, as well as anticipated to sudden impact; the lowest of the warning signals is #1, and the highest of the signals is #4.viii To understand more about what each signal specifically means, visit http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/genmet/psws.html#psws3. The current PSWS issued for the Philippines concerning Typhoon Yolanda can be accessed at http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/wb/tcupdate.shtml or http://www.gov.ph/crisis-response/updates-typhoon-yolanda/.

 IFRC, Philippine Red Cross & Community Chapters

The Philippine Red Cross has been encouraging preparedness for Yolanda through social media accounts, community outreach, and through their web page. Their Chapters have been briefed and are now staged in their respective communities across the Philippines prepared to offer aid, and basic essentials. They issued their PRC Preparedness and Response Plan Re: Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) yesterday, giving a broad look at the measures they have taken to help. For more information and updates on what the Philippine Red Cross is currently doing you can visit their website at http://www.redcross.org.ph/, find them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or subscribe to their You Tube Channel. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies issued an information bulletin on 7 November, 2013.

Earlier on Thursday, 7 November, the IFRC participated in a Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and cluster leads meeting on the preparedness for response to Typhoon Haiyan. The IFRC Country Representative and the global shelter cluster regional focal point for Asia Pacific– who is in the Philippines since 18 October 2013 supporting an ongoing activation relating to the Central Visayas earthquake– participated. In preparation, the emergency shelter cluster has placed a team on standby to join rapid multi-sector assessment teams that are likely to be deployed in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

Meanwhile, on Thursday afternoon, 7 November, the PRC and Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners with presence in the Philippines – Australian Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, German Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Netherlands Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross – will have a meeting to define how they will best support the PRC in responding to potential humanitarian needs that will be wrought by the typhoon. In due course, partners will be updated on how the Movement components will coordinate possible interventions. —excerpt from IFRC Information Bulletin

Official Resources

Other Important Resources:

Government Yolanda Updates (Updated Regularly)

Philippine Red Cross Survival Tips

Update: Typhoon Yolanda highest predicted storm surge and tide

List of municipalities expected to be affected by 40-60 mm 3-hour accumulated rainfall

List of municipalities expected to be affected by 60-100 mm 3-hour accumulated rainfall

List of barangays with alluvial fans

 

 Warning to the Public

dotc_secretary_jabayaThe Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) warns the public of individuals attempting to solicit favours using the name of DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Aguinaldo Abaya or representative/s of the Secretary or any of the Department’s officials. The DOTC advises the public to report any such request/s for favours/ transactions by the said individuals to the Office of the Secretary at Tel.Nos.724-6465/ 723-4698 or the Office of the Administrative Service Director at Tel. No.721-0800.

 

 

Footnotes:

i Haiyan was locally named Yolanda after entering the Philippine area of responsibility.

ii As reported by the most recent update bulletins issued at 11PM local time on Thursday by the PAGASA.

iii PAGASA stands for the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration

iv PAR is the acronym for the Philippine Area of Responsibility, and Yolanda is predicted to be outside of PAR Saturday evening, when she is 934 km West Northwest of Coron, Palawan as stated by PAGASA.

v Refer to PAGASA weather bulletin: http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/wb/tcupdate.shtml

vi JTWC is the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, hosted and maintained by the United States Navy.

vii PSWS represents the Philippine Public Storm Warning Signals

Balochistan’s 7.7 Magnitude Earthquake

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake occurred Tuesday, September 24, 69 kilometres northeast of Awaran in the remote region of Balochistan, Pakistan.  Emergency response and relief efforts have been difficult due to the mountainous terrain.  It is estimated that 300,000 people have been affected in the region.  The death toll of 355 continues to rise as rescue workers search through the rubble.  According to the government’s most recent Situation Report, many areas are still inaccessible.  Rescue efforts slowed Thursday as an army helicopter with two high-ranking generals on board came under rocket fire near Balochistan’s Awaran district.  The army said they will continue rescue and relief operations in the area.

Roads are nonexistent in some areas, so aid is airlifted to such places, and helicopters and C-130 planes are being used for that… we fear the death toll could rise, as we still have to reach out to some far-flung areas. — Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan

The army is flying severely injured individuals to hospitals in Karachi to receive proper medical care.  The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) of Balochistan issued a press release Thursday afternoon, confirming that Awaran suffered the area’s greatest hit from the earthquake.  95 percent of the houses were destroyed or damaged in the earthquake and aftershocks.  The listed total number of casualties are 355 dead, 619 injured.  In Awaran there are 311 deaths and 440 injuries; in Kech there are 44 deaths and 179 injuries.  Officials stressed that there are ongoing rescue and relief operations involving the army, paramilitary forces and civilians.  Food and other necessities were distributed in some of the remote area via helicopter.

The Red Crescent has disaster preparedness stocks in the region that can be mobilized rapidly, but the biggest challenge is reaching the affected area… It takes between 18-20 hours to travel to Awaran from Quetta and it’s unclear how many villages surrounding the epicentre still haven’t been reached. Some may not be accessible by road.  Mike Higginson, acting head of delegation for the IFRC in Pakistan

The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (Quetta) has been issuing updates today on Facebook.  Most of the Red Crescent supply hubs are hundreds of kilometres away.  In one of their recent updates, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society announced that 3 teams had been deployed to the town of Awaran, “Two health teams (1 doctor, 2 paramedics and 1 x ambulance with driver in each team) and one disaster response and coordination team left during the day after the medicines were loaded. The teams will travel round the clock to reach the affected area. The estimated travel time from Quetta to Awaran is 18 to 20 hours.”

Although there have been national efforts amassed to help, some non-governmental organisations, such as the IRIC, have not deployed to Western Pakistan to assist in the aftermath because of ongoing security concerns.  “Not only is the region remote, but security concerns mean that both the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are unable to directly conduct humanitarian operations in the area. However, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society has a well-established network on the ground and is able to operate freely,” said Patrick Fuller of the IFRC.

These are troubled regions . . . and we have heard about security concerns among the operating there.  However, as an independent relief organization, we are just hoping we will not face any trouble out there. I believe the people know we are there for relief.  Bijar Khan Marri, spokesman for the Pakistan Red Crescent Society

The initial damage is hard to estimate, although with food, water, crops, and infrastructural damages by the earthquake in the region, one can conclude the scope of the catastrophe will be far-reaching for a long time.  In Awaran alone, over 90% of houses have collapsed.  Many houses in the area were built from mud, and as such, collapsed during the earthquake and it’s aftershocks.  The earthquake has gotten global attention, but seems to have become most well-known for the island it has formed off the coast of Pakistan.  This earthquake is said to be the worst earthquake since Turkey’s 2011 Van earthquake.

Helpful Links:

Reliefweb
http://reliefweb.int/country/pak

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
http://www.ndma.gov.pk/new/

Humanitarian Response Pakistan
http://www.pakresponse.info/

OCHA Pakistan
http://www.unocha.org/pakistan/

Balochistan Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA)
http://www.pdma.gob.pk/

Sindh Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA)
http://pdma.pk/dnn/

FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA)
http://fdma.gov.pk/

Pakistan Red Crescent Society’s Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/PakistanRedCrescent

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