Why and How to Support the Victims of Hurricane Haiyan in the Philippines

by Joanna Pineda Posted on November 21, 2013
Photo of the GEH footbridge wiped out by Hurricane Haiyan
Photo of the GEH footbridge wiped out by Hurricane Haiyan

Some of you know that I am a Filipino-American. I was born and raised in the Philippines and came to the US when I was 14 years old. The US is now my home but my dad and countless relatives still live in the Philippines. So you can imagine how the devastation from Hurricane Haiyan has hit me and my family hard. BTW, in the Philippines, Haiyan was called Typhoon Yolanda.

People have asked me why there is so much devastation and I think there are two main reasons:

Hurricane Haiyan was the most powerful typhoone/hurricane every recorded. The entire country was covered in storm clouds (that would be like one storm system covering the entire Eastern seaboard). When you have winds that top 200 mph, you’re going to have damage and if you add tidal surges, you’ll get even more.

Disasters in developing countries produce more damage. While in college, I took a class called Earthquakes and Man. Professor Abernathy made the point that earthquakes produce so much more damage in developing countries because they don’t have the building codes, the resources and the construction industry to produce building that will withstand natural disasters. Yes, hurricanes hit towns in US hard, but they don’t usually kill hundreds or thousands of people.

During this holiday season, I’m hoping that you’ll reach into your wallets and support the many, many victims of Haiyan. If you’re wondering how to support the victims, here is my list:

How much to give? To give you some perspective, GEH says:

I know this sounds corny, but when terrible things like this happen in the Philippines, I wonder how I got to be so lucky that I’m here and the victims are over there. I’m grateful that my entire family is safe.

I hope you’ll join me this holiday season and give generously to the survivors of Hurricane Haiyan. If you can, how about a $150 gift, or more, to educate a child for a year?

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