By: Wisam Daifi

Wouldn’t you want help if it happened in your community? Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan need your assistance!

Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) swept across the central Philippines on Friday leaving a trail of huge destruction in its wake. With sustained winds reported at over 145 miles per hour, and significantly stronger gusts, Haiyan was the second category 5 typhoon to strike the Philippines this year.

According to Red Cross information, the typhoon affected 4.3 million people across 36 provinces.

The agency is reporting significant damage and a death toll of over 1,00 and still growing, while the full extent of the devastation continues to unfold. Currently, 1,200 evacuation centers are housing more than 330,000 people left homeless by the storm.

The American Red Cross announced Wednesday that an initial contribution of $6 million went in to support the Philippines. These funds will be used to distribute relief items, repair and rebuild shelters, provide healthcare and ensure access to clean water and sanitation systems.

While the Philippine Red Cross volunteer teams are providing assistance on scene in the hardest hit communities, the American Red Cross is sending disaster relief specialists and equipment to the country for additional support.

Two disaster relief specialists with the American Red Cross were deployed to the region on Saturday, the charity said.

“Communication is still very limited in the hardest hit communities, and the American Red Cross will also send two telecommunication specialists and a satellite system in the coming days,” the Red Cross said in a press release.

The American contingent is also assisting individuals in connecting with loved ones. If you are looking for a missing family member in the Philippines, please remember that many phones lines are down. Please continue trying. If you are still unable to reach them, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a tracing case.

People who want to donate to the American Red Cross to support the response for this typhoon can go to

  • Help people affected by the Pacific Typhoon by going to or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.
  • Mail in a donation to your local Red Cross chapter.

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