August 12,2009

ShelterBox Responds to Typhoon Morakot Leaving Destruction in China

By ShelterBox

ShelterBox, international disaster relief organization and global Rotary club project, is responding to Typhoon Morakot after tens of thousands of people have been left stranded in the storm's wake. During the past several days, the storm has passed over the Philippines, Taiwan and mainland China, leaving a trail of destruction.

High winds, flooding and mudslides have left thousands in need of emergency shelter. In Taiwan, 50,000 people are stranded and flooding has submerged many homes. In China nearly 1 million people have been evacuated in the Fujian Province while 13,000 people have been displaced in the Zambales Province in the Philippines with authorities describing the situation as a calamity. Typhoon Morakot has brought with it a record amount of rainfall with close to 2.5 metres falling on Taiwan.

ShelterBox is providing emergency disaster relief on all three fronts. ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members Peter Pearce (AU) and Ross Mackenzie (NZ) are already on the ground in the Philippines, SRT member Philip Duloy (UK) will arrive in Taipei, Taiwan today and SRT member Tony Zhang (CH) is assessing the situation in China.

ShelterBox Founder Tom Henderson said: 'This is a textbook ShelterBox operation. We've been watching this for a few days and monitoring the situation. We now have teams in place on all three fronts that will be providing emergency disaster relief as quickly as possible. With each ShelterBox containing a 10-person tent, blankets, water purification and cooking equipment, basic tools, a stove and other essential equipment, we not only provide people with emergency shelter provision but also the tools to start rebuilding their lives."

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity, and a global Rotary club project, which exists to provide humanitarian aid worldwide in the form of shelter, warmth and dignity for people displaced by natural and other disasters.

An initiative of Rotarian Tom Henderson, a former Royal Navy search and rescue diver, ShelterBox started in 2000 as a project of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard, Cornwall. ShelterBox, now the largest Rotary Club project in the world, has raised over £25 million and responded to over 90 major disasters including the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma) and has operated in 57 countries.

Each ShelterBox contains a 10-person tent, blankets, water purification and cooking equipment, basic tools, a stove and other essential equipment. Every box is individually numbered and can be tracked by donors. Each box costs £490 ?including the cost of all materials, packing, storage, transport worldwide and distribution to the needy. Best value is achieved by working closely with leading suppliers, all items being obtained at below trade price. Assuming six month's use, this equates to shelter and warmth for less than 30 pence per person per day.

All aid delivery is undertaken by international volunteer ShelterBox Response Team members who have carried out extensive training with ShelterBox. By working with local Rotary clubs in the countries where disasters have occurred, ShelterBox is often able to get aid where it is needed faster than any other organisation.

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