Local efforts to help those in Tacloban City, Philippines

South San Francisco, CA     November 11, 2013

HELP for those in the Philippines

Photo: Stephen  Carpenter

Photo: Stephen Carpenter

There are many agencies working to assist with the huge undertaking of rescue and recovery efforts and this was a direct impact from SSF to them. Please check it out, consider helping, and pass this information onto others. We are so lucky here, a few bucks can really help them over there.

This info has been given to us by one of our regular ESC friends William Shon II:

“A friend of mine is taking action and heading over there to help. He’s an EH&S expert and former Genentech specialist who strongly believes in transparency so people will know they are actually helping. Please have a read, spread it around, and donate what you can.”

 

UPDATE click HERE to donate to this relief effort

 

Stephen CarpenterA personal story connecting us all

My name is Stephen Charles Carpenter. I am a Public Health professional working in the field of occupational & environmental health and safety in the United States.

My family resides in Tacloban City, Philippines where the Super Typhoon Yolanda recently passed through completely devastating the entire region. Last night I got word that my wife and daughter were safely evacuated from Tacloban to Cebu City on a C-130 military transport plane. This Thursday, 11.14.2013, I am flying to Cebu City to be with them and bring them back home safely in the near future.

I have a team of personnel who reside in Cebu City who are going into Tacloban City on or before Monday, 11.18.2013, as part of a search and rescue reconnaissance mission. This is scheduled as the first of several such missions. It is our intention to get as much safety/survival supplies and resources as possible into the hands of the families at the ground level of this human disaster. We have connections in with several local barangay level leaders in Tacloban City. My team is guided by transparency, our personal integrity, and our personal commitment to ease the suffering of the people in the trenches of this catastrophe.

The community is by no means out of the woods at this point, and this disaster represents an unthinkable hardship of pain and suffering by the Filipino people. The tragedy of this situation truly defies comprehension, and the pictures in the media are an accurate representation of the devastation. The entire region has been absolutely annihilated with tremendous loss of life. As a public health professional, I fear that these dehumanizing conditions are the predecessor to disease outbreaks that further devastate the community of survivors. It is imperative we work to circumvent this potential.

After the category 5 typhoon slammed into the region, I did not hear from my wife and daughter for an agonizingly distressing 80 hours. I witnessed the images of total devastation trickling out of the region and could only pray for the best. As I scoured Facebook pages and media reports to obtain signs of life, I realized that I had to go there and get them out of the disaster zone. After being contacted late last night by my wife and hearing her and my daughter’s sweet voice, I felt grateful and truly blessed beyond words. You can only imagine my relief and tears of joy! I am full of gratitude for their safety and well-being. My wife and my daughter are everything to me.

My wife told me that driving to the airport to board the C-130 yesterday afternoon, she saw the bodies lying all over the place in the debris and rubble. Mind you this is 3 days after the typhoon landed there! She told me that the smell of rotting human flesh permeates the air, and survivors are just aimlessly walking the streets seeking food, water, shelter, and any possible form of relief from the devastating catastrophe. This is unbearable! I recently lived there with my family for 2 years and was treated wonderfully by the people of Tacloban. They are some of the nicest, coolest, friendliest, family-oriented people I have ever met.

I am strongly motivated to do beneficial works to improve the condition for the survivors, the men, women, and children on the ground in Tacloban today. With the first relief mission scheduled for next week, there is a large list of supplies and gear to obtain. The supplies I seek and/or intend to purchase for the relief missions are the following:

1. First Aid Kits

2. Gloves

3. Charcoal filter dust masks

4. Trauma Kits

5. Antibacterial Ointments

6. Antiseptics

7. Alcohol wipes/gels

8. Batteries

9. Survival Kits

10. Power Outage Kits

11. MRE – meals ready to eat

12. LIFE GEAR – including glow sticks, tactical flashlights, survival packs

13. Camping Cook Set & Burner

14. High energy food bars

15. Portable water purifiers

16. Water cleaning agents (tablets)

17. Portable solar chargers + deep cycle batteries

18. 500w to 800w power inverter for 220v

19. Portable Satellite Mobile Cellphones

20. Motorola Walkie Talkies

21. Solar Charger Panels

22. Tetanus Vaccines

I am asking for your contribution and support in any possible way.

At the present moment, I am personally funding the costs of this endeavor and intend to take several suitcases full of supplies under the plane with me this week. I have also reached out to several companies and asked them to donate any of these listed supplies. I am reaching out to you for financial support and any kind of resources possible for the safe execution of these vital relief missions. I intend to purchase supplies this week here in the United States and over the next several weeks in Cebu City.

In the spirit of total transparency, I intend to post up the records of all transactions and donations associated with the relief missions. My team is legitimate, connected, and laser focused on making a positive difference in the lives of those children, women, and men in the disaster zone who really need our support right now. This is a mission of Life and Mercy. I thank you for your kind and loving support.

Sincerely,
Stephen C. Carpenter, MPH, CSP

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