The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is in the midst of preparation as Typhoon Goring (international name: Saola) placed several regions in Northern Luzon under Signal No. 1. PRC’s rescue and relief assets, equipment, and volunteers are ready to move in anticipation of the possible development of the storm into a typhoon category on Saturday (26 August).
Food trucks, water tankers, and payloaders are in place and can be mobilized instantly. Ambulances, generators, and rescue equipment have similarly been pre-positioned in vulnerable areas.
PRC Chairman and CEO Dick Gordon assured that PRC’s chapters and RC143 volunteers are prepared to be mobilized, adding “Northern Luzon is still reeling from the impacts of Egay and Falcon. Landslides can be expected to occur in this region as it experienced massive amounts of rain during the past weeks. Along with other lifelines such as food, water, electricity, and telecommunications, our payloaders are prepositioned in case landslides, fallen trees, and other debris will block roads and hamper our relief and rescue operations.”
PRC Secretary-General, Dr. Gwen Pang said that the PRC chapters in other parts of Luzon and Visayas are also prepared to respond as Goring is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon, which will also cause occasional rains to the mentioned regions.
Days after Super Typhoon Karding (international name: Noru) ravaged the provinces of Quezon, Aurora, and swaths of Central Luzon, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) intensifies its help to the most severely affected communities, focusing on those whose schools were destroyed and where farmers and fisherfolk lost their livelihood.
“Magbibigay tayo ng Php5,000.00 cash sa mga tao doon at mga non-food items din,” Gordon said. (PRC will also provide Php5,000.00 cash as well as non-food items to the affected people there.)
“Sa Burdeos, Polillo Islands, nakita namin ‘yung nagibang eskwelahan doon, sa Burdeos National High School. Bukas magpapadala na kami ng tulong doon. Sabi ko unahin nyo na ‘yung eskwelahan para ‘yung mga bata doon makapasok at makapag-aral. Magpapadala kami ng mga yero doon, at mag-hire tayo ng mga local na karpintero, upang magawa ‘yung eskwelahan ng mga bata,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon. (In Burdeos, Polillo Islands, we saw the Burdeos National High School destroyed. Tomorrow,
PRC will send help there. I told my staff to prioritize the school so that the children can go back to school. We will send CGI sheets there and hire local carpenters to repair the school.)
PRC will also send printers and school supplies to Burdeos National High School.
Gordon emphasized that the Red Cross will provide assistance to the farmers who lost their crops, the fisherfolk who lost their boats, and the thousands of families whose houses were destroyed by Karding. PRC will give cash assistance to the more than 1,000 farmers and fisherfolk affected in Polillo Islands, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, and Tarlac. For those who lost their houses, the PRC will distribute tarpaulin in the meantime, while CGI sheets and shelter tool kits are being prepared for dispatch.
“Sa mga nagibang mga bahay, magbibigay muna kami ng mga tarpaulin, kasi ‘yung mga yero na ibibigay ay mabibigat, so pansamantala ‘yung mga tarpaulin muna. Pero may yero na darating; at kapag nagbibigay kami ng mga yero, may kasamang martilyo, lagari, pako — lahat na — kumpleto ‘yan, para magkaroon agad ng cover ang mga tao,” Gordon elaborated. (For those whose houses were destroyed, we will give tarpaulins temporarily, because the CGI sheets we will give are heavy; that’s why in the meantime, it will be the tarpaulins first. But CGI sheets will arrive, and when we give CGI sheets, they come with a hammer, saw, nails — everything — that is complete, so that the people will immediately have a cover.)
The country’s foremost humanitarian organization will also give psychological first aid to the children and adults who were traumatized by the wrath of Karding.
“Noong nag-iikot ang Assessment Team ng Red Cross, maraming tao, hindi lang mga bata, pati ang mga matatanda, ang umiiyak. Na-trauma ‘yang mga yan, kaya napakaimportante ng psychosocial support. Malaki ang trauma kasi kapag tinamaan ka ng malakas na bagyo, na akala mo mamamatay ka na,” added Gordon. (When PRC Assessment Teams were going around, there were a lot of people, not just children, but also adults, who were crying. They show signs of trauma; that is why psychosocial support is very important. The trauma is serious when a strong typhoon hits you, when you think you might die.)