By now, you are probably aware that the most powerful typhoon in world history (Haiyan) that hit land has wiped out certain towns in central Philippines. Casualties are estimated to be around 2,500. The worst hit areas have been on the island of Leyte, where storm surges above 13-15 ft surprised typhoon hardened residents. There's millions left homeless and there's a dire need for food and water throughout central Philippines.
While the national and provincial governments warned all citizens to evacuate from the coastal area, nothing could prepare them for the storm surge that went well into the cities. A renewed understanding of storm surges and it's potential impact 5-8 miles inland is going to be the biggest lesson that's learned from this tragedy.
How you can help: financial assistance (impact: immediate)
An organization I trust is Adventist Development and Relief Agency. They've been on the ground in anticipation of the typhoon and have local presence in the Philippines. In terms of accountability, they are highly ranked 4 out of 4 stars by Charity Navigator. DONATE HERE
The American Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trucks and teams to disaster areas through the Red Cross of the Philippines. Also highly ranked 4 out of 4 stars in terms of accountability by Charity Navigator. DONATE HERE
If you are an American taxpayer, note these are tax deductible donations and can also reduce your taxes. Work with your tax advisor for more details.
How you can help with water tablets (impact: < 2 weeks)
There are some tangible ways to donate to the Philippines. Water is a basic need in any disaster but shipping tons of water is heavy, bulky, and impractical. Dirty water in the Philippines is widely available via local streams, rainwater, aquifers, and can be converted to drinkable water by boiling it and using water purification tablets.