Massive flooding and widespread destruction came with Typhoon Koppu as it hit the Philippines hard early Sunday morning and many are wondering how to help the Philippines' Typhoon Koppu victims with humanitarian support over the next few weeks. At least one person is confirmed dead, and 15,000 more have been forced to evacuate their homes after the rising tides brought down homes, trees, and power lines near the city of Manila. Although Koppu has weakened since its initial impact, which saw winds of up to 124 mph, experts forecast that the storm will bring widespread flooding to other parts of the country before it heads for Taiwan on Tuesday. More than 6 million Filipinos are in the direct path of the typhoon and with decreased access to electronic communication, evacuations in the next few days could be less effective.
Typhoon Koppu had less than ideal timing — the Philippines is still recovering from historic Typhoon Haiyan, which made landfall on Nov. 7, 2013, killing more than 6,300 people and injuring more than 20,000 others. But that disaster provoked one of the most organized international relief efforts in history, with nearly every developed country in the world providing monetary aid or personnel to help the citizens of the Philippines. In the wake of this disaster, so soon after Typhoon Haiyan, it is incredibly important to organize aid for this relief effort. Here's how you can give support to the people of the Philippines.
Sign This White House Petition For Aid
In 2013, the U.S. donated more than $37 million and sent more than 9,500 military personnel to the Philippines' relief effort. You can add your name to this White House petition to ensure that the government provides a comparable amount of aid in the coming months.
Trick Or Treat For UNICEF
With Halloween right around the corner, enjoy a throwback to your childhood by trick or treating for UNICEF, requesting monetary donations instead of candy. UNICEF has had a humanitarian presence in the Philippines since 1948 and was one of the leading organizations in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. UNICEF's classic little orange cardboard boxes are free to order and also just plain adorable. If you feel a little too old for trick or treating, put a box by your desk at work or hold a bake sale at your school instead.
Fundraise For The Philippines Children's Hunger Fund
The Philippines Children's Hunger Fund has one of the lowest overhead costs of any charity — less than 1 percent. That means that almost all the money you donate will go directly to providing food for Filipino children, so it's the perfect charity to raise money for. Check out this list of creative fundraising ideas to choose the perfect event for your community and get some friends together to organize the event.
Send A Care Package
The U.S. Embassy in Manila can receive undirected care packages for distribution to citizens and relief workers. Fill a box with some basic supplies like toiletries, clothes, and snacks, and add some handwritten letters to let the victims and aid workers know they're in your thoughts.
Volunteer With The Red Cross
If you have any experience with international field work, the Red Cross is going to need volunteers in coming months, supporting evacuees and rebuilding the country's infrastructure. But if you don't, you can start getting involved with the Red Cross here at home. You can search for Red Cross volunteer opportunities in your community, many of which will directly help the international relief effort.
Image: Philippines Children's Hunger Fund