8 Digital Ways You Can Help The Victims Of Typhoon Haiyan In The Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Typhoon Yolanda) ripped through the Philippines from November 3rd to 11th, achieving the infamous title of “strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall.” Twenty-foot storm surges and wind gusts of 195 mph left behind a path of total destruction throughout Tacloban, Leyte, Cadiz City, Guiuan and Busuanga. (Keep in mind, Hurricane Katrina had winds of 175 mph.)

The official death toll is up to 1,866 confirmed, but is expected to rise to more than 10,000 by the time all the bodies are recovered. An estimated $865.4 million in damage has been done, but the biggest task ahead is getting food, water and supplies to the 11.3 million people affected by Haiyan. According to the UN, this includes 673,000 people who are now displaced, with nowhere to live. Thankfully, social media and internet resources have made it easier than ever for people abroad to send aid.

8 Digital Ways To Help Typhoon Haiyan Victims

haiyan devastation

Image Source: VOANews.com

1. Put your money where your mouth is.

An aid worker writing for Slate Magazine prompts Americans, “Send money, not your hand-me-downs.” The most efficient way to get money into the right hands is to send it to groups that are down there working. These include:

– The Philippine Red Cross – Provides search & rescue, clean-up, food and medical aid
– The American Red Cross – Provides family tracing service and food aid
– World Food Programme – Provides emergency food assistance to families and children
– UNICEF – Provides clean water, hygiene supplies, vaccines, nutrition, and recovery shelters for children
– The International Rescue Committee – Provides disaster clean up and debris clearing services
– Habitat For Humanity – Provides repair kits and housing materials

2. Shop til you drop with Amazon & eBay… and donate!

This time of year, we’re looking for door-buster sales and gearing up for Black Friday. The next time you visit your favorite online stores, be on the lookout for “Donate” pages when finalizing your order. Paypal and eBay are among the top sites offering the option to send relief.  According to an official eBay blog post, when people donate, the merchant will proportionally deliver up to 100% of proceeds from seller fees to non-profits. Look for this button in the upper right hand corner of your Amazon landing page:

haiyan donations

Image Source: Amazon.com

3. Text your support.

The Salvation Army is accepting $10 donations by text. Simply send the word TYPHOON to 80888 to make a $10 donation. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go toward sorting, shipping and distributing all donated goods in the relief effort.

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4. Download a few new songs on iTunes… and send money.

The iTunes store now allows customers to donate $5 to $200 to Typhoon Haiyan victims via the Red Cross, which is providing food, shelter, emergency support and other assistance. Any additional profits will be used to help other victims of natural disasters.

5. Geo-tag social media posts.

Twitter is a great tool for providing updated information to the masses during disasters. Of course, there are many people who exploit tragedies just to get their micr0-blogs noticed. Help cut the clutter by volunteering your time to MicroMappers. You’ll be helping to organize, visualize, analyze and respond to the tremendous wealth of information pouring in. By using tweet and image apps, you can geo-tag types of social media to get the right information out to first responders. Volunteers can sign up here to indicate availability. You will then be added to a Skype chat window where you’ll receive further instructions on using the platform.

mapping haiyan

Image Source: NBCNews.com

 6. Use hashtags for help.

Do you have helpful information about survivors or relief efforts? People are using the following tags to reach out:

#YolandaPH – to share weather updates , emergency numbers, photos and videos

–  #RescuePH – to notify rescue personnel of a person’s geographic location

– #FloodsPH  – to report flooding

– #ReliefPH – to help rescue workers find people in need of food and water

7. Create an app with GeekList.

Tech-savvy geniuses are uniting to work on five projects designed to help victims of Haiyan:

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– Relief.io – a prototype site where anyone can post if they need help or provide help based on location

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– Sagip.me – a prototype site that consolidates requests for help from volunteers working on the ground

– A new site that gathers information transmitted from blackout regions via Philippine Amateur Radio Association

– A Facebook app that shares the stories of children affected by Haiyan and solicits donations to help families

– A traffic app to help victims find safe travel routes

You can volunteer your expertise here.

8. Create a sponsored post on Facebook and Twitter.

Go beyond a status update to reach more people by creating a “promoted post.” For less than $10 on Facebook, your message will be moved to a more prominent position online, where everyone in your feed and your friends’ friends will see it. On Twitter, you pay when people re-tweet, reply, favorite or click on promoted tweets.

sponsored posts

Image Source: MarketingLand.com

Technology is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?! If you run a business that wants to incorporate more social media, web design, blogging, mobile and digital marketing into your brand strategy, please contact us for a free quote on a full suite of customized web services for businesses big and small.

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