Image description: Emergency relief supplies arrive in Tacloban, Philippines. The relief supplies were flown into the airport and then trucked to a nearby warehouse to be sorted.
After sorting, the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development, the lead local agency in charge charge of aid distribution, will distribute the supplies to affected municipalities.
Find out how you can help people in the Philippines.
Photo from the U.S. Department of State.
Locating People who were in the Philippines at the Time of the Storm
If you are trying to find an American citizen who was in the Philippines at the time of the storm, you can call the Overseas Citizens Services Department of State line at 1-888-407-4747 from the United States or Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.
If you are trying to locate a citizen of the Philippines, please get in touch with the closest consulate. Find the closest consulate in the United States.
Telecommunications have been disrupted as a result of the storm. If you can’t reach a loved one directly by phone, the State Department recommends trying to send a text message. Often text messages can be transmitted faster than phone calls.
Donating to Storm Relief Efforts
Many groups are involved in helping with relief efforts in the Philippines. The American and Philippine governments have provided information on relief activities to which you may contribute:
If you decide to donate to a charity not included on these lists, make sure you take some time to verify the charity is legitimate.
During times of crisis, scammers often prey on people looking to donate to relief efforts. They call, email or solicit donations online the same way a legitimate charity does, but then keep your money or lie about how exactly your money will be used.
Use these tips from the Federal Trade Commission to avoid being the victim of a Typhoon Haiyan donation scam.
If you plan to travel aboard, make sure you register in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, so that embassy and consular officials know how to locate them in case of natural disasters and other emergencies.