Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines Nov. 7, Rotarians and ShelterBox USA have been responding to the disaster providing funds and tangible relief to assist the thousands left homeless.

Called the most powerful storm ever to make landfall, with winds of 195 mph and gusts up to 235 mph, Haiyan is reported to also be the largest storm ever recorded. The storm was over 300 miles wide, roughly equal to the distance between Boston and Philadelphia.


In response to the disaster, the Rotary Clubs of Lakewood and Rocky River donated nearly $5,000 to purchase ShelterBoxes for those affected. Each box costs $1,000 which includes materials and transport.

ShelterBox contents include a disaster relief tent (big enough for an extended family) designed to withstand extreme temperatures, high winds and heavy rainfall, and water purification equipment that can provide a typical family up to three years worth of clean and safe water.

Also included are a hammer, axe, saw, trenching shovel, hoe head, pliers and wire cutters. There’s a wood burning or multi-fuel stove and pots, pans and utensils, and a children’s pack containing drawing books, crayons and other supplies to help mend hearts.

The contents are tailored depending on the nature and location of the disaster, with great care taken sourcing every item to ensure it is robust enough to be of lasting value.

Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organizations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.

Since its inception in 2000, it’s been ShelterBox’s mission to deliver humanitarian relief worldwide in the form of equipment and materials that bring shelter, warmth and dignity to people made homeless by natural and other disasters.

In 2012, ShelterBox became Rotary International’s first project partner, enabling both organizations to collaborate more closely to bring relief and temporary shelter to survivors of disasters worldwide.