Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm when it first made landfall northeast of Corpus Christi, Texas on August 25th.
Harvey made land fall three separate times, dropping a staggering 20 trillion gallons of water or 51 inches of rain in the Houston area and causing an estimated $100 billion in damage. It is also estimated that nearly 200,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged and area shelters swelled to 43,000 people.
ShelterBox deployed aid in Houston and other areas impacted by flooding following Hurricane Harvey. ShelterBox brought privacy and comfort to the evacuees through the distribution of its Shelter-in-a-Shelter tents.
“There are no words to describe it. I mean I can’t believe these people coming to help us like this, it’s so great. I feel like I’m in a home” - Cindy, Crosby, TX
Immediately after Hurricane Harvey’s destruction, a ShelterBox Response Team was on the ground to assess the need for emergency shelter in Houston and other impacted areas. ShelterBox coordinated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster (NVOAD), local city and state agencies, and other nonprofits to determine urgent shelter and aid needs. At the George R. Brown Convention Center, the largest evacuation shelter which housed 10,000 people, ShelterBox set up its Shelter-in-Shelter humanitarian tents. The tents served as critically needed private spaces for healthcare, lactation stations, AA meetings, and places of worship. ShelterBox also distributed blankets, solar lights, groundsheets, and school kits.
In smaller communities like Crosy, TX and Freeport, TX, ShelterBox distributed tents for displaced families, half of whose homes washed away in the hurricane. Many of these vulnerable families had young children and were living in a shelter set up at the local American Legion Club or church.
In early September, Hurricane Irma became the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, with wind speeds of up to 185 mph. Quickly followed by Maria, these back to back hurricanes pummeled the Caribbean and left widespread devastation in their wake.
Some islands – like Barbuda – were evacuated entirely. Others braced themselves for the onslaught. The arrival of Hurricane Maria made this one of the most ferocious hurricane seasons ever recorded.
We have a variety of aid in the Caribbean, so we can tailor our response to best support different communities. On some islands, like Dominica and the Dominican Republic, there are natural resources available to quickly rebuild homes with the help of a ShelterKit.
Elsewhere, like on Barbuda, our tents will be the best option – creating a warm, safe home while the long clean-up process takes place.
Since the 2011 protests in Syria escalated into civil war, the conflict has led to the displacement of 13 million Syrians, many of them vulnerable women and children. In a protracted crisis such as that in Syria and Iraq there is a well-established humanitarian architecture in place to support people affected by the disaster.
As in responses to natural disaster, ShelterBox has continued to focus on providing emergency shelter. The organization has positioned itself to offer surge capacity in times of massive displacement, such as the Aleppo Emergency in February 2016, when 75,000 people were displaced in a matter of weeks.
To help bring protection and comfort to those who have been forced to flee, or to those whose homes have been badly damaged by the ongoing violence, ShelterBox has dispatched tents, ShelterKits and other essential items like blankets, groundsheets, cooking equipment, and solar lights. In 2017, we sheltered over 12,000 Syrian families.
Throughout March, all but one of Peru’s 25 regions were hit by sudden flooding that overwhelmed defenses and gutted whole villages. Intense rains caused widespread flooding and landslides, leaving 94 dead and around 1.2 million exposed to the elements. Thousands of families were left without even basic shelter, losing their homes and their livelihoods.
Rotary and Rotaract in Peru reported widespread destruction. A ShelterBox response team worked with local authorities and Rotary to assess the damage and distribute aid to families in the northwest region of the country.
While some houses are full of thick mud, many houses built from less substantial materials were simply destroyed. ShelterBox provided ShelterKits (pictured) with tarpaulins and tools, as well as boxes containing mosquito nets, water carriers, LuminAID solar lights and water purifiers, all packed by volunteers.
The city of Mosul, Iraq has been retaken after three years in the grip of Islamic State. While forces have celebrated the fall of this Islamic State stronghold, for many regular people the nightmare continues. Years of tyrannical rule have left communities in tatters, while missiles and mortars have left the city in ruins. Families have lost sons, fathers, brothers and husbands, while homes have been destroyed.
Through the scorching heat of summer and the desolate winter, ShelterBox is working to provide shelter in Iraq. We have the materials to create shade from the sun and shelter from the wind, along with blankets and groundsheets to make the long, cold nights comfortable.
While hurricanes were striking the Atlantic, southeast Asia was plagued by severe flooding during the monsoon season. At the height of the flooding, more than a third of the land in Bangladesh was submerged. More than 70,000 homes have been completely destroyed and 500,000 are partially damaged, forcing 8 million people from their homes. The same extreme weather phenomenon has also affected large areas of India, Nepal and Myanmar too.
From where they were responding to flooding in Northern Bangladesh, a ShelterBox team was dispatched to Cox's Bazar in the south, where since August 25, thousands of Rohingya Muslim families have been crossing the border into Bangladesh to escape sectarian violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
Over 625,000 people have entered Bangladesh since August, making this the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world.
Violent conflict, caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria, has been raging since 2009. The violence has since spread to the neighboring border regions of Cameroon, Niger and Chad, directly affecting around 17 million people.
ShelterBox has been working in the region since 2009, providing shelter and essential aid items to families in Niger and Cameroon. This year, we have also started to support families in Chad too.
We’re working hard with partners across this region, delivering SchoolBoxes, tents, tarpaulins, tools, solar lights and equipment as well as hygiene kits to people living in violent, inhumane and unhealthy conditions.
Severe drought in Somaliland has affected an estimated 766,000 people since November 2016.
As the drought continues, ShelterBox is working closely with ActionAid to ensure that families have safe shelter throughout Somaliland. We have supported around 500 families with ShelterKits, including tarps, water filters and kitchen sets.
A team has recently returned after meeting families to see how their lives have started to improve since receiving ShelterBox support. Once our evaluations are complete a second and larger shipment of aid will take place.
"We used to have so many goats, but they have almost all died and there is no more pasture for those that are left." - Nimo, wife and mother of seven
Extreme drought in Somaliland has brought more than one and a half million people to the brink of famine. Half of Somaliland’s population of 3 million are nomads who depend on livestock for food and income. Due to the drought, more than 70 percent of livestock are estimated to have died, leading to high levels of displacement as families search for food and water. Complicating matters further, Somaliland is a self-declared state and is not recognized as an independent nation, leading to considerable challenges in accessing aid. Day-to-day survival needs are overwhelming, with few aid organizations focused on shelter needs.
Working with its in-country distribution partner Action Aid, ShelterBox distributed 441 ShelterBoxes to families across three regions in Somaliland in 2017. These ShelterBoxes were adapted to meet the specific needs of nomadic communities. For example, the standard family relief tent was replaced with two tarpaulins to waterproof existing shelters.
Full list of countries/territories ShelterBox deployed to in 2017: Afghanistan – flooding and conflict // Antigua and Barbuda – hurricane // Bangladesh – flooding and conflict // British Virgin Islands – hurricane // Cameroon – conflict // Chad – conflict // Colombia – flooding // Dominica – hurricane // Dominican Republic - hurricane // Haiti – hurricane // Iraq – conflict // Madagascar – tropical cyclone // Mozambique – tropical cyclone // Niger – conflict and flooding // Paraguay – flooding // Peru – flooding // Philippines - earthquake // Somalia – drought // St Kitts and Nevis – hurricane // Syria – conflict // USA – hurricane
HOW OUR WORK IS POSSIBLE
Our dedicated staff, supporters, volunteers, and partners help us go further – faster. Without you, our work would not be possible. Our partners enable us to go the extra mile and reach more people that desperately need our support. Our volunteers provide the critical link between people who need support and those who want to give it. Our highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams then go the extra mile to find the people left most vulnerable after a disaster – to make sure that no one gets forgotten or left behind. And our donors provide the funds that fuel our efforts worldwide.