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Disaster relief: An immediate response for communities in crisis
Earthquakes, hurricanes and floods can devastate communities. At Shell we work to keep our people and facilities safe when natural disasters strike. We also often provide relief for affected communities and support their efforts to rebuild for the long term. Together with governments, we aim to maintain a secure energy supply for local people.
Natural disasters destroy homes, roads and communication networks. The economic impact can be vast. At worst, they injure and even kill many of those in affected regions. Swift action is vital to help protect communities and we provide aid where it is most needed, such as in the examples below.
Fresh start after a quake
When an earthquake hit the south-western Chinese province of Sichuan in 2008, more than 87,000 people lost their lives and five million were left homeless. Shell donated money to a programme run by the non-profit organisation China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, which has provided loans to families for houses and farmers for tractors and livestock.
“Without this help, my family could not have built our new home,” says Huang Xuehui, a farmer who combined a loan with government compensation.
Support for typhoon victims
Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013, wreaking havoc. It affected over 11 million people and left over 4 million Filipinos without food, water and electricity. Shell Group donated $2.5 million for rehabilitation efforts, while Shell in the Philippines responded immediately with a programme to raise money. It helped deliver emergency relief, in part thanks to encouraging volunteers. Shell staff helped, for example, by repacking emergency provisions for affected communities.
Shell retail stations and offices were turned into drop-off centres for donations. Shell also provided fuel for ambulances, goods trucks and power generators, as well as to run port operations in the city of Tacloban with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI).
“This is a perfect example of a public-private partnership,” said PPA General Manager Juan C. Sta Ana.
This was not the first time Shell had provided support in the region. Three typhoons killed more than 1,300 people and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes in the Philippines in late 2011.
Flash floods and landslides damaged buildings, crops and roads. Shell provided funding to rebuild homes and schools across three regions.
“I worked hard for 15 years to create our home in Isla de Oro. We lost everything,” says Janet Cabalhin, a mother of two young children. “But I am one of the blessed who have been given new homes.”
In Thailand, a flood wiped out homes and livelihoods in many regions in 2011.
Shell signed an agreement with the Chaipattana Foundation, a Thai charity, in early 2012, and donated $1 million to help repair and run motorcycles and damaged farm equipment. It also supports a vocational training programme.
When floods displaced Nigerians in 24 states in 2012, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) donated $1 million to support relief efforts.
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, together with the Nigerian Red Cross Society, are bringing food, water and health care to those affected and finding ways to develop their livelihoods.
Providing critical support
In the USA, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, destroying buildings and killing hundreds.
They flooded New Orleans and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.
Shell donated $3 million to help with relief efforts. Shell employees contributed up to another $1 million. We also provided fuel for emergency services and volunteers helped with activities on the ground.
For example, Travis Allen, Shell Regional Aviation Manager, co-ordinated the helicopter delivery of food and water to the stranded Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans.
“We are tremendously grateful for Shell’s involvement in our efforts to stabilise our research and species survival centres in the wake of Hurricane Katrina,” said Ron Forman, Audubon Nature Institute president and CEO.
“Partners like Shell ensure that New Orleans will emerge stronger than before.”
Following devastating tornados in the Midwest and South of the USA, wildfires in Texas, and flooding in Pennsylvania in 2011, Shell and Motiva donated more than $750,000 to recovery efforts.
We worked closely with partners and our retail staff to find out where to give aid, providing fuel to those in need.
Our staff and retailers support relief efforts by volunteering and by quickly opening retail facilities to provide vital supplies. A Shell station in Bastrop, Texas, for example provided water, ice and food for fire-fighting teams.
When hurricane Sandy struck the north-east coast of the USA in October 2012, Shell and Motiva worked around-the-clock to restore critical fuel supplies in retail sites across four states. Shell also donated funds to support relief efforts.