Active Disaster Response programs
In the wake of a disaster
Habitat’s Disaster Response assesses our options for responding as quickly as possible. Habitat collaborates with community leaders, local government, humanitarian aid organizations and Habitat affiliates on a wide array of long-term and sustainable solutions. Disaster Response also offers technical and organizational expertise in order to begin construction of transitional shelter and new housing, repairs and reconstruction as soon as possible. For response activities such as land preparation, construction activities and skills training, Disaster Response facilitates community involvement and support.
Disaster Response implements disaster mitigation and preparedness activities to help communities reduce their risk of future disasters. Disaster Response also introduces methods to acquire skills and generate income through the production of construction materials.
Current active Disaster Response programs
- Chile, Earthquake
In the early morning hours of Feb. 27, 2010, a devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck the coast of Chile, 200 miles southwest of Santiago. Approximately 500,000 homes sustained considerable damage, and 2 million people were affected. Habitat is helping low-income families by building new homes and repairing existing homes.
- Haiti, Earthquake
An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010—just 10 miles west of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Thousands of buildings and homes were destroyed. Millions of people were affected, and 1.5 million people were left displaced or homeless. Habitat has addressed shelter solutions for low-income families and has begun recovery efforts that include emergency, transitional and reconstruction solutions.
- El Salvador, Hurricane Ida
Hurricane Ida affected thousands in El Salvador in Nov. 2009, with a reported 130 deaths and 60 missing. More than 1,800 homes were damaged by the storm, and 209 were completely destroyed. Habitat El Salvador is assessing possible damage to both Habitat homes and other houses in order to formulate a disaster response plan.
- Philippines, Typhoons
In September and October, 2009, metro Manila and nearby Philippines provinces were battered by typhoons Ketsana, Parma, and Mirindae. These typhoons affected more than 4.6 million people―killing at least 938 people and damaging or destroying more than 277,000 homes. Habitat is assisting 10,000 families through the distribution of shelter repair kits and plans to build 2,000 transitional shelters and 4,000 core houses for flood-affected families.
- Vietnam and Cambodia, Typhoon Ketsana
Typhoon Ketsana struck Vietnam and Cambodia in October 2009. The storm is said to have killed at least 337 people and forced half a million from their homes. In Vietnam, Habitat plans to serve 10,000 families in five communities with roofing repairs. Habitat Cambodia is offering technical and construction assistance to affected families.
- Samoa, Pacific Tsunami
A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake caused tsunami waves that struck several South Pacific island nations early on Sept. 30, 2009. The tsunami took more than 190 lives, and many of the villages and resorts on the southern coast of the Samoan island of Upolu were wiped out. The Samoan government has decided that 425 fales (traditional houses) will be built in the first stage of the response. Using a combination of Samoan and Kiwi labor, Habitat for Humanity New Zealand is managing the construction of 325 of these homes.
- Indonesia, Earthquakes
A powerful 7.6 earthquake struck near the city of Padang, Indonesia, in the early evening hours of Sept. 30, 2009. This followed a 7.0 earthquake in West Java on September 2. The earthquakes left 81 people dead, 1,297 injured and 41 missing. Additionally, approximately 100,000 homes, 3,000 schools and 500 office buildings were damaged. In response, Habitat for Humanity Indonesia plans to build 2,500 core houses in Sumatra, laying the cornerstone for the first house in the Village of Korong Pasa Bali Kudu in November. Habitat will also assist families through the provision of toolkits and a cash-for-work program to clear debris. One thousand families will be served through the first phase of the West Java response, with the first 200 core homes expected to be completed by the end of December.
- India, Flooding
On Sept. 30, 2009, the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were hit by the worst floods in 100 years. Affecting more than 2 million people, the widespread flooding killed 247, displaced more than 1 million and destroyed more than 370,000 houses. Habitat plans to repair and renovate 3,000 houses, construct 3,000 houses and provide water and sanitation services to 1,000 families.
- United States, Flooding and severe weather
In 2008, floods, tornados and severe storms caused considerable damage to communities in the Midwest. Habitat engaged in a wide variety of local efforts to aid these disaster-affected communities, with a key focus on Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where more than 5,000 homes were flooded, and almost 20,000 residents were displaced. A 20-home blitz build was organized by Habitat in June 2009 as the beginning of a local effort to help restore some of the affordable housing lost in Cedar Rapids.
- Fiji, Flooding
In January 2009, tropical storms caused major flooding in several Fiji provinces, forcing 6,000 people into emergency shelters. Habitat has launched a project to serve 105 families over an 8-month period by installing hurricane proofing retrofits in 80 homes and repairing 25 homes that have been damaged.
- China, Earthquake
On May 12, 2008, an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale struck Wenchuan County in China’s densely populated Sichuan Province, killing more than 50,000 people and injuring more than 300,000. Other affected areas include Beichuan County, Deyang city, Mianyang city and Dujiangyan city. In the first phase of reconstruction Habitat is working towards its goal of building at least 728 earthquake resilient, two-story wood-frame houses. Habitat also plans to rebuild nursery schools, health clinics, activity centers and libraries and outdoor exercise areas in Pengzhou city.
- Myanmar, Cyclone Nargis
Cyclone Nargis, a Category 3 storm, hit Myanmar (Burma) on May 2, 2008. High winds, heavy rain and flood waters affected more than 2 million people, killing an estimated 78,000, injuring 56,000 more and displacing 500,000 people from their homes. Working through the partner organization World Concern, Habitat is building transitional houses. To date, more than 550 families have been housed.
- Pakistan, Earthquake
A massive earthquake struck Pakistan and neighboring India and Afghanistan on Oct. 8, 2005. An estimated 3 million people became homeless as a result of the earthquake. Habitat distributed 800 winter survival kits, 599 blankets and 150 tents; constructed more than 400 dome-shaped transitional shelters and 346 permanent houses; provided sawmill services for more than 5,500 families, and continues to serve affected families.
- Indian Ocean Tsunami
Habitat has built, repaired and rehabilitated houses with families affected by the 2004 India Ocean tsunami in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. To date, Habitat for Humanity has assisted more than 20,000 families with permanent housing and provided disaster mitigation training for almost 5,000 more.