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Disaster Relief

Ripon Rotary made a significant contribution to Rotary efforts to aid earthquake survivors in Haiti.

LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL (January 16, 2010) –ShelterBoxes are being packed around the clock.  Hundreds of ShelterBoxes that were dispatched from the prepositioned stock in Curacoa on Wednesday are due to touch down in Haiti late this afternoon, Haitian time.  More ShelterBoxes are set to arrive in Port au Prince, Haiti later this week. 

Since ShelterBox is the largest Rotary Club project in world – local Rotarians in Haiti have been a vital part in obtaining clearance for ShelterBox to land and get the life saving aid into the country.ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members David Eby (US), Wayne Robinson (US) and Mark Pearson (UK) have been in Port au Prince since Thursday and have been working nontop assessing the most effective ways to distribute the much needed aid.

A second Response Team, consisting of SRT members Mark Dyer (IL) and John Lacquey (FL) are in Miami, coordinating the ShelterBox logistical effort into Haiti from there. They will be joined later today by SRT member Ian Neal (UK) who will be travelling with the ShelterBoxes which are being shipped through Miami.

SRT Mark Pearson, who was one of the first on the ground after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, said: “This is worse than the tsunami. It’s utter chaos at the airport. Buildings have been completely destroyed, the hospital has been destroyed. It’s a full scale emergency, there’s so much destruction.”

Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox has provided shelter and dignity following over 100 disasters in more than 60 countries, bringing the organization to the forefront of international disaster relief.  ShelterBox instantly responds to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid. In many cases “ShelterBoxes” have made the difference between life and death. 

Each “ShelterBox” supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and lifesaving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. 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