CATARMAN, Northern Samar, Philippines – Last December 20, 2015, the Bukid Outdoor Shop of Tacloban organized a post disaster relief operations for the municipality of Catarman, Northern Samar. Headed by Jason Garrido, the group of five volunteers, took off early morning of Sunday from Tacloban City, joined by survivors of Typhoon Nona, Darry Dugan and daughter Zoey.
Dugan is a member of the Northern Samar Emergency Response Team (NSERT). He and his family did a preemptive evacuation from their home in Catarman, before the typhoon. Although his house sustained damages from the typhoon, his entire family was spared.
Tropical Storm Nona (international name Melor), made landfall last December 14, 2015 in Eastern Visayas and Bicol Region. Damages were brought about by strong winds destroying concrete structures, electrical and communication lines, and uprooting trees and electrical posts.
Garrido’s team turned over tents, medicines, potable water, and other supplies to the survivors in Catarman loaded in his modified truck, the team refer to as “the Millenium Falcon”. Said truck has survived the storm surge of Yolanda and was even used to deliver relief goods to Yolanda survivors two years ago.
Joining them is RE-Charge Tacloban headed by Andrea Gaurana. The team trained NSERT volunteers in the usage and maintenance of the RE-Charge TekPak, a portable solar module, housed in a water-proof, shock proof case with 100 watts modified portable solar panels, 12Vdc and 200 watts 220Vac outputs. Two sets of TekPaks were set up in downtown Catarman as power stations.
RE-Charge came up with the TekPak initiative in recognition of the urgent need of clean renewable off-grid sources of energy during post disaster situations.
The operations was a clear picture of locals helping locals. The volunteers were all Yolanda survivors who also made notable efforts during Yolanda post disaster relief operations.
“We give not because we have but, because we know how it feels to have nothing. We are Haiyan survivors,” Garrido stated after the operations. His team of volunteers included his eleven-year old son, Keenan, whom he envisions to grow accustomed to helping others.