Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that struck the Philippines will go down in history as the one of the most devastating natural disasters of our time. Without going into too much detail, it already has its place in the record books as the strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit landfall. It has left entire towns destroyed, people without food or shelter, and many families praying their missing members are not among the hundreds currently reported dead.
In the wake of the devastation, individuals, organizations, and companies are looking for ways they can help and show their support. Whether it’s building relief services, donating cash, or just making it easier for people to connect with loves potentially caught in the middle of the typhoon, technology companies are doing what they can to support typhoon relief efforts.
Tech Companies Join Typhoon Yolanda Relief Efforts 1 of 8These technology companies are supporting Typhoon Yolanda relief efforts — find out how.image credit: iTunes
Apple | iTunes donations 2 of 8
Apple has used iTunes as a tool to support previous relief efforts including Superstorm Sandy, the Japan tsunami, and the Haiti earthquakes. It now turns its attention to help Typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines. Apple will transfer 100% of funds donated by iTunes users who can donate between $5-$200 via their accounts to the American Red Cross.
image credit: Apple
PayPal | Donations 3 of 8
I'm almost positive legitimate grassroots efforts spearheaded by individuals are using their own PayPal accounts to collect money that (hopefully) will go to Typhoon Yolanda relief efforts. If you're leery about the best way to donate using your PayPal funds, the company itself lets users donate to a myriad of "official" organizations right from its website. PayPal will also send 100% of relief funds to listed organizations and will not collect any "administrative fees."
image credit: PayPal
Sony | Donations 4 of 8
The consumer electronics giant Sony has joined the ranks of companies who have decided on the "cut the check" method of supporting Typhoon Yolanda relief efforts and will contribute cold hard cash from its own coffers. The tech company has pledged a total of $15 Million Japanese yen across all its groups/divisions.
image credit: Sony
Verizon | Text to Donate Fee Relief 5 of 8
Verizon Wireless has decided that not only is it going to donate funds to the tune of dollar-for-dollar employee donation matching + $100,00 dollars via the company's Disaster Relief and Recovery Program. It will also waive its normal text-to-donate fees for all Verizon Wireless customers looking to donate by having contribution amounts added to their monthly bill. Here is a list of organizations users can text to contribute where 100% of donations will go directly to the organization:
Catholic Relief Services: Text RELIEF to 25383
HOPE Worldwide: Text AID to 80077
Operation USA: Text AID to 50555
Save the Children: Text DONATE to 20222
UNICEF: Text RELIEF to 864233
World Food Program USA: Text AID to 27722
WORLD VISION: Text HOPE to 777444
Shelter Box USA: Text SHELTER to 20222
image credit: Verizon Foundation
AT&T | Connect with displaced loved ones 6 of 8
Communication is one of the most important tools during a natural disaster. I'm sure there are plenty of people not directly affected by Typhoon Yolanda, but have friends and family who were directly in the crossfire. So the need to reach out just to make sure they are okay is very important. As a result, U.S. AT&T wireless postpaid (contract) customers will not be charged for long distance calls or text messages placed from the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands to the Philippines from November 8th through November 30th, 2013.
image credit: AT&T
Google | Search for loved ones 7 of 8
Google has decided to get more technical, and is using its tremendous amount of personal data as the backbone of its person finder tool to help individuals find out the status of people affected by Typhoon Yolonda. Users can search for people (online and via mobile device) using their name. The person finder tool can also be used to update the status of a person to keep the database up-to-date.
image credit: Google
Geeklist | Donate code 8 of 8
Geeklist is a popular social network amongst developers and programmers. So naturally, the #Hack4good geeks have decided to create diaster relief tools to aid Typhoon Yolanda efforts. The group has banded together and is currently working on five projects in the form of a giant diaster relief hackathon that will do a number of things including:
- Allow users to post if they need help based on location
- Allow volunteers to consolidate help requests
- Transmit information to blacked out areas without power
- Let people share the stories of children affected by natural disasters
- Help victims to find the right route to safety
image credit: Geeklist