Fall 2018 Updates

GER3 recently responded to three emergencies, deploying response teams and immediate assistance to the most vulnerable communities in the aftermath of hurricanes Florence (North Carolina) and Michael (Florida) as well as the Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami (Sulawesi, Indonesia). GER3 response teams deployed to the affected areas as soon as possible in order to assess the needs on the ground and tailor relief and recovery efforts to meet the specific needs which emerged after each disaster.

Responding to Hurricane Florence in September, a GER3 disaster response team immediately deployed to the region with equipment for relief and recovery. The team, in partnership with J/P HRO, targeted efforts towards critically vulnerable families affected by the flooding in Robeson County, North Carolina. The response included: Muck outs and debris clearance, pumps (for pumping water from homes), dehumidifiers & fans, clean-up kits, and identification and supply of contractors to support with mold remediation. For more details about the specific response efforts, partnerships, and results in Robeson county, please visit the project page here.

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In response to the 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia, GER3 deployed a disaster response and recovery team to conduct initial assessments, deliver assistance and design programming focused on debris management and building back better. GER3 targeted support to local communities (households, schools and health facilities) and supported the management of debris and shelter challenges they faced. For more information and photos, please visit the project page here.

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Responding to hurricane Michael in Florida, GER3 focused on maximizing impact for a few select families in a particularly vulnerable town. The team supported a local entrepreneur with a small logging business to provide debris removal for families in Blountstown. Additional information and personal experiences shared by each family supported by GER3 can be found here.

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Hurricane Michael response

GER3 is now responding to Hurricane Michael which caused devastation and a need for significant debris management operations in the Florida panhandle and many other areas.

The GER3 team has arrived in the affected area with equipment (including clean up kits, generators, telecommunications equipment, personal protective equipment, and more) and is now operational. GER3 is targeting support to especially vulnerable families and providing the appropriate support to get them back into their homes as quickly as possible.

As with all GER3 operations, we seek to use sustainable supplies, recycle available materials and respond based on the needs specified by the communities and households themselves. We plan to match the GER3 'build back better' approach to meet those needs as best as possible.

GER3 believes response is strengthened through partnerships, and is looking forward to working with other great organizations already in the area to have a deep impact on targeted families.

100% of any donations go directly to the GER3 Michael operation and will help people recover as quickly as possible.

Additionally, GER3 is now on Amazon Smile! Click here (https://smile.amazon.com/ch/81-0690876) when you do your Amazon shopping as a portion of the amount you pay will come to GER3 at no extra cost - thank you for your support!

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Updates from Indonesia

GER3 has conducted initial needs assessments with a particular focus on debris management and has initiated response programs to address needs of the most vulnerable. A small GER3 team has developed on site, including several local Indonesian team members. Equipment (generators, excavators, bulldozers, etc) have been procured and debris management operations have begun.

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New debris estimates from Urban Resilience Platform (urplatform.eu) emphasize the significant debris management work ahead in Indonesia. Estimates suggest over 6.6 million tonnes of debris. GER3 will continue to assess options for debris removal and reuse in various communities, particularly in schools.

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GER3 is now working with the government of Indonesia to help clear a school in Palu that was hit by the tsunami. The GER3 excavator has already helped to clear over half of the site. The team is considering demolition activities, assessing which materials can be salvaged and reused, and developing plans for redevelopment.


Deployment to Sulawesi, Indonesia

In response to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia, GER3 is deploying a disaster response and recovery team to conduct initial assessments, deliver assistance and design programming focused on debris management and building back better. GER3 will be targeting support to local communities (households, schools and health facilities) supporting them to manage all of the debris and shelter challenges they currently face.

Our team will work with community members to identify the most vulnerable areas, understand what the community needs are and provide support to help targeted communities recover as quickly as possible. GER3 will seek to develop programming with partners (Indonesian and international) that meets immediate and longer-term needs in a manner that respects local practices, is sustainable (usually involving the recycling of materials) and high impact.

Additional updates will be coming, but also be sure to follow our work on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

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Hurricane Florence Response

In response to Hurricane Florence, GER3 is deploying two disaster response specialists to North Carolina with response and recovery equipment (including water pumps, boats for access and rescue as needed, clean-up kits, telecommunications equipment, personal protective equipment, and more). GER3 will be targeting support to especially vulnerable families affected by the flooding in North and South Carolina. Our team will work with community members to identify most vulnerable families, understand what their needs are and provide support to get them back into their homes as quickly as possible. Likely support includes:

  • Temporary boat rescue
  • Muck outs and debris clearance
  • Pumps (for pumping water from homes)
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Clean-up kits
  • Identification and supply of contractors to support with mold remediation and targeted building repair (e.g. drywall).

GER3 is looking forward to partnering with other organizations in the area to have a deep impact on targeted families. If you are interested in supporting GER3's efforts in response to Hurricane Florence, please contact Aliisa Paivalainen at aliisa.paivalainen@ger3.org.

More updates to come!

 Google Maps Image: 2:10pm EST, September 14.

Google Maps Image: 2:10pm EST, September 14.

Support to Local Habitat for Humanity

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GER3 supported a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity by bringing tornado recovery supplies to Amherst County, Virginia. After being hit by an EF 2 tornado on April 15, the county is still recovering and rebuilding the over 140 houses and structures severely damaged by the storm. Volunteers Margaret and Thomas Bacon helped load a truck provided by GER3 in Winchester and transported the donations to the Habitat in Amherst County.

Wrapping up Support to the Waitt Foundation in Barbuda

GER3 staff have officially returned home after providing over four months of support to the Waitt Foundation in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Waitt Foundation has been operating in Antigua and Barbuda since 2014, providing resources and expertise to help conserve the islands' ocean resources. After Hurricane Irma struck Barbuda on September 6th 2017, Waitt converted its resources to provide recovery services for the affected population through the Barbuda Recovery and Conservation Trust (BRC Trust).

With support from GER3 day-to-day operational leadership, the BRC Trust operation has employed over 30 Barbudan workers, transported 828 people back to Barbuda and provided over 300 people with social services. BRC Trust programs also helped to support two Barbudan restaraunts, sponsored over 80 Barbudan children living in Antigua to attend a swimming and football camp, and helped to feed and shelter over 130 dogs abandoned on the island after the storm.

For more information, please visit the GER Projects Page.

Re-Initiation of Haiti Operations

GER3 reinitiated its Hurricane Matthew Sustainable Tree Recovery program in select communities of Dame Marie, Haiti in early 2018, thanks to a generous contribution from the MacFarlane Foundation. In just under two months the team has successfully cleared over 450 square meters of fallen trees and created 300 wooden planks from recovered wood. Eighty percent of these planks are given to the landowner to rebuild structures and livelihoods, while the remaining planks are given to local municipalities to fashion into structures for schools, health centres and communities. The program is estimated to have over 1,000 beneficiaries, including paid workers, landowners, staff and community members affected by the storm.

See pictures from the operation at the GER3 Projects Page.

Assessment Team Deploys to US Virgin Islands

GER3 will be sending an assessment team to the US Virgin Island on Wednesday, October 11th in partnership with J/P Haitian Relief Organization. Tim Williams (tim.williams@ger3.org) and Jason Riffe (jason@jphro.org) will arrive at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in Saint Croix with the equipment required to immediately begin evaluating the needs of affected communities, and how GER3 may be able to support recovery efforts.