On this page >> Some ways how you can help with Nepal earthquake relief 2015 (See below).
The images of Kathmandu after the 7.8 earthquake hit on Saturday morning, April 25, 2015 are all over the web and social media. Aid agencies, Christian churches in the region, and government agencies have already been rushing in aid, helping in search and rescue efforts, and beginning assessment towards long-term rebuilding efforts across Nepal and Northern India. News sources are reporting as many as 2,000+ deaths (over 700 in Kathmandu), climbers trapped up on Mount Everest (See story in Outside Magazine), and 19 people killed — five foreign climbers and 14 Nepalese Sherpa guides — when the quake caused an avalanche that hit part of the base camp, only one year after one of the most devastating avalanches killed 16 Sherpas working for climbers and National Geographic in 2014. (Sherpas have a much higher risk on Mount Everest than those that hire them.) Nine others were injured at that time, including three who required intensive-care.
See the map of the region with impact area here – http://www.arcgis.com/apps/PublicInformation/index.html?appid=de7c7b077c0144149fe5f9dd7857361d
Here is a video of a dramatic rescue of a Nepalese teenager trapped five days in the rubble. (from http://mashable.com/2015/04/30/teenager-nepal-earthquake/)
UPDATE: We have contacted all of our clients in Nepal ( 1 was in the air on the way to Nepal), and checked in with them. All our long-term clients are safe, and have checked in. It appears three of our short-term clients may have been lost in a village on the way to Everest base camp. Multiple rescue attempts have been made to determine their status.
UPDATE: As of Tuesday, Everest above base camp is now empty – All survivors have been rescued. The 2015 climbing season for Everest, Tibet, China, Annapura, etc. is now closed.
Nothing is more heart-wrenching than seeing these pictures of people in need and sleeping in the streets afraid to re-enter homes, or now homeless, due to the earthquake. Good Neighbor Insurance is fortunate to serve many agencies and individuals who work around the world in these crisis situations and specifically, in Nepal/Northern India. Hear recent report from Matt Davas of WorldVision/INF on the remote villages here on SoundCloud.
- How can I help?
- Guidelines if you want to volunteer to help rebuild Kathmandu and Nepal or volunteer for relief and development in Nepal long-term or short-term.
How you can help Nepal:
If you had travel plans to Nepal – Cancel them until further notice. The area has only one small airport and it is overcrowded/taxed with relief efforts and soldiers/government trying to get in and out. The infrastructure in Kathmandu has been massively hit and there’s a shortage of food, water, medicines and essential supplies.
Use the internet: Google has set up a site for people to connect or request information – http://google.org/personfinder/2015-nepal-earthquake (Realize that at the moment connections, cell towers landlines, etc. are being restored and communication in remote areas of Nepal were already spotty at best.
- Quartz has created a great list of internet resources at http://qz.com/391752/help-nepal-earthquake-victims-from-your-computer/ including:
- The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap which is currently mapping Nepal’s road networks, buildings, residential areas, and open spaces with the goal of connecting communities and accommodating helicopter landings and relief efforts throughout Kathmandu and the region. The web-based organization maintains a wiki page that lists tasks and instructions that allow anyone with a computer and an internet connection to participate, and…
- The Humanitarian Digital Exchange, a platform launched last summer by the UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs with the goal of enabling humanitarian agencies to upload, analyze, and share data that can sharpen their ability to target relief efforts.
- Become a digital volunteer / digital humanitarian – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02q4348
Learn what you can do at http://digitalhumanitarians.com/. Also check out http://micromappers.org/ to help with damage assessment in Nepal.
Donate today. Here are some trusted groups and organizations that are on-the-ground with teams already in place that can use your help. Some are faith-based or christian organizations, some are governmental, some are strictly non-governmental organizations / NGOs registered in Nepal without religious affiliation.
- The Vineyard church has a series of churches, and work across a number of villages, in the region. %100 of your donation will go directly to local people helping earthquake victims needs for shelter, clothing, medical care and food: http://winnipegcentrevineyard.com/nepal-earthquake/ Here is an UPDATE on their work: http://winnipegcentrevineyard.com/nepal-earthquake-update-tuesday/
- Good Neighbors (Not Good Neighbor Insurance, but friends of ours) has been working in Gorhka and Kaski for over 10 years and has constructed schools, built community centers, established resident unions, and other development projects. They support over 24,000 people in these two communities, including over 2,000 children. You can donate to Nepal efforts in Gorkha and Kaski here: https://www.crowdrise.com/goodneighborsnepal
- Baptist Global Response/Nepal is working with teams of national partners who were equipped just two months ago with Sphere Project training, which defines international best-practices for meeting people’s needs during a humanitarian crisis. You can donate here.You can also text BGR to 80888 to donate $10 to their disaster relief fund.
- Samaritan’s Purse has an online giving option where you can help Nepal: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/donation-items/nepal-earthquake-response/
- Included has been working in the slums of Nepal for several years now. They’re appealing for funds to respond. They will roll out the funds in these three orders of increasing priority as their assessment evolves on the ground (1) provide immediate essentials (shelter and food) to the slum communities (2) pass funds locally to humanitarian aid partners to provide essentials to the larger Kathmandu community (3) provide community services to the slums once the rebuilding begins.
- Mercy Corps – Saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places. (Many of their workers lost theirs homes as well.) Give at this link.
- Save the Children, an international charity already has more than 400 people, mostly Nepali, in the country and works in 63 districts there. You can donate here.
- International Nepal Fellowship arrived in Gorkha yesterday and is liaising with local government and other aid agencies to provide basic health care. Donate from the USA | Donate from Europe | Donate from Asia.
You can also keep up to date by following their Facebook page.
Stay informed. These news channels and groups seem to be publishing the most up-to-date news on the situation in Nepal.
- http://www.theguardian.com seems to have good reporting on the earthquake, the aftermath and rescue efforts.
- ANI news has good updates/an Indian perspective: http://www.aninews.in/articledetailid/what-is-hot-4-8/nepal.html
- Reporting from remote areas is weakest due to remoteness and destruction to roads/paths.
- The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has set-up a 24-hour helpline for information and help on the Nepal earthquake. The numbers are +91 11 2301 2113, +91 11 2301 4104 and +91 11 2301 7905.
- International Nepal Fellowship has been having recent updates at http://www.inf.org/
- Audio on Sound cloud with Matt Darvas (World Vision/INF) and BBC/Nepal.
- Here is a link to news and damage assessment in Northern India.
- As always, social media channels, such as Twitter #NepalEarthquake, #Nepal), have better immediate coverage from the region.
While many of the villages struck are not far away, poor roads and steep mountains make many of them, such as Lamjung, difficult to reach. Even before the quake, it could take six hours to drive from Kathmandu to these areas. Now, many of the few roads are believed to be cut off by small landslides.
In Gorkha, the epicenter, no houses are left standing. A pastor friend of ours knows people from there – Their parents’ house is destroyed. Nathan Rieger, and some of Vineyard’s team were in Nepal for Mobile Bible School, and slept in that house two days before the quake. It gets very REAL when you know and love the people involved in this devastation.
Here are some guidelines for volunteers going to Nepal – For your health and protection.
A Healthy Relief Worker Starts at Home
Here are some things relief workers can do to make their trip to Nepal/Northern India healthier and more successful before even leaving home.
- Don’t rush to the region just yet. Read this first. Consider what you have to offer.
- By prevailing law in Nepal, you are not allowed to do volunteering on a tourist visa. In order to volunteer legally, the organization which will engage you must procure a permit and respective non-tourist visa. So ask before you travel with a non-profit, church, or on your own.
- Update your vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended vaccinations for anyone leaving for Nepal, as does the CIWEC Clinic in Pokhara, Nepal:
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG) (even if only one dose is possible)
- Hepatitis B (one dose may provide some protection, or an accelerated schedule can help if departure is at least 21 days away)
- Seasonal and H1N1 flu
- Not needed – Yellow Fever
Nepal will need relief aid for years to come, and some of these immunization routines take time. Check with your doctor as soon as you know you will be going, as well as after returning home if you become ill.
- Download the following travel medical apps – https://www.gninsurance.com/medical_apps_for_travel/ and check https://www.gninsurance.com/our-resource-hub/ as well.
- Learn to avoid diseases for which there are no immunizations.
Attacks of diarrhea and dehydration is the main risk, through intestinal parasites, amoebic dysentery and giardiasis which are chronic without proper medical treatment as well as life-threatening infections like cholera and typhoid are common. So if you have these while you are in Nepal or for one year afterwards, tell your doctor about your visit to Nepal.
Some good advice is offered on our friend’s page at http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/destinations/asia/nepal.php
Please take special care if you are working with ill or injured victims in Nepal that also includes prevention of the spread of infectious diseases since infection rates are high and expected to jump. Personnel who do not have to deal with human patients or animals should not do so. Hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley are overcrowded and running out of emergency supplies and space to store corpses.
- Get travel insurance. Even the most conscientious relief worker can become sick or injured. With the shortage of medical care in Nepal, the risk of injury or sickness, and likelihood of needing a medical evacuation for any emergency or injury is high. Even in ordinary circumstances, medical evacuation flights are expensive. especially from a remote area like Nepal, if outside the capitol. Emergency travel medical insurance coverage starts as low as $1-$2.00 a day and will guarantee you the care you need while protecting your assets from huge bills in case of an injury while volunteering.
Emergency rescue is another option for those who already have excellent int’l. medical insurance. Global Rescue and Sky Rescue are two we offer. Both cover medical evacuation by helicopter if you become seriously ill or injured there. There are about 100 GlobalRescue clients in the region now.
Inform your embassy or consulate when you arrive about this insurance and contact the number on your medical I.D. card and the embassy if you need evacuation.
- Consider your communication options. While the Kathmandu Valley was one of the highest areas for cyber cafes and internet connections – Services have been disrupted and overburdened due to the earthquake, outages, relief efforts and news reportage.
Stay Healthy While In Nepal
- Watch for physically unsafe conditions. Like all quake areas, the area around Kathmandu and throughout Nepal is now filled with dangers from rockslides, road outages, downed power lines, contaminated water and uncertain future aftershocks. Nepal has mountainous terrain and shifting rock which adds to the danger. Leaks of natural gas, sewers, and fuel is also possible. Dead bodies still buried in the rubble can spread disease. Standing water can also be a risk.
Also as with all earthquakes, there is no knowing when another aftershock will strike or how long they will continue. Eventually they should abate some, but the danger never goes away. Your job as a relief worker in Nepal may include using proper protective gear such as closed-toed shoes, work gloves, latex gloves and breathing masks. Check with your NGO about what to bring before you go. Also what accommodations you will be sleeping in since portable housing/semi-permanent tents are likely. Do you need to bring additional bedding/sleeping bag(s)?
- Eat and drink only safe food and water. Parasites live in standing water and risks of contamination are high in Nepal. Plans to take in clean water filters such as those made by Sawyer. Otherwise, drinking water needs to be bottled with the seal still intact, or it needs to be boiled for 20 minutes. Safe food is either well cooked or pre-packaged. Fruits and vegetables should be peeled at the time of consumption. If a knife or dish is used, it needs to have been washed in soap and drinking water. Water used for shaving and brushing teeth also needs to be filtered drinking water. Keep dirty hands away from your face.
- Always let others locally, and at home, know where you will be – Even reporting in multiple times a day with location, expected arrival time, route information, local contact information, etc.
- Travel/traffic in the region was dangerous before the earthquake. Traffic accidents are common and being hit by a vehicle is also a risk. Motorcycles and bicycles are not advised methods of transport.
- Anticipate daily power outages which happened even before the quake.
- Realize that cell service and data connections outside the Kathmandu Valley region are spotty at best. Make plans understanding that communications and disruptions in service even in the valley due to the earthquake and commonplace and to be expected.
Good Neighbor Insurance is committed to protecting and encouraging relief workers all over the world. We have both extensive experience in the field and insurance plans to meet every need, incl. affordable rescue plans for those who already possess good international insurance. You can check out plans on this website or call us for specific recommendations for Nepal that can be purchased online and medical I.D. cards downloaded and printed with 24/7 access.