18 April 2016 — Helping After Natural Disasters


By Club consensus during a 10 January 2016 planning session, the “poll” at the bottom of the Program page has been removed. Members are asked to post a comment each week. If you don’t have something interesting to say–although with our members we know what you have to say is interesting–feel free to say “Present” or “Here” or “Be-Bop-a-loo-bop ramma lamma ding dong” or write your favorite color, just let us know you were here.


SUNDAY, APRIL 24 — 12:30pm to 2:00pmOur FOURTH SUNDAY meeting for April! Speaker: Ron Stewart, a volunteer with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).  We gather in The Fireplace Room at Denny’s, 5525 Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.  (Meeting reminders: Inspiration, JoAnne; Pledge, Reed; Four-Way Test, Yoko; Rotary Minute, Jorge)  BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING in The Fireplace Room at 11:00 a.m.

SUNDAY, MAY 1 — 10:00pm to 4:00pm  — The next ONE MORE ITEM FOOD DRIVE, in support of Valley Food Bank, at Gelson’s in Sherman Oaks.


We have launched our Clunkers4Charity fundraiser! If you know of anyone (yourself included) who wants or needs to donate a car for tax purposes, send them to our website…and to the Clunkers4Charity “Link” you see at the right side of this page. Funds we raise will go right into the community for our projects.







Last week two major earthquakes hit southern Japan, the second so significant that it showed the first to have been a mere foreshock leading to the major seismic event. Days later, an even larger earthquake–and more devastating due to difference in infrastructure–struck Ecaudor.

Shelterbox, the organization created by a Rotarian (the inventor of the object of the same name), immediately prepared to assist. This week’s program is an opportunity to remind us all about Shelterbox, what it is, and how it saves lives.


(as of April 17, 2016)

UK-based disaster relief agency ShelterBox is monitoring the situation, in the wake of recent quakes over the last week in Myanmar, Afghanistan and the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. All this seismic activity across Asia and the Pacific has put the area on heightened tsunami watch. ShelterBox currently has teams in Fiji responding to two cyclones that have flattened buildings and drawn an international aid response.

ShelterBox Operations Team Lead James Luxton says, ‘There has been no request by the Japanese government yet for international support. If it does come ShelterBox has response teams on standby, and aid prepositioned across SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand, so we are ready to act rapidly.’

‘The US and UK governments have also offered support directly to the Japanese government, so we will see if any is accepted at that level. There is considerable seismic activity currently in the region, but fortunately none of these events has yet resulted in a tsunami. There was a tsunami advisory warning associated with the latest quake, but this has since been lifted.’

‘We monitor the tsunami prediction services to ensure we know as early as possible if there is any tsunami risk. Our teams in Fiji are selecting accommodation which is elevated from sea level to mitigate against this risk to themselves.’

Most of those who died in Thursday’s quake were in the town of Mashiki where more than 1,000 people were injured. Around 40,000 people initially fled their homes, with many spending the night outdoors. This morning’s quake happened as more than 130 aftershocks from the first earthquake had rocked the area.

Cornwall-based ShelterBox was one of the major aid responders to Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in 2011, distributing over 1,500 ShelterBoxes and 10,000 sets of winter clothing. 11 March 2016 marked the fifth anniversary of that event, which claimed 19,000 lives.


(as of April 17, 2016)

In Ecuador a state of emergency has been announced in six provinces. Buildings are down in the coastal regions, particularly around Guayaquil the second largest city in Ecuador. The current count is 77 dead and over 500 injured, but this will rise. Within Ecuador those evacuated from the coast due to the tsunami threat have now been advised to return home, so more information will come in regarding those badly affected areas.

There has been no request for support from the government yet, however it is still night-time in Ecuador and the extent of the damage will become more apparent during the day. We have contacted South American organisations with whom we have worked previously to gain more information on how ShelterBox may respond to this situation. ShelterBox has aid prepositioned in Colombia and Panama.


The late Jim Dyer was a local Shelterbox Ambassador, visiting Rotary Clubs and other local organizations to teach about Shelterbox. In January of 2012, Jim gave us a tour of a Shelterbox, right on his driveway in Malibu.

If the embedded video is not visible, please click here to view it on YouTube.


The main website of ShelterBox USA

The main website of ShelterBox, its UK headquarters.


The opinions expressed by guest speakers, or in advertisements that appear on external websites linked to this program, are those of the speaker(s) / websites / advertisers and not necessarily of the Rotary E-Club of The Greater San Fernando Valley or its members. No endorsement is implied. Programs are presented for informational purposes only.



10 responses to 18 April 2016 — Helping After Natural Disasters

  1. I have long been both an appreciator of and advocate for the work of ShelterBox. This organization (along with Cardborigami, here locally) is an excellent example of effective, low-cost response to the problems of homelessness and population displacement after natural disasters.

  2. Thank you, ShelterBox!

  3. Thank you for sharing one of this Club’s best online programs, not only demonstrating the tremendous positive impact Rotary has had through its support of Shelterbox on many of those affected by some of the world’s worst disasters, but also sharing the generosity of spirit embodied by Jim Dyer.

    Raising funds for Shelterbox has long been a project I’ve wished to do in Rotary. I hope our Club finds a way to contribute in a meaningful way to this essential humanitarian endeavor.

  4. I love the idea of working on a project to support Shelterbox! Sounds like a good conversation to have at an upcoming meeting.

  5. Great program and very timely. Just as side note. We should all be prepared here. Please remember some of the top local scientists, including Caltech and JPL are saying (no statistical certainty of course) that risk of another major earthquake in California is high.

  6. I had heard of Shelterbox before. Nice to see the video. I agree with Linda C. Let’s discuss a project to sponsor a Shelterbox or a CRT.

  7. Shelterbox is a terrific program. It would be great if our club could find a way to support it. It is certainly worth having the discussion.

  8. Always love this program, we should definitely discuss a way to move forward with ideas to sponsor a Shelterbox.

  9. I love ShelterBox. Such a great way to help in a disaster.

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