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Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors

by Fuel Relief Fund
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Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors
Emergency Fuel for Disaster Survivors

Dear Friends,

On August 27th, Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 storm in Cameron, Louisiana. Though Hurricanes Katrina and Rita famously ravaged Louisiana, Hurricane Laura is the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the state (tied with a storm in 1856). At its peak, Laura attained sustained winds of 150 mph (just 7 mph short of a category 5) and caused significant storm surge and torrential rain. Trees snapped in half, roofs were torn off houses, buildings were flooded, and 900,000 households lost power. Despite 1.5 million people having evacuated from the region in the days prior, Hurricane Laura resulted in 26 deaths in Louisiana alone.

Fuel Relief Fund had been monitoring the storm for a week. Up until the night before, it was unclear whether or not an emergency response mission would be necessary. But in the 24 hr period directly preceding landfall, Hurricane Laura's winds intensified by a whopping 65 mph and the FRF team quickly mobilized. Within a day, our first emergency responder was on the ground in the affected area.

We procured over 8,000 gallons of gas and diesel and stationed our fuel tanker in the center of hard-hit Lake Charles. At that point, not a single gas station was open for many miles in any direction and first responders had run out of fuel for critical vehicles and equipment. People in the storm's path had lost everything – their jobs, cars and homes. Without fuel, they had no lights, refrigeration or air-conditioning. They couldn't charge their phones to call loved ones or drive their cars to seek medical attention. The situation was dire.

The team spend the first day exclusively fueling police, firefighters and other first responders so that the response effort wasn't hindered. Then, they focused their attention on filling up every gas can and car they came into contact with. Starting at 6:30 am, people began queuing. They waited for hours in the hot Louisiana sun on lines that stretched for miles to get fuel for their portable generators and cars.

All in all, Fuel Relief Fund provided 2,200 gallons of free fuel to humanitarian organizations and first responders, supporting emergency response activities across the region. 5,800 gallons of fuel were given to over 1400 affected people and families to help them meet basic needs during this incredibly challenging time.

Another successful Fuel Relief Fund mission thanks to generous donors like you. To learn more about our work in Louisiana from the people it impacted, watch the beneficiary testimonial videos attached to this report and on our vimeo page. 

Until our next update, stay safe and thank you.

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Dear Friends and Supporters,

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. To varied extents I'm sure you are all dealing with your own professional and personal crises, so this is just a brief update to stay connected and keep you in the loop on our efforts.

After a difficult couple of months and the unfortunate cancellation of our annual fundraiser, Fuel Relief Fund has found a place in the global pandemic response. Over the past several weeks we have been in conversations with the World Food Programme's Global Logistics Cluster (GLC) regarding prospective supply chain challenges due to the coronavirus and the recent collapse in oil prices. While there have not been many reports of fuel shortages or access constraints to date (with the exception of unique situations in Yemen, Venezuela, etc.), humanitarian operations around the world are bracing for a fallout, especially in highly vulnerable areas where Covid outbreaks are certain to wreak havoc on supply chains.

In response, FRF and the GLC are launching a new co-chaired venture: The COVID-19 Fuel Task Force. Harnessing the knowledge, skills, and resources of a select group of humanitarian and fuel industry colleagues, the task force's overarching goal is to ensure continuity of global humanitarian operations from an energy perspective and safeguard against shortfalls in beneficiary fuel access. We will be utilizing existing fuel price tracking and humanitarian data collection platforms as well as developing our own tools and products to map shifts in the global fuel market, establish or connect to early warning mechanisms, and identify mitigation and contingency measures.

This is a critical time for contingency planning among United Nations and NGO partners working in a variety of unstable and underresourced countries and FRF is privileged to be able to provide some assistance through this new initiative. We will keep you abreast of developments here on the GlobalGiving site (and you can always visit our website or more information!). In the interim, we hope that you take joy in knowing that FRF is making a difference in some small way during this very challenging time –– and that's thanks to YOU!

Wishing you all the best. 

Sincerely,

Fuel Relief Fund

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Dear Friends,

Happy Holidays! We hope you're having a wonderful holiday season and enjoying the time with friends and family.

At Fuel Relief Fund, the holidays are a time to take stock of how lucky we are to be doing the work we do. All year round, we see people struggling through the hardest circumstances they've ever experienced. In the wake of a major disaster, survivors lose more than just their possessions: In the most tragic cases, they may lose family members, friends, or neighbors, but almost everyone that we speak to says they've lost any sense of normalcy in their lives. And that can take months or even years to regain. 

There is nothing that we are more grateful for than our ability to make a difference in these people's lives at a time when they need it most. Even if it's just filling a single gas can for someone, that's one less thing they'll have to deal with that day. FRF's emergency response deployments are hard–logistically, emotionally–but they are always worth it. 

                                                              ___________

Things have been relatively quiet on the disaster front since we returned home from our relief mission to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian. So, while we have a little time on our hands, the FRF team has been putting our resources towards improving our response capacity through developing necessary training for responders; improving systems for data collection in the field; and building our base of amazing supporters who make our work possible. 

Every deployment is a learning experience for us and an opportunity to get better at what we do best. From Dorian, for example, we learned that we should always deploy one additional team member whose sole role is to serve as a communications and reporting focal point (taking that burden off of the shoulders of the fuel management volunteers). Among other things, this person will liaise with government officials to ensure that FRF is getting aid to the areas that need it most; collect demographic information from survivors we assist; and track every drop of fuel that we give away. 

                                                  ___________

As we come closer to the New Year, we want to make a special plea to all our supporters to get more involved, not just in FRF's work, but in any charitable venture that you care about. 

When you are lucky enough to count relative health and safety as some of your blessings, you are in a unique position to help those who are less fortunate. And disaster survivors are nothing if not unlucky. So, this holiday season, take a moment to count your blessings and, if you can, pay it forward. 

THANK YOU to everyone that has supported us this year and throughout our ten years of disaster relief work. Your generosity means the world to us and to everyone that we serve.

With Gratitude,

Sarah

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Dear Friends,

On September 1st, Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm made landfall in the Bahamas. The strongest hurricane on record in the Bahamas, Dorian brought powerful 225-mph winds and crushing storm surge of up to 23 ft., resulting in widespead devastation, injury, and death to residents on the northern islands. When the storm finally passed, the Fuel Relief Fund team made it's way to region, arriving on Great Abaco Island on Saturday, September 7th, 2019. 

As is often the case, FRF was one of the very first responders on the ground, and despite being in the most hard-hit area, the team reported an eerie stillness upon arriving: There was no power, no businesses operating, and barely a search and rescue team in sight. For some of the team, the destruction on Abaco was like nothing they had ever witnessed – entire neighborhoods had been flatterened by the storm. 

It was clear that fuel would become the most critical relief supply, so FRF got to work. Within the first few days, we had distributed over 2,000 gallons of gas and diesel to hundreds of disaster survivors, and numerous first responders and aid agencies. Relief efforts by the United Nations, Heart to Heart International, Team Rubicon, OpenWorld Relief, Help.NGO, Samaritans Purse, and two US-based search and recue teams were supported by FRF fuel donations. When the rest of the team and a ship carrying a larger load of fuel arrived later that week, FRF ramped up operations, bringing bladders and drums of fuel to locations across Great Abaco and sorrounding areas.

By the end of the first full week, 8425 gallons of fuel had been given away to power–among many other things–medical clinics, portable water treatment facilties, emergency operations centers, humanitarian basecamps, search and rescue equipment, and home generators for civilians. With the help of the Dutch Military, FRF was able to begin airlifting fuel drums to isolated outer islands where survivors had not recieved any other aid. 

Today, September 18th, marks the 11th day of around-the-clock response operations by Fuel Relief Fund in the Bahamas. As we begin to wind down the mission and help the Bahamian Government's National Emergency Management Agency transition into the recovery phase, we are reminded of how lucky we are to have your support, and the support of so many people around the world. To date, donors have helped Fuel Relief Fund give over 15,000 gallons of free fuel to responders with 40 different agencies and to thousands of civilians who desperately needed it. 

We cannot thank you enough, so we'll leave you with this message of gratitude from Darryl, a disaster survivor and resident of Great Abaco Island:

"Thank you from the people of Abaco. We love and appreciate you all at Fuel Relief Fund. You have been simply amazing and you have helped us save so many lives,...kept people going and given people hope."

With Gratitude,

Fuel Relief Fund

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FRF Cyclone Idai Response: Beneficiaries Snapshot
FRF Cyclone Idai Response: Beneficiaries Snapshot

Dear Friend,

We hope you've had a wonderful spring and are looking forward to the summer as much as we are! Here are a couple quick updates on our work:

Cyclone Idai

When we last updated you in March we were mobilizing a team to go to Mozambique in response to Cyclone Idai. We successfully completed that mission in April, providing emergency fuel assistance to thousands of people in need. As a thank you to our many wonderful supporters and as a way to keep all our constituents in the loop about our work, we created an end-of-mission report in the form of a StoryMap. The StoryMap will take readers through the entirety of the deployment – from the alert to FRF's departure back to the United States. Check it out!

FRF Turns 10!

On May 27th FRF celebrated its 10th anniversary as a registered 501(c)3 charity in the United States. Since our start, we have responded to disasters in the continental United States (6 times!), Puerto Rico, Haiti (twice), Ecuador, Turkey, the Philippines, Japan, Nepal, and Mozambique. We've had the privaledge of being able to help hundreds of thousands of people through our own deployments and on-going fuel supply chain management projects. We have also supported first responders, NGOs, international humanitarian aid agencies, and the United Nations agencies in disaster contexts around the world. 

In honor of this anniversay, FRF has launched a new website. The new site captures the essence of our work, tells the stories of our deployments, and provides concrete information on how you can get more involved. You can check the site for updates on our activities and opportunities to volunteer or intern. 

We're proud of what we've been able to accomplish over the years and are humbled by the incredible outpouring of support we've recieved from donors like you. As always, thank you! And please feel free to reach out to us (info@fuelrelieffund.org) with any questions or feedback that you might have. We'd love to hear from you.

With Gratitude,
Sarah Kruger

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Organization Information

Fuel Relief Fund

Location: Riverside, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Sarah Kruger
Executive Director
Riverside, CA United States

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