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

On August 29th, Hurricane Ida made landfall in southern Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, making it the 5th strongest hurricane to hit the USA on record. Heavy rainfall, 150 mph winds, and severe flooding caused over one million people to lose powerTo make matters worse, Ida shut down several oil refineries off the Gulf of Mexico, causing gas prices to soar. The fuel shortage hindered rescue and response efforts and made it difficult for those still affected by power outages to access fuel for their generators and vehicles. As the heat index surpassed 100 degrees, many drove hours in search of open gas stations, waiting in long lines to fill up their gas cans so they could power their generators and cool their homes. 

As Ida approached the coast, FRF was preparing to deploy a team of volunteer emergency responders to assist with relief efforts. Volunteers from around the country met in Houma, Louisiana to begin assessing the damage, working with local partners to identify the hardest-hit areas and make arrangements to begin distribution to beneficiaries.

Over the last week, FRF has focused its efforts in Terrebone and Lafourche Parishes, where over 70,000 are still without power. In Houma, FRF provided 400 gallons of fuel to more than a dozen nonprofit organizations. This fuel was used to power search and rescue missions and to provide hot meals, water, diapers, and other necessities to residents in need. 

FRF volunteers also headed out to the heavily impacted community of Golden Meadow, where they have distributed hundreds of gallons of gas to residents who are currently relying on generators to charge phones, power medical equipment, and refrigerate food. “I can’t tell you what this means to us”, said one beneficiary. “Without electricity, it has just been awful. The gas that you’ve given us operates our generators...we really appreciate it. Thank you so much.” 

To date, FRF has provided nearly 12,000 gallons of free fuel to the public, first responders, and NGOs, benefiting over 10,000 people. As 300,000 people in southern Louisiana head into their tenth day without power, Fuel Relief Fund is hard at work delivering desperately needed fuel to the communities most affected by Hurricane Ida.

To view photos and videos from the team on the ground and see your donor dollars at work, follow us on social media and check out our live deployment tracker.

As always, thank you for your continued support. 

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After a successful mission in Ethiopia, Fuel Relief Fund is now on our way home. 

Over the last 4 months, FRF has worked with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) staff in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, as well as at sub-offices around the country to improve the organization's fuel management systems. In the simplest terms, the goal was to increase the efficiency and reliability of WFP's fuel supply chain.

Sounds like the goal of all FRF projects, right? Well, it is. But in this case, FRF was providing support specifically in preparation for fuel supply disruptions due to the ongoing conflict in the Tigray region, which would hinder WFP's ability to provide food and other critical aid and supplies to beneficiaries and the humanitarian operations working to assist them. To learn more about the conflict, visit the NYTimes link included in this report.

We don't have the figures on how many people the project will have serviced yet, but we'll share them as soon as they are available. In the meantime, please read the WFP press release below to understand more about the work FRF has been supporting. We are also sharing some photos from the mission to give you a sense of what it was like there and the sheer scale of the humanitarian operation underway.

These images show the UN compound where our team worked in tandem with local fleet managers; the equipment and trucks that depend on the fuel that we were working to make more accessible; and the massive amount of food aid and other resources that these trucks carry to and from warehouses before they reach beneficiaries. 

We'll be in touch soon with another update. As always, thank you so much for your continued support. It makes all the difference for us!

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WFP/Arete/Joost Bastmeijer
WFP/Arete/Joost Bastmeijer

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Happy New Year to you and yours.

2020 was difficult for all of us. As an organization, Fuel Relief Fund was hit hard by travel restrictions which made responding to disasters around the country and around the globe nearly impossible. We had to cancel our annual fundraiser and several of our projects were put on hold indefinitely. We lost time, funding, and family to the pandemic.

Despite all that, FRF is still here and working as hard as ever. And we continue to remain hopeful that this new year has good things in store.

We want you to know that the support you have given us over the years has enabled us to make it through these trying times. Thank you to everyone who donated hard earned money and time; everyone who volunteered with us; and everyone who reached out to wish us well.

Sending you health and happiness in 2021~

Sincerely,

FRF

_______________________

FUEL RELIEF FUND JANUARY 2021 UPDATE

FRF is beginning the new year with a new project. Starting next week, we will be helping the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) set up an efficient fuel supply chain for their humanitarian operations in Ethiopia where sectarian violence has lead to a massive humanitarian crisis.

To give you a little background –– In November 2020, violent conflict erupted in the Tigray region of Ethiopia between the Ethiopian National Defense Force and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, a political party governing the province. As the situation escalated, fighting over control of the land prompted sectarian attacks on civilians. Tragically, on November 9th, over 600 innocent people were massacred.

The conflict has resulted in mass displacement in the Tigray region and beyond. With people continuing to flee from their homes, a steady stream of refugees is spilling into neighboring resource-strapped countries. According to recent numbers, a total of 2.2 million people have been displaced and are in need of humanitarian assistance.

The United Nations launched an appeal for funding and aid agencies are on the ground attempting to assist those in need, but ongoing fighting and limited funding for critical supplies continues to hamper response efforts. According to UN OCHA in mid-December, “Dire shortages of vital supplies, including food, water, fuel and cash are seriously affecting people in the whole Tigray Region, including hundreds of aid workers based in the area. In multiple parts of Tigray, people have gone more than a month without electricity, running water, access to cash and telecommunication services.”

Fuel is a crucial resource on which emergency response operations depend. In collaboration with WFP, FRF will be working to ensure that fuel for humanitarian vehicles and generators is readily available. We will continue to update you on this project over the next few months so keep your eyes peeled for our next project report.

Ethiopian Conflict, WFP/Leni Kinzli
Ethiopian Conflict, WFP/Leni Kinzli
Ethiopia Conflict, AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene
Ethiopia Conflict, AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene
Ethiopian Conflict,  Leni Kinzli/WFP
Ethiopian Conflict, Leni Kinzli/WFP

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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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Organization Information

Fuel Relief Fund

Location: Riverside, CA - USA
Website:
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Project Leader:
Sarah Kruger
Executive Director
Riverside, CA United States
$2,444 raised of $95,000 goal
 
82 donations
$92,556 to go
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