Calgary man headed to Philippines to help with typhoon relief

November 26, 2013 • Asia • Calgary Sun

Written by Renato Gandia
Published by Calgary Sun on Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Equipped with experience in helping Haitians during an earthquake disaster, a Calgary man is en route to the Philippines to assist super typhoon victims.

Michael Dytynyshyn, 29, will help with logistics and food distribution in the worst hit areas of the country that was left devastated by super typhoon Haiyan about three weeks ago.

“I have mixed feelings because I’ve been talking to people in the Philippines and I think I know what to expect.”

“It’s going to be very challenging,” said the man who spent time in Haiti in 2010, as part of the Samaritan’s Purse response to the crippling earthquake disaster.

“There’s so much hurt and need-more than any one aid group can manage.”

Early this month, Haiyan hit the Philippines, crippling major infrastructures, leaving millions homeless and killing at least 5,235 people.

In Haiti, Dytynyshyn helped purchase emergency supplies and work with customs issues.

He said he’s expecting to do similar tasks during his 30-day stint in the Philippines.

To-date, Samaritan’s Purse has dispatched a 27-member, specially trained Disaster Assistance Response Team working out of Cebu City and sent a chartered Boeing 747 cargo jet loaded with enough plastic sheeting to provide emergency shelter for 12,500 families.

The disaster relief group has also sent community water filtration systems and storage tanks capable of providing safe water to thousands of Filipinos, medical supplies, mosquito nets, and blankets.

It has sent thousands of hygiene kits, including soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, detergent and other items.

It has medical staff and volunteers on the ground, plus equipment and supplies, to provide essential health services.

Dytynyshyn said since they have a hospital set up in the disaster area, it’s possible he’d be asked to help out there.

“I’m just going in and doing anything that needs to be done.”

For 40 years, Samaritan’s Purse has responded to disasters in Canada and around the world, including the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and last summer’s massive flooding in southern Alberta.

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