Hurricanes, typhoons and tropical storms can wreak havoc even in developed nations, but countries suffering from poverty, deforestation, or inadequate emergency services confront potential catastrophe.
Strong winds, heavy rain, tidal surges, flooding and mudslides can kill or injure thousands. Children and their families who live near the coast — or in poorly constructed housing — can become homeless for months. Ineffective evacuation plans can also put children and their families in danger. Afterwards, water-borne diseases like cholera can spread rapidly.
That's why, before disaster strikes, UNICEF works to enhance emergency response in communties from Latin America and the Caribbean to the South Pacific that face rising sea levels and intensifying storms due to climate change.
In the aftermath of storms like Typhoon Haiyan and Typhoon Hagupit, UNICEF provides rapid lifesaving emergency relief: water purification tablets, vaccines and nutrition supplements for children and nursing mothers, tents and temporary shelters for families, school kits, and services like post-trauma counseling and reuniting children separated from their parents.
Then, after a storm, UNICEF helps communities build back better with improved access to education, stronger health systems and reliable disaster preparedness.