As the Philippines and the world gear up to help the survivors of Yolanda, it’s our obligation to be more mindful of how we provide a helping hand.

The following suggested items are not the usual items that are donated but could help the survivors deal with the aftermath of the most devastating typhoon in recorded history in the difficult days to come.

Not all of these items may be readily available in the Philippines. However, if you can still find a way to get them to affected areas, they could be of great help.

8. Water purifying tablets and water containers (cups, tumblers, thermos, etc.)
Alternative Items for Donation photos 7

Clean drinking water is always a priority for communities recovering from devastating disasters. The containers will help keep processed water purified.

7. Can openers (along with the canned goods) and plastic dishes
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Please do not forget to provide the victims with a way to open canned goods, and a way to eat cooked food properly. Plastic dishes are light, durable and are relatively easy to clean (and lighter to transport).

6. Portable stoves, butane refills, matches, and a cooking pot
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Cooked meals are of course a luxury during the aftermath of a disaster. Yet as devastated communities recover, warm food will create that sense crucial sense of normalcy. A cooking pot with a source of heat also makes purifying water possible through boiling.

5. Sanitary napkins and new underwear
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Usually not top-of-mind, these items will be very helpful especially for women and girls. It will also help stave off potential infections. Also, don’t forget how good new underwear can feel.

4. Hand-cranked flashlight, radio, and cell phone chargers
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As affected residents wait for their respective utility companies to restore the power grid, these portable handheld generators will prove very useful. At the very least, these items allow people to see in the dark, keep track of what’s happening, and communicate with others without electricity.

3. Tents and Folding beds
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Aside from water, food, and medicine, other important needs for devastated communities are shelter and a comfortable place to sleep on.

2. Bags
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While shelter and food are the main priorities, the survivors will eventually need to regroup and maintain the physical items they can start collecting. Prioritize wearable bags that keep the wearer’s hand free, such as backpacks.

1. Used Tarpaulins< Alternative Items for Donation photos 1

As discussed in a previous list, used tarps are useful in so many ways.

Lady Santelices (Illustration)

Lady enjoyed Math during primary and secondary school. After a friend asked for a portrait sketch as a graduation gift, her dream of being an accountant changed into wanting a life in creative advertising design--making it then difficult to solve math problems. Lady now spends most of her time creating art-related works and turns her humor and wittiness into comics and illustrations. She's currently a designer for 8List. See most of her artworks, fashion blogs, and inspirations at

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