Exclusive: How the Mayor of Tacloban Survived

Exclusive: How the Mayor of Tacloban Survived

This is an amazing story of heroism, courage and guts. Mayor Alfred Romualdez risked his life to get the city of Tacloban back on its feet. He describes first-hand the power of this record setting typhoon and how it destroyed his homes. Listen in to see what he did, how escaped and how he rescued his family. It is a great example of being fulling engaged and making a difference.

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Typhoon Yolanda: Maryann

Typhoon Yolanda: Maryann

Out in the middle of nowhere and our bus couldn't go any further. So...we just set up clinic in the middle of what used to be a coconut farm. One of the first people that we met was Maryann and she could speak English! She volunteered to serve as my interpreter. You won't believe her story.

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Typhoon Yolanda: Unstoppable

Typhoon Yolanda: Unstoppable

Today is Thanksgiving! It really doesn’t feel like it. Usually, at home I’m up early and starting my day long relationship with a couple of turkeys. Today, most likely, we are going to have MREs (Military Meals Ready to Eat) and maybe some special freeze-dried desserts from REI. In a storage, simplistic way, I was looking forward to it. And… I was thankful. After all, it is Thanksgiving. There are so many things that I take for granted: Toilets that you can sit on and that you don’t have to flush with a bucket, water the comes out of the faucet that you can drink, Internet access, a bed, a shower with hot or cold water (that you can drink if you want to), sleeping without a mosquito net to get tangled in, and more. Yep, I’m thankful alright. Number one, I have a roof. Number two, it doesn’t leak.

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Typhoon Yolanda Heli-Clinics Video Update

Typhoon Yolanda Heli-Clinics Video Update

I spent my 31st wedding anniversary apart from my lovely wife, Debbie. In fact, we were 6,642 miles apart. I was in Tacloban in the Philippines and she was at home in Bremerton, WA. It's actually more confusing than that since I started celebrating it a day before her due to the time zone shift. So, in reality, I missed her a ton on our anniversary which lasted more than a day and a half.

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Typhoon Yolanda: A Nail-Biting Escape!

Typhoon Yolanda: A Nail-Biting Escape!

First thing this morning, Kelly (the IMC Logistics Specialist) and I headed over to the EVMRC (Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center) so I could introduce him to the Department of Health logistics folks. They were so well organized that despite working without any lights, they had inventoried all of their supplies and put it in an Excel spreadsheet. That may seem like to big deal but the supplies were in individual bottles overflowing from cardboard boxes stacked all around the dark rooms. The counts had to be done by flashlight even during the daytime. Kelly was able to copy it on a thumb drive. It was impressive! In the midst of all of this, the people that had lost so much were still striving for excellence and giving their all. It is so powerful and life changing to see people who realize that, despite their tremendous loss, they have the power to make a difference and the passion to put other people first.

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