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Juanita Rizabal stands with her children where their home stood before typhoon Haiyan.

Heifer farmers in Calubian, Leyte, are crediting Heifer's Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction trainings with saving their lives during super typhoon Haiyan. 

Susana and Florencio Talle (pictured above) told Heifer Philippines regional manager Rico Locaba they were thankful the family of nine made it through the storm, and said that the outcome may have been different if they had not had the disaster preparedness training. 

“We are thankful for the Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction Training (CMDRR) Heifer gave us. Our family seriously prepared for the typhoon. It saved our lives." Susana said. Locaba said there were no casualties in the Calubian area. 

The Talles' home was destroyed by the powerful winds, which made landfall in Eastern Visayas last Friday with maximum sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts of up to 230 mph. But the CMDRR training taught them other valuable lessons, which they are already applying, they said.

"Thank you for teaching us the value of savings. With our savings we immediately bought nails necessary to fix our home, but we need more to make it sturdier and safer especially for our children," Susana said.

"We also bought some food but our supply will soon run out due to lack of available supply in the market.” Florencio added.

Help us meet our goal of raising $250,000 to meet our farmers' basic and critical needs in the wake of this storm. 

Heifer Philippines pioneered the Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction training four years ago after Heifer identified the exposed island nation as its number one country of concern in terms of natural disasters. Saving money is part of that training, along with securing livestock, water, firewood and feed, harvesting crops for food, and safeguarding important papers.

Heifer teaches that, often times, the scale of natural disasters prevent responders from getting to the scene for days. Families, then, need to be ready and equipped. 

The Talle family is among the 4,730 families in Calubian, Leyte, whose houses were either totally or partially damaged. 

"We are very thankful to Heifer for the CMDRR workshops. It enabled us to achieve zero casualties in our municipality, unlike in our adjacent towns. Heifer is the first organization to check on our condition and situation," said Agustin Dignos, representative of Calubian Municipal Mayor Doroteo Palconit.

Help our farmers get back on the road to realizing a future free of hunger and poverty.

Author

Annie Bergman

Annie Bergman is a Global Communications Manager and helps plan, assign and develop content for the nonprofit’s website, magazine and blog. Bergman has interviewed survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, beekeepers in Honduras, women’s groups in India and war widows in Kosovo, among many others in her six years at Heifer.