Disaster Response

With more than 1.2 million members worldwide, Rotarians are on the ground and ready to take action to help communities recover when disasters strike.

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Rotary members and The Rotary Foundation play a unique role in disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts. Working closely with our partner ShelterBox and other organizations that specialize in disaster relief, Rotary members lead projects to support every phase of a community's recovery.

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Rotary supports three phases of relief:

  1. Immediate response: Our local clubs and partners immediately offer helping hands and supplies.
  1. Short-term assistance: Our clubs and districts help affected communities wherever we can through funds and materials to re-establish day-to-day operations.
  1. Long-term rebuilding: Our clubs plan and implement projects that rebuild affected communities.


    We deliver the essentials families need to begin rebuilding their lives after disaster. 

    Each disaster is different, and so is every community. We don’t believe that one size fits all, so we spend time talking to affected families to make sure we provide the right support at the right time. 

    For some disaster-hit communities, our family-sized tents are the best solution until they are able to start rebuilding their homes. In other disasters, heavy duty tarpaulins, ropes and nails are needed to create emergency shelter or to patch-up damaged buildings. 

    Sometimes we even include corrugated iron to make resilient roofing, or mattresses to make warehouses habitable – whatever it takes to help people recover from disaster. 

    We know that a home is much more than bricks and mortar or tarpaulin and tent pegs. That’s why we also offer other disaster relief items that are essential for survival and can help to turn a shelter into a home. 



    When disaster strikes, families need shelter to feel safe again. When they can’t start rebuilding their homes immediately, durable tents can make them feel safe and protected. 

    Depending on the weather and the place, the shelter needs of families differ. That’s why we’re committed to providing families with the best possible solutions that suit their needs. 

    From padded tents that can safely accommodate a stove, to medium-sized tents that fit in small spaces and ones that can last years if needed, families can feel like home again. 

    When storms in Fiji caused terrifying destruction, our tents gave families like Diane's a safe place to sleep until they could start rebuilding their home. 



    We provide ShelterKits which include a selection of hardwearing tools and materials that are customised to suit the needs of each community. 

    The tools and materials we send provide the essentials families need to start rebuilding homes straight away, ranging from tough tarpaulin and timber to corrugated sheeting and even room dividers.  

    The versatile tools we provide help with everything from clearing rubble to building shelters and even tending crops.

    Our tools can also be used to build furniture, cut firewood and make repairs. 


    Solar light LuminAID

    Our solar lights can last up to 24 hours on just one charge on the lowest setting.

    They are lightweight and waterproof, making them easy to carry in any situation. 

    Because they are so safe, cheap and easy to use, families use solar lights in different ways – for work, education, family activities, or simply moving around at night.

    They are more than just light - they can provide comfort and allow families to regain their livelihoods. 


    Grey blanket

    Blankets, groundsheets and mattresses not only provide vital warmth, but comfort too when families are recovering from disaster. 

    These simple items can be used in a variety of ways, from bedding to room dividers, and help turn a shelter into a home. 

    Read Ahmed's story to see how our blankets and mattresses are helping families in Syria protect themselves from the bitter cold. 


    Water filter
    Safe drinking water becomes one less thing to worry about

    When disasters devastate the landscape and force families far from home, it can be hard to access safe, clean water. 

    By providing families with water containers and purification equipment, safe drinking water becomes one less thing to worry about. 

    Families like Tshamaya's in Cameroon have used water filters to produce safe drinking water and eventually stop the stomach aches caused by drinking dirty water. Read Tshamaya's story.


    Kitchen set including pots and pans

    Family meals help to provide the framework of everyday life.

    By providing cooking sets, containing a range of sturdy utensils, families can spend quality time together. They can eat meals that provide normality and nourishment.


    Mosquito nets

    In countries where insect-borne diseases are common, our mosquito nets are a simple and effective way to keep families safe.

    Coated with insecticide, the mosquito nets offer an extra layer of protection by killing insects on and around the net. 

    A Shelter Box

    A ShelterBox of aid

    The way in which we deliver aid to families varies with every disaster, but our ShelterBox is at the heart of what we do.

    Packed with many of the aid items above, and more, it represents our practical approach and symbolises the opportunity we have, together with our supporters, to transform lives. 

    Our sturdy green ShelterBox is an essential part of our aid range, and not just for storage. We've seen families use it as a work bench, a wardrobe, a seat, and even a crib! 


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