New Zealand Red Cross international programmes manager Glenn Rose was deployed to Samoa in the hours following the cyclone. He worked with the Samoan Red Cross to identify immediate needs of the community and assess damage. In response to Mr Rose’s findings Red Cross deployed a specialist team of five aid workers to Samoa and an emergency grant of $10,000.

The team was deployed on Tuesday 18 December and worked directly with Samoan Red Cross, providing expertise in sanitation, information technology and logistics.

The health aid worker provided public health advice and conducted hand washing campaigns in the evacuation centres, the telecommunication technician assisted in the repair of the Samoa Radio network and logistics team member assisted with the importation of a 12 KVA generator, donated by New Zealand Red Cross and flown to Samoa to provide electricity back up for the Samoan Red Cross headquarters.

Andrew McKie, Manager International Operations and Emergencies, says the deployment of the Red Cross team is part of the Pacific Tropical Cyclone Response Plan.

“We worked in a very coordinated way with the MFAT emergency task force. The Red Cross delegates provided support and assistance to the Samoan Red Cross headquarters operation,” Mr McKie says.

Work by the Samoan Red Cross will continue as the needs of the communities continue to change. Recovery from the cyclone will not happen overnight and New Zealand Red Cross will be there to support the Samoan Red Cross as needed.

The most effective way to help the people of Samoa and Fiji in the wake of Cyclone Evan is by donating to the Pacific Disaster Response Fund. 100% of all donations will go towards the Red Cross response and recovery across the areas affected by the cyclone.