It takes a long time to pick up the pieces after a catastrophic storm, but Israeli volunteers are often there to shoulder the burden and save lives. 

When news got out in November 2013 that the Israel Defense Forces had set up a field hospital in Bogo City in the wake of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, hundreds of people rushed there for medical help.

For some it was the first medical care they had ever received. Over a period of nearly two weeks, the IDF medical team treated 2,686 patients, including 838 children. Some were victims of the typhoon; others were suffering from chronic illnesses.

The category 5 Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded worldwide. It devastated portions of Southeast Asia, and in particular the Philippines, where 6,300 people were killed, 27,000 injured and some four million left homeless.

Israel was among the first countries to send support to the ravaged archipelago. Within hours, Israeli medical professionals and aid workers, as well as government officials and a first-responder Home Front command team, set out to offer assistance.

Israel has a long history of sending lifesaving aid abroad in the wake of some of the world’s most catastrophic storms and floods.

Click here for a list of the many examples when Israel sent aid to other countries.

By: Nicky Blackburn/