Despite never being established as an emergency response organisation, SurfAid has responded to five large emergencies - the Boxing Day Tsunami (December 2004), Nias Earthquake (March 2005), Mentawai Earthquakes (September 2007), Padang Earthquake (September 2009) and Mentawai Tsunami (October 2010).

Due to our strong relationships with the local surf charter industry, we have been able to mobilise emergency supplies quickly and efficiently to get aid to stricken villagers, often through wild and dangerous seas.


The first phase of an emergency response concentrates on distributing food and non-food assistance, including shelter, hygiene and building kits, and assessing the immediate needs of the affected communities.  We then provide a database for government and non-government agencies so that the emergency response can be co-ordinated.  This first phase response normally lasts for two weeks (but can be longer, depending on circumstances) and then we move into a longer term recovery phase.

SurfAid’s most recent emergency response in the Mentawai after the 25 October 2010 tsunami included four key components: Rapid Assessment, Emergency Relief, Crisis Management and Early Recovery.

SurfAid also created a Psychosocial Support Program aimed at getting children’s lives back to a sense of normality by engaging them in educational and fun activities to decrease stress, and thereby promoting community participation and cohesiveness.

For these three months, SurfAid is providing three streams of activities:

Phase 1: Early Recovery 15 November 2010 – 20 February 2011

1. Provision of a systemised Disease Prevention Treatment Project, based on standard community Posyandu (local health clinic) services
2. A Psychosocial Support Program
3. A temporary shelter program, assisting the communities build temporary shelters until more sustainable solutions are provided via non-SurfAid assistance.

Phase 2: Recovery 21 February – end October 2011

Following the early recovery program there will be a nine-month recovery program. This will involve:
1. A continuation of Psychosocial Support Program for a further nine months
2. A nine-month Sanitation and Hygiene program from 21 February
3. A nine-month Emergency Preparedness program from 21 February
4. A three-month Nutrition program from August

SurfAid is firmly focused on disaster recovery. We have been active in the Mentawai for the past 11 years, and we plan to continue to work in the Mentawai over the long-term, with our programs related to community health and wellbeing, and disaster risk reduction.  


SurfAid is a non-profit humanitarian organisation whose aim
is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people
living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.
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