Nightly News   |  November 11, 2013

US relief efforts ramp up

Across the U.S., organizations are mobilizing to help the Philippines recover from their devastating storm. One such example, Team Rubicon, has deployed veterans specializing in relief work, and the Filipino-American population is holding donation drives. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

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>> the u.s. government is contributing an initial $20 million to the worldwide relief effort. that number will grow. this initial money will provide emergency shelter , food, water and sanitation. tonight, preparations are under way for starters to send the u.s.s. george washington aircraft carrier battle group from hong kong to the philippines to help with relief efforts as well. meanwhile a lot of americans are waiting to hear about loved ones and they are stepping up to help. we get more on that from nbc's mike taibbi in southern california .

>> reporter: laura henderson has been glued to the tv and internet since last thursday.

>> saying that all these families are gone.

>> reporter: she finally heard from her own father that he and her brother and mom had made it but hasn't heard from an aunt who suffers from diabetes. you don't know if she can survive with a medical condition .

>> no, we don't.

>> reporter: medications and food and water and more are on the way. big nonprofits like direct relief in santa barbara with with warehouse filled with donations to be shipped out asap.

>> it won't do any good unless it gets into the proper hands this the proper place with the proper controls sthrks the team rubicon squad deployed veterans specializing in relief work .

>> going to try to help at least rebuild the community and hopefully leave it a little bit stronger.

>> reporter: of course, relief efforts are ramping up within the huge phillipino-american population.

>> it's very horrible.

>> reporter: in the digital age, phillipi phillipino-americans are using social media to spread the word about relief efforts.

>> facebook has been my source of getting that information so that i can ask my network of friends to help.

>> reporter: there are still many vigils like this one. phillipino emigre tors wondering if loved ones survived. if they did and they are injured or ill, are they getting the help they need? four days later the relief effort is straining to meet the need. hour by hour, even minute by minute, more help on the way. mike taibbi , nbc news, pasadena.

>> for our viewers who wish to know how to help we have put all kinds