In the months since Cyclone Gita hit Samoa and Tonga, Habitat for Humanity and our partners have been working with communities to prepare for this year’s Cyclone Season and address the risks to their homes before the next storm hits.

It’s been five months since we began this work alongside the communities in Sapo’e and Matatufu in Samoa, and the changes we’ve made together there are incredible.

People in Matatufu have come together over the last five months and begun preparing their community for future storms, beginning with the most vulnerable people. Built using Habitat’s cyclone-resistant techniques and traditional materials, four of the poorest families in Matatufu are now living in stronger fale, such as the one pictured above.

For their contribution, each family cleared the site for construction and completed the home by building the wooden flooring. Together, communities are preparing for Cyclone Season with stronger, cyclone-resistant techniques.

Cyclone Season is a time of uncertainty for many across the Pacific, but with your help communities in Matatufu and elsewhere are coming together and getting prepared so they’re ready for the next storm.

The work isn’t done. People in Matatufu village are now clearing away trees which will be dangerous in high winds, and the next step is to cyclone-strengthen the pre-school so that it can double as an evacuation centre when another cyclone occurs.

Helping communities prepare ahead of cyclones keeps them safer when the storms strike and better prepared to deal with the aftermath.