World Vision is currently helping 20,000 people to shelter from the cyclone in Bangladesh, and you can help them by giving emergency gifts through their charity gifts site .
At least half a million people are taking refuge in shelters – with local World Vision staff assisting thousands in the evacuation process – in the face of a powerful cyclone that made landfall last night on the southern coast of Bangladesh.
The cyclone is reported to have claimed over a thousand lives in the country.
The storm swept up the Bay of Bengal towards the low-lying coastal areas of one of the most densely populated nations on earth. The full extent of the damage is still unclear.
World Vision is responding with shelter and relief kits  for thousands of families forced to flee their homes.
Around 20,000 people are taking refuge in World Vision-built shelters. Kits containing food, water and other emergency relief items, including a blanket and candles, are being distributed among families.
“Nearly 10 million Bangladeshis live along the southern coast,” said World Vision’s Alex Whitney.
“World Vision has constructed more than 30 cyclone shelters along the vulnerable coast, including schools that double as disaster shelters. By preparing in advance, we can prevent a repeat of the 1970 cyclone when 500,000 people were killed.”
World Vision Bangladesh is liaising closely with the government and other international agencies to respond to the storm.
“People affected are mostly vulnerable communities that live under constant threat of natural disaster,” said Whitney.
“I was in Bangladesh a few weeks ago where I was talking to people about disaster mitigation and education. I visited schools adapted to provide vital shelter during disaster – yesterday preparation saved lives.”
Cyclone Sidr also hit western Myanmar and India’s state of Western Bengal, where high winds and rains were experienced. The cyclone is heading towards northern India where World Vision’s national rapid response team is on standby.
You can help by giving emergency gifts through World Vision  including:
Emergency cookset (£12)
Emergency shelter (£14)
Emergency hygiene kit (£17)
Emergency clean water kit (£21)
Livelihood recovery kit (£30)
Blankets for a whole family (£35)
Children's toys (£39(
Emergency health kit (£45)