Lancaster – Ohio University Lancaster Emeritus Assistant Professor of Engineering Technology Gary Lockwood is back from the Philippines and says he wouldn’t hesitate to use his engineering skills to help with another disaster response effort. Last month, Lockwood traveled to the Philippines to assist with recovery efforts after November’s super typhoon.
“I can’t tell you how appreciative the people were,” said Lockwood.
Lockwood responded to the Philippines as part of Engineering Ministries International. It's an organization out of Colorado Springs that organizes engineering mission trips around the world. He left Ohio on January 5 and returned January 26.
“It was like a bomb had gone off there. This was the worst typhoon in recorded history. They said sustained winds that were like 200 miles an hour,” said Lockwood. “I worked on restoring safe drinking water and distributing hygiene kits. The kits included soap, toothpaste, nail clippers and chlorine tablets to put into their drinking water to make it safe.”
Lockwood worked with a team of five other engineers. He was in one of the hardest hit areas in the City of Tacloban,
“It’s a city of about 200,000, and there wasn’t a house that was untouched,” said Lockwood. “There were beautiful hotels on the beach, and now they’re just rubble.”
Many of the volunteers in Tacloban were doctors, nurses, and engineers. Lockwood is a retired professor at Ohio University Lancaster and worked with Associate Dean Janet Becker to make sure arrangements were made for the classes he would miss at the beginning of the semester.
“I’m proud to be an American,” said Lockwood. “The Americans were well represented in Tacloban. It was a wonderful experience.”