As the U.S. Gulf Coast and Mexico brace for Hurricane Alex, Direct Relief USA program staff is in contact with partner clinics near the hurricane’s projected path to offer medical assistance if needed. The team is also coordinating with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the Texas Association of Community Health Centers (TACHC) to offer support through their associations.
“We think we are okay—lots of rain, but we still have power,” reported Emily Alpert, Operations Director at Brownsville Community Health Center in Brownsville, Texas, today. “Thank you for your care and concern.”
Direct Relief has a long history of responding to hurricanes and readying clinics in anticipation of the influx of patients that often occurs during emergency situations. For the third year running, Hurricane Preparedness Packs were pre-positioned at clinics and health centers in Gulf Coast states to help them prepare for the hurricane season. The packs—30 in all, placed across five Gulf States—are designed to treat 100 people for three days, equipping clinics with the medical resources they need on hand if a hurricane hits.
Since hurricanes don’t recognize international boundaries, Direct Relief’s Hurricane Preparedness Program reaches Caribbean sites as well, including Haiti. A Direct Relief team is currently traveling in Haiti, visiting partners supporting the recovery from the devastating January earthquake and delivering eight Hurricane Preparedness Modules, larger provisions of aid designed to treat 1,000 people for a month in an emergency situation.
Alex is the first named hurricane of 2010. Hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, is expected to be very active this year.