Gulf Coast Clinics Ready for Season’s First Hurricane

Hurricane Alex crashed into Mexico’s Gulf coast as a powerful Category 2 storm Wednesday, making landfall about 110 miles south of Brownsville, Texas. According to news reports, hurricane warnings have been dropped for the South Texas coast and downgraded to tropical storm warnings from the Rio Grande River north to Port O’ Connor. Alex will continue to pound on shore along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana through Texas, bringing heavy rains and potential flooding.

In June month, Direct Relief International pre-positioned hurricane preparedness packs at 30 clinics across health facilities from Texas to Florida. Each module contains 150 essential medicines and supplies that will treat 100 patients for up to three days. The items treat health needs ranging from wound care to chronic conditions, ensuring that clinics in hurricane-vulnerable areas have the most needed items in stock should they have to treat evacuees.

Direct Relief has been pre-positioning hurricane supplies along the Gulf Coast for the past four years to prepare clinics that treat low-income, uninsured patients for hurricane season. Three years ago Direct Relief expanded the program to include Central America and the Caribbean; Direct Relief staff members are currently on the ground in Haiti assessing the vulnerability of the large number of people displaced by the January earthquake.

Hurricane Alex kicks off what is predicted to be very active season, and with Direct Relief’s help, clinics and hospitals along the Gulf Coast, Central America, and the Caribbean are prepared to respond should a major storm make land fall.

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