As Tropical Storm Karen approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast, Direct Relief’s Emergency Team has reached out to its at-risk health center partners who have pre-positioned medicines and supplies on hand in case of emergency.
Though the winds carrying Tropical Storm Karen have dropped and it is not expected to become a hurricane, NBC reports that experts recommend people in the area brace for a significant storm. Storms that are relatively low on a hurricane scale can still cause substantial damage, such as Category 1 Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which caused nearly 300 deaths and more than $68 billion in damage.
At the beginning of hurricane season (June 1), Direct Relief deployed Hurricane Preparedness Packs to 50 communities in nine hurricane-prone states to ensure readiness for the season.
The extensive pre-positioning effort guards against storm-related health risks by providing portable stockpiles of medications and supplies that are most needed in the aftermath of a hurricane.
The packs contain more than 160 separate items identified by experience, usage, and adjusted based on ongoing feedback and experience from partner organizations in an expanding number of states each year since the program began in 2007.
Each U.S. Hurricane Preparedness Pack holds enough medical supplies to treat 100 patients for a variety of conditions, from basic trauma injuries to chronic illnesses, for a 72-hour period. This supply allows the partner organizations to continue providing essential services while needs are assessed and additional medicines and supplies can be shipped.
Direct Relief’s team will be on standby over the weekend as the storm makes landfall. Please follow our Twitter account @DirectRelief for updates.