Direct Relief works daily to equip healthcare providers who care for vulnerable people on an ongoing basis and during emergencies. Direct Relief’s strong network of trusted partners enables Direct Relief to assess immediate healthcare needs, understand the situation on the ground, and respond quickly and efficiently when a disaster strikes. This solid and extensive network is the foundation of our emergency principles and preparedness work.
Direct Relief’s approach to disasters is to support the immediate needs of people by working with local partners that are best situated to assess, respond, and prepare for long-term recovery. Each emergency is unique and has specific characteristics that are dependent upon local facts and circumstances.
Coordinating with local, national, and international responders to avoid duplication of efforts and logistical bottlenecks, Direct Relief’s efforts are always in direct response to specific requests from partners and are coordinated to ensure the most efficient use of resources.
Direct Relief understands the importance of preparedness and works to equip its vulnerable communities before disasters strike. Based on years of experience responding to large-scale emergencies worldwide, Direct Relief has developed programs that help address the needs of vulnerable communities before a disaster strikes. This includes pre-positioning emergency medical materials with healthcare facilities in areas vulnerable to hurricanes (featured in the below map).
Informed by the response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Hurricane Preparedness Program began in the U.S. Gulf States and has expanded each year to include nine states in the U.S. as well as seven countries in Central America and the Caribbean. These materials are delivered annually before hurricane season starts in June and, if not needed for emergency response, are absorbed into regular inventory for patient care.
In the U.S., Direct Relief equips MRC volunteers with the basic supplies they need to provide medical care during an emergency. These “grab-and-go” packs contain products, supplies, and medicines that these trained healthcare workers need to respond to emergency situations in their communities.