Hurricanes pose an annual threat to people living in regions of the United States, in the Caribbean, and Central America. Individuals who are low-income, have chronic medical conditions, or have limited access to transportation to evacuate are at a higher risk for needing medical assistance. In times of emergency, clinics and hospitals are often underequipped to handle the large influx of patients.
“On behalf of the citizens of Louisiana, especially those most impacted by the catastrophic hurricanes Katrina and Rita, I thank you for your generous donations and offers of assistance in our time of need. Your donation was invaluable to us as we responded to the emergency needs of our citizens and allowed us to begin the difficult road to recovery.” Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Governor, State of Louisiana
Smart preparation is the best defense when a hurricane strikes. Since 2007, Direct Relief has provided partner health facilities with no-cost medicines and medical supplies to improve their ability to treat uninsured patients. This program includes 50 health care facilities in hurricane-prone regions of the U.S. and 10 facilities in throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Select partner health facilities receive preparedness packs at the start of hurricane season on June 1st. Pre-positioning the packs at clinics and hospitals before a hurricane strikes eliminates delivery delays and equips medical professionals with the materials to treat injured patients on-site.
The contents of the pack were originally determined as part of Direct Relief’s participation on the Texas Blue Ribbon Commission on Emergency Preparedness and Response following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The preparedness packs include medicines and supplies to treat a variety of conditions, from trauma injuries to chronic conditions. Experience and feedback from partners is used to continually improve the contents and packaging of the pack.
The versatile materials in the packs can also be life-saving during other types of emergencies, as demonstrated during the Haiti Cholera Outbreak in 2010.
Direct Relief is able to supply these preparedness materials only with the generous donations of several pharmaceutical and medical material corporations.
Any contents remaining after the hurricane season, ending November 30, are absorbed into clinic and hospital inventories to assure that the resources are used and benefit their patient populations.
In the United States:
- Each pack contains of medicines and supplies to treat 100 patients for three to five days.
- Designed to be mobile, the packs are easily transported should a medical facility have to set up temporary operations offsite.
- In 2013, 50 clinic participants are located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
In Latin America and the Caribbean:
- Each module contains medicines and supplies to treat up to 5,000 people for one month.
- Positioning ensures that facilities are equipped to care for their patients in those first critical hours and days after a hurricane strikes, and don’t have to wait for additional aid shipments, which are often delayed by logistical challenges.
- In 2013, 15 Hurricane Preparedness Packs will be positioned in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, and Nicaragua.
Hurricane Preparedness Map
The interactive map was created to display the latest hurricane activity and show where participating partners are located for the program. Data within the map includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecasts, as well as the historical paths of hurricanes over the past 30 years, damage caused by county, and information on vulnerability.
Watch a video of explaining how Direct Relief’s Hurricane Preparedness Map works or simply view the map.