As the U.S. Atlantic Coast braces for Hurricane Earl, Direct Relief is in contact with over 100 partner clinics near the hurricane’s projected path to offer medical assistance if needed. Direct Relief is also coordinating with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) to offer support.
Hurricane Earl, currently a Category 4 storm, is headed towards the Carolinas and is estimated to make landfall later this week. According to news reports, hurricane warnings have been issued for a section along North Carolina’s coast.
“Direct Relief stands ready to respond to the first major hurricane of the season headed towards the U.S. coast,” reported Brett Williams, Director, Direct Relief Emergency Preparedness and Response.
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 states—are designed to treat 100 people for three days, equipping clinics with the medicine and medical supplies 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. Direct Relief staff is traveling to Haiti next week to meet with partners that received Hurricane Preparedness Modules—larger provisions of aid designed to treat 5,000 people for a month—and to discuss preparedness plans for the reminder of the season.
Direct Relief also continues to track Tropical Storm Fiona, which developed Monday and appears to be following Earl’s projected path.