Responding to Isaac and excessive flooding along Gulf Coast


The Direct Relief Emergency Response Team has been in continual contact with dozens of partners along the Gulf Coast, monitoring health needs and offering its emergency supply of medicine and medical supplies to the hurricane and tornado affected areas.

One of Direct Relief’s partners, Dr. Monir Shalaby, Medical Director of EXCELth Primary Health Care in New Orleans, reported that EXCELth is primarily working with locals who were evacuated and are returning to their homes. Dr. Shalaby anticipates that tetanus vaccine and flu immunizations will be needed for individuals involved in debris cleanup. EXCELth has been an active Direct Relief partner since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and participates in the Hurricane Prep Pack program.

Isaac, which was weakened to a tropical storm on Thursday, is still dumping heavy rains and bringing excessive flooding along the Northern Gulf Coast. It has been reported that over 975,000 people are without power in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

In advance of hurricane season Direct Relief equipped 50 clinic partners in hurricane-prone regions of the U.S. with hurricane preparedness packs. Each pack contains enough medicine and medical supplies to treat up to 100 people for three to five days.

Direct Relief’s Hurricane Preparedness program –the largest effort of its kind in the U.S. – is a million-dollar initiative that pre-positions large quantities of medicines and supplies at nonprofit health centers, clinics, and hospitals in at-risk areas to be used during emergencies to treat vulnerable people. The pre-positioning of these medical resources is a key component of Direct Relief’s emergency preparedness efforts and ongoing assistance to partner clinics to facilitate a fast, efficient response when a disaster strikes.

Direct Relief tracks the latest storm activity and every partner receiving a hurricane pack using interactive mapping technology. View map here:

Wednesday marked the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, where over 1,800 people died, making it one of the five deadliest hurricanes in United States history.

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