News publications and other organizations are encouraged to reuse Direct Relief-published content for free under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International), given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

When republishing:

  • Include a byline with the reporter’s name and Direct Relief in the following format: "Author Name, Direct Relief." If attribution in that format is not possible, include the following language at the top of the story: "This story was originally published by Direct Relief."
  • If publishing online, please link to the original URL of the story.
  • Maintain any tagline at the bottom of the story.
  • With Direct Relief's permission, news publications can make changes such as localizing the content for a particular area, using a different headline, or shortening story text. To confirm edits are acceptable, please check with Direct Relief by clicking this link.
  • If new content is added to the original story — for example, a comment from a local official — a note with language to the effect of the following must be included: "Additional reporting by [reporter and organization]."
  • If republished stories are shared on social media, Direct Relief appreciates being tagged in the posts:
    • Twitter (@DirectRelief)
    • Facebook (@DirectRelief)
    • Instagram (@DirectRelief)

Republishing Images:

Unless stated otherwise, images shot by Direct Relief may be republished for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution, given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

  • Maintain correct caption information.
  • Credit the photographer and Direct Relief in the caption. For example: "First and Last Name / Direct Relief."
  • Do not digitally alter images.

Direct Relief often contracts with freelance photographers who usually, but not always, allow their work to be published by Direct Relief’s media partners. Contact Direct Relief for permission to use images in which Direct Relief is not credited in the caption by clicking here.

Other Requirements:

  • Do not state or imply that donations to any third-party organization support Direct Relief's work.
  • Republishers may not sell Direct Relief's content.
  • Direct Relief's work is prohibited from populating web pages designed to improve rankings on search engines or solely to gain revenue from network-based advertisements.
  • Advance permission is required to translate Direct Relief's stories into a language different from the original language of publication. To inquire, contact us here.
  • If Direct Relief requests a change to or removal of republished Direct Relief content from a site or on-air, the republisher must comply.

For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

Who is Vulnerable During Hurricanes: 6 Things to Know



Direct Relief engages in significant emergency preparedness and response efforts related to hurricanes and other natural events. The following list addresses several of the questions that often arise in hurricanes regarding who is most vulnerable, what to look for during, and background on the organization’s preparedness and response activities.

1.  Different risks arise from the natural environment, the built environment, and demographics—and the intersection of all three. A hurricane in an area without people or infrastructure is an event of nature. A hurricane becomes an emergency when it occurs in a populated area, where critical infrastructure exists, where substandard housing, levees, or other such items in the built environment are present.

Because risks stem from different causes, mitigating them requires different actions. Zoning and building codes guard against building in high-risk areas or with techniques that won’t withstand likely natural events. A “fog of war” analogy exists: the need to make rapid decisions to deploy resources occurs just as current, precise information becomes harder to obtain and distribution channels become damaged.” Preparedness for health emergencies through such means as stockpiling the appropriate medications or supplies depends in part upon knowing what types of medications and supplies are most likely to be needed by people in a community—the difference between, for example, a college town and a retirement community.

2.  Food, Water, Shelter, and Medical Services are the four basic immediate concerns in a hurricane or other emergency situation to safeguard people.

3.  The storm isn’t the only health risk.  Preventing injury and loss of life from storm-tossed debris, electrocution, exposure, or being caught in floodwaters are priorities for first responders and emergency personnel during a hurricane. Evacuations relate to geographic areas. But some people can evacuate easier than others. People who lack mobility or have other disabling physical or mental conditions have greater difficulty simply leaving their residences, as do those without transportation or with very low incomes.

Evacuations and damage to infrastructure—such as roads and power lines—affect the flow of information and distribution channels. This can present health risks for people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or asthma if they forget to bring their medications with them and cannot obtain a new supply. People with chronic conditions can quickly find themselves in a health crisis without access to their medications. (Direct Relief’s Hurricane Prepositioning Program with community health centers and clinics is designed to reduce such risks.)

4.  Social Vulnerability: Who is at Risk, Where, and Why. Not everyone within a hurricane’s path is equally at risk. Extensive research by Dr. Susan Cutter of the University of South Carolina regarding past hurricanes and other emergencies has identified over 30 factors that affect communities’ vulnerability in such events, including an area’s natural and built environment, its rural or urban character, and the demographic composition and income levels of the population.

In general, vulnerability is greater among people at age extremes (young and old), with low incomes, members of minority populations, and those with special health or medical needs.

5.  Financial losses can be extreme and long-lasting. Hurricane-caused real and personal property damage or destruction is often readily apparent. Less readily apparent are both immediate and long-term economic losses for individuals and businesses, which result in extreme hardship that escapes official damage estimates. Lost sales and wages, uninsured losses of personal and real property, crop and capital-equipment losses, reduced property values, business failures, and even large-scale relocation of people from an area have a compounding effect upon each other. Social vulnerability research confirms common sense intuition—including that people with low incomes often have a smaller cushion of resources to fall back on during and after a hurricane and greater challenges bouncing back.

6.  Before, During, After (Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.) Hurricanes are indiscriminate, and their effects are felt by individuals, families, communities, schools, businesses, health facilities, and governments. Preparedness at each level, from the individual to the government, enhances safety, reduces losses, and also helps target response activities during an emergency and recovery efforts afterwards.

For response activities, the principle that good information is needed to make good decisions is amplified. Direct Relief’s preparedness and response efforts focus on building information channels, working consistently with the nonprofit health centers and clinics that serve vulnerable people in high-risk hurricane areas, pre-positioning essential health resources in the areas, and building a robust distribution channel to infuse additional resources as circumstances warrant.

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