Following the severe storms in 2011 that devastated communities throughout the Midwest, Direct Relief contributed $50,000 to Katy Trail Community Health Center in Sedalia, Mo. for the purchase and installation of a generator. The generator enables the facility to remain open during power outages so they can serve their community and provide backup support for their local hospital and health department following an emergency.
Katy Trail was one of five clinic and health center partners affected by flooding and tornadoes to receive a Direct Relief grant after the devastating storms. The funding enables the clinics, which experienced economic damage and significant surges in patient visits since the storms, to prepare for future emergencies and continue to provide healthcare service to low-income, uninsured patients.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), generators serve a critical purpose in local and state emergency response efforts. Installation of a generator is listed as one of the primary ways for organizations to prepare for an emergency to ensure that operations do not cease following a disaster.
As the only Federally Qualified Health Center within a one hour radius to one direction and an hour and a half in the other, it is critical Katy Trail is able to treat patients who may not have a closer option for care of their critical health needs during times of emergency.
Jacque Sousley, director of clinical information services at Katy Trail said, “We have had several disasters in our area (snow, tornadoes, wind storms) and have been without power in several instances. In a disaster where the hospital and/or community would be impacted, we are committed to remaining open to provide services and are grateful for the opportunity to serve our community in a more complete fashion.”
Katy Trail is actively involved in their community emergency planning activities and has provided vaccinations during emergencies, which require cold-chain refrigeration. The center also assisted in setting up shelters for displaced community members following the storms.
In the spirit of National Preparedness Month, visit Ready.gov to learn how to better prepare for emergencies.
Direct Relief has worked with Katy Trail Community Health Center since 2009 to provide donations of medications, medical supplies and products for their uninsured patients. Support included insulin syringes and needles, inhalers, test strips and meters, and personal care items valued at more than $158,000.