As Typhoon Hagupit (locally known as Ruby) careens closer to the Philippines, Direct Relief’s Emergency Response Team continues to prepare for landfall by staying in touch with local partners and is assessing inventory of pre-positioned medical supplies in the country.
The typhoon – equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane – is predicted to hit the island nation on Saturday local time (Friday in the United States). Officials warn of possibly life-threatening winds, storm surge, and flash floods.
Staff is on the ground to facilitate relief efforts and three hurricane preparedness modules filled with enough medicines and supplies to treat 5,000 people for a month are positioned in-country. The preparedness program expanded to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, which battered the Philippines last year.
Direct Relief is in touch with medical relief teams who are preparing to respond, including Mammoth Medical Missions, which conducted extensive emergency medical relief efforts in the Philippines in the immediate aftermath of Haiyan.
According to staff on the ground, the typhoon is headed toward Legazpi where Direct Relief has close ties to the head of the Department of Health. The first landfall point is predicted to be E. Samar where Direct Relief has deep ties working with former Minister of Health Dr. Jamie Galvez Tan and with Health Futures Foundation, Inc. as well as the Governor of Samar to rebuild the health stations that were destroyed by Haiyan last year.
Partner Bumi Wadah, which provides care for mothers and their babies in addition to others in need, reports that their team is packing to evacuate away from the shore. They will set up a new clinic location further inland.
“We are concerned that the mothers who will go into labor this weekend will be able to find Bumi Wadah Foundation Philippines in the new location. The signs will be of no use during the storm. Please do not worry… say some prayers, focus your love toward the Philippines,” their staff wrote in an online message.
View a live map tracking the storm in relation to Direct Relief’s partners: http://j.mp/121Q4Lw