Hurricane Matthew Roars through Caribbean, Direct Relief Responds


Hurricane Matthew

Damage from Hurricane Matthew is seen in communities outside of  Les Cayes, Haiti.
Damage from Hurricane Matthew is seen in communities outside of Les Cayes, Haiti.

Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti just west of Les Cayes, bringing with it winds of more than 140 miles per hour.

Click on the image above to see where Haiti is affected by health concerns like cholera. These preexisting challenges may be exacerbated by Hurricane Matthew.

A storm of Matthew’s strength would present a serious threat anywhere. The risk is even greater in Haiti, where a variety of challenges concerning health, the economy, and the environment are present already.

Direct Relief’s Response

757 Cargo Plane Lifts Off for Haiti, Carrying 16.7 Tons of Life-Saving Medical Aid

Direct Relief’s extensive hurricane preparedness medical supply program — which has grown into the world’s largest in recent years — has pre-positioned two of the specialized modules in Haiti in anticipation of this type of event. These modules contain enough emergency medicines and medical supplies to treat up to 5,000 people for a month and ensure healthcare providers have what they need to treat patients on-site after a disaster. This way, the damage that occurs to roads, bridges, and ports does not affect their ability to respond.

In Haiti, two of these modules were prepositioned in the hurricane’s path. Additional modules are staged in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and multiple hurricane prep packs – a smaller version of the medical modules – are prepositioned along the southern and eastern coasts of the U.S.

Another 86 pallets were shipped recently to Haiti and have arrived in the country. The shipments, sent in preparation for the storm, are equal to about five ocean freight containers, with a total value of $13 million. When the country’s roads open up, the pallets will be delivered to at least a dozen hospitals and clinics.

Direct Relief is mobilizing additional items that are a priority for medical care during the storm. These include antibiotics, vaccines, rehydration products, wound care supplies, IV solution and tubing, and medications for a range of chronic health conditions.

Long-Term Commitment

Since the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Direct Relief has been the largest private provider of medical aid into the country. This includes responses to a number of disease outbreaks including cholera, dengue, chikungunya, and most recently, Zika. To date, Direct Relief has supported over 200 medical facilities with donations of specifically requested items totaling $220 million wholesale.

Direct Relief will mobilize additional support and respond to the needs of local partners.

Support the Response

Policy Regarding Hurricane Matthew Donations

People who would like to contribute to Direct Relief’s Hurricane Matthew response can do so by visiting Direct Relief’s donation page and directing their donation to “Hurricane Matthew.”

As with other large-scale emergencies, Direct Relief will use all contributions designated for Hurricane Matthew solely for relief and recovery efforts related to Hurricane Matthew.

No portion of any contribution for Hurricane Matthew will be used for fundraising purposes. A bequest pays 100% of Direct Relief’s fundraising expenses.


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