Hurricane Matthew: Direct Relief Commits $250,000 in Cash, $100 Million in Medical Inventory to Emergency Response



Credit: Brandon Burke, Global Empowerment Mission

As the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew comes into focus, Direct Relief has made available its entire inventory of $100 million in medications and essential medical supplies and committed an initial $250,000 in cash to aid in the response.

Haiti Response

Over the past week, Direct Relief has been coordinating its response with local partners Haiti, where two emergency modules were prepositioned before the start of hurricane season. Each prepositioned module contains enough medicines and medical supplies to treat up to 5,000 people for a month.

In times of crisis, clinics and hospitals are often underequipped to handle large influxes of patients. To help prepare local healthcare providers for an event like Hurricane Matthew, Direct Relief runs the largest hurricane preparedness program for medical supplies in the world.

Direct Relief also shipped another 86 pallets to Haiti. 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 supplies will be delivered to at least a dozen hospitals and clinics.

As damage assessments are completed, Direct Relief will mobilize additional resources in response to the specific needs of health facilities

U.S. Response

As the only humanitarian nonprofit with a fifty-state license to deliver prescription medicine, Direct Relief works with more than 200 health centers and clinics in regions affected by Hurricane Matthew.

In advance of the storm, nine emergency medical packs were stationed along the hurricane’s coastal path. Each pack contains enough medicine and supplies to treat 100 patients for three to five days after a hurricane hits.

Direct Relief is preparing additional deliveries of medical assistance in response to requests from health centers and clinics in affected areas

Mapping Hurricane Risk

Direct Relief conducts vulnerability analyses to inform emergency preparedness efforts ahead of expected storms and guide response activities in their aftermath.

While much of the attention in a hurricane focuses on the physical destruction, a storm’s human cost is determined as much by a community’s ability to react and bounce back as by its wind velocity and the volume of rain it packs.

In fact, many of the locations most vulnerable to hurricanes are inland and in rural areas. One reason is that people living in coastal regions tend to be wealthier, better prepared, and able to evacuate if needed.

Direct Relief’s latest analysis looks at four factors that make people especially vulnerable to hurricanes: mobility, poverty, health, and language.

The report is publicly available here:

Click the above image to view an interactive map of hurricane risk

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