U.S. Communities Hard-Hit by Hurricane Matthew; Volunteers Pitch In

Direct Relief volunteers fill personal hygiene packs on Tuesday for Hurricane Matthew victims. Over 3,000 kits will go to those who have been displaced by the storm.
Direct Relief volunteers fill personal hygiene packs on Tuesday for Hurricane Matthew victims. Over 3,000 kits will go to those who have been displaced by the storm.

While power outages, closed roads, and extensive flooding continue to disrupt U.S. areas deluged by Hurricane Matthew, Direct Relief received word Tuesday that two communities have opened prepositioned packs of medicines and supplies and are now using them to treat hurricane victims.

Before the storm, Direct Relief prepositioned hurricane preparedness packs with health care partners in hurricane-prone states. Each pack contains enough medicine and supplies to treat 100 patients for three to five days.

The Fetter Health Care Network in Charleston, South Carolina – where power is limited – has opened the pack in their area, and also requested additional supplies.  Another pack was opened and is being used for hurricane relief by the Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center in Ahoskie, North Carolina.  Reports there indicate that major flooding has occurred in five counties as the center responds to its community.

Another provider, Goshen Medical Center in North Carolina, reported that many of their sites have been closed due to water damage, power outages, and road closures. Refrigerated medicines have been lost in the outage. Anticipating a need for items such as insulin, vaccines, and inhalers, Direct Relief is preparing a shipment for delivery in the coming days.

Personal hygiene kits have also been in high demand. To address the need, over 60 volunteers gathered Tuesday at Direct Relief’s Goleta warehouse to pack over 3,000 care kits. Each kit contains items such as toothpaste, soap, and other hygiene supplies. The kits will be sent to Hurricane Matthew victims in the U.S. as well as Haiti.

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