News publications and other organizations are encouraged to reuse Direct Relief-published content for free under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International), given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

When republishing:

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Republishing Images:

Unless stated otherwise, images shot by Direct Relief may be republished for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution, given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

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Direct Relief often contracts with freelance photographers who usually, but not always, allow their work to be published by Direct Relief’s media partners. Contact Direct Relief for permission to use images in which Direct Relief is not credited in the caption by clicking here.

Other Requirements:

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For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

As Deadly Tornadoes Ravage Gulf Coast, Direct Relief Sends Critical Shipments to Region



Direct Relief staff prepped a shipment in response to the 2013 Moore, Oklahoma tornado. After a series of tornadoes swept through the Gulf Coast Jan. 21-23, 2017, Direct Relief is responding to the region with medical aid and supplies.

A spate of tornadoes devastated communities in several Gulf Coast states over the weekend, leaving at least 19 people dead.

At least 29 tornadoes spanning six states were reported from Jan. 21 to 23, with 15 fatalities confirmed in three Georgia counties and four deaths reported in Mississippi. On Sunday, Direct Relief reached out to nearly 300 health care partners in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, making disaster relief inventory available to storm victims. Community health organizations in Georgia, Florida and Mississippi responded, and shipments to impacted communities went out Monday and have continued since.

One health facility responding to people recovering from the storms is the Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative. The group, based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, watched as 140-mph winds tore a ragged 25-mile path across the area on Saturday morning.

“It has been an overwhelming morning,” Pati Landrum, who works as the organization’s director of compliance, said on Monday. The group has 17 healthcare facilities in the area, which serve 36,000 patients, almost a third of which are uninsured. As her team strategized how to help people reeling from the storms, they learned that two of their own staff members had lost their homes. The tornado also decimated nearby William Carey University, where thousands of students were displaced after much of the campus was damaged.

The Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative has requested over 300 hygiene kits, along with four emergency response backpacks, which include first aid and disaster relief supplies. Insulin was also included in the request, along with 500 doses of Tdap vaccine, which is used to immunize against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. The shipment will also help patients manage chronic conditions like diabetes. Diabetes medications are often lost during power outages because they must be refrigerated. Also, people often leave their medication behind when they evacuate their homes during a disaster.

The group also reported that they’ve opened a hurricane prep pack that Direct Relief prepositioned for such a situation. Each pack contains enough medicines and supplies to treat 100 patients for three to five days after a storm hits. The packs are prepositioned in coastal areas with a history of hurricane impacts, but can also be used in any natural disaster.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for 16 counties in the southern half of the state. Direct Relief has been in communication with the Albany Area Community Health Care Center and stands ready to assist any facilities that make a request.

As tornadoes swept through the eastern United States, storms also pounded the West Coast, and California has seen significant rainfall and flash flooding as a result. In early January, Direct Relief reached out to all health care partners north of, and including, San Luis Obispo. No requests have been made for aid at this time, but Direct Relief stands ready to assist should that change.

Direct Relief has a long track record of responding to weather-related emergencies across the U.S. The organization supported more than 100 Gulf Coast health care partners as they worked to recover from devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and has also been active in responding to tornadoes that the region experiences often, including the tornado that swept through Moore, Oklahoma, in May 2013.

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