As a long-serving member of the California Emergency Management Agency’s Business and Utility Operations Center (BUOC) — an association of private, public and nonprofit organizations established to address large-scale emergencies in California — Direct Relief is being called to channel private resources to local health centers affected by the Oroville dam crisis.
While mandatory evacuation orders are lifted for the Oroville area, officials caution residents to be ready to evacuate again at a moment’s notice.
Since the crisis emerged on Sunday, Direct Relief has maintained regular communications with local health facilities and is continuing to coordinate its response with emergency officials at the State and county level.
As the only nonprofit licensed to distribute prescription medications in all 50 states, Direct Relief is acutely sensitive to the health crises that can arise in mass evacuations.
In such situations, people often leave their medications behind or find that evacuation centers lack the cold storage to keep medications like insulin at the required temperature. As a result, people with chronic health conditions – primarily diabetes, asthma and hypertension – are at particular risk.
Direct Relief will be closely monitoring the situation in the coming days and is prepared to respond in the event it escalates.