Hurricane Harvey

Emergency Shipments Continue to Flood-Ravaged Texas Communities

Direct Relief staff deliver the second shipment of essential medical items to Lone Star Family Health Center, located in Conroe, Texas. The center, located less than 60 miles north of Houston, provides high-quality, accessible health services to underserved communities in the area – regardless of their ability to pay. (Tony Morain/Direct Relief photo)
Direct Relief staff deliver the second shipment of essential medical items to Lone Star Family Health Center, located in Conroe, Texas. The center, located less than 60 miles north of Houston, provides high-quality, accessible health services to underserved communities in the area – regardless of their ability to pay. (Tony Morain/Direct Relief photo)

Communities in Texas remain in rescue mode as floodwaters continue to rise. The amounts of rain have reached record-breaking levels with more than 50 inches being recorded in portions of the state, according to the National Weather Service.

Ten shipments of medical aid went out Wednesday to clinics in Houston, Dallas, Katy, Beaumont, and other impacted communities.

Direct Relief medical supplies also arrived Wednesday at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, where a major shelter has been established and is serving as a temporary space for more than 10,000 people, double the center’s capacity. Direct Relief has been communicating with medical staff at the convention center to determine needs.

Medical staff at the George R. Brown Convention Center unpack supplies Wednesday from Direct Relief. The center is sheltering more than 10,000 people and medical needs are immense. (Tony Morain/Direct Relief photo)

On Tuesday, Direct Relief sent out six shipments of crucial emergency supplies to communities reeling from rising waters and Hurricane Harvey impacts.

All six shipments went out to Community Health Centers of South Central Texas. The center’s site in Victoria was particularly hard-hit by the storm’s impact, where power remained down for many and significant flooding from the Guadalupe River threatened to impact nearby cities.

Direct Relief had prepositioned 11 Hurricane Preparedness Packs in the storm’s path in Texas, each pack filled with essential medicines and supplies for use should clinics need them.

Seven of the packs have been opened and are now being used to treat patients. The Lone Star Family Health Center in Conroe, the Galveston County Health District, Healthcare for the Homeless in Houston, and Community Health Centers of South Central Texas in Gonzales are among the clinics that had packs that are now open and being used to treat patients.

Lone Star Family Health Center unpack Direct Relief medicines and supplies at a convention center in Conroe, Texas, which was being used a shelter for evacuees. (Photo courtesy of Lone Star Family Health Center)

Direct Relief is in communication with more than 60 partners throughout Texas, ten of whom are reviewing offers of assistance currently. Additional assistance is being targeted to clinics in Dallas expected to assist evacuees.

As the storm moves into western Louisiana, many clinics in the area are bracing for impacts. Ten of Direct Relief’s partner clinics are in the path of the storm in Louisiana, and one clinic has confirmed they’ve opened their Hurricane Preparedness Pack.

At the Martin Luther King Health Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, clinic staff reported that shelters have been set up in that community for evacuees coming from Houston, and around 3,500 people seeking shelter are expected in Shreveport as a result. The health center staff were using Direct Relief medical supplies to equip those shelters.

Other major shelters have been established in Dallas and San Antonio.  Medical resources are in high demand from those without access to medications to manage chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Without medication and management, conditions like these can lead to life-threatening symptoms.

Direct Relief will continue working to bolster healthcare providers with these critical medications and supplies.

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