Thursday, Direct Relief completed its 60th Hurricane Harvey emergency delivery since the storm made landfall last week. The shipments have gone out in response to requests from partner organizations in Texas that are providing care, in shelters throughout the affected region and in their existing community health centers.
The deliveries were in response to requests from 18 health centers, clinics, public health departments and Texas Children’s Hospital. The medical staffs at these partner facilities are supporting five shelters, including the large shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
Prior to hurricane season, Direct Relief had prepositioned specially designed emergency health kits at health centers throughout Texas and other hurricane-prone states so they would have immediate access to essential inventories in a situation such as Hurricane Harvey. The contents of the emergency health kits are based on experiences during prior emergencies, beginning with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita 12 years ago, and are designed to care for 150 patients for 72 hours and with particular attention to items such as insulin, asthma inhalers, and anti-hypertensive medications that, if unavailable, can result in emergency situations.
Eight of the pre-positioned kits have been opened and used for both patients at the facilities and at shelters where medical staffs have taken the kits to provide care. Four additional kits were delivered this week, with an additional three being shipped Friday.
Direct Relief staff members onsite in Texas also have made emergency deliveries to multiple sites and purchased essential items requested by health centers’ staff ranging from refrigerators for vaccine and insulin storage to basic hygiene items for evacuees.
Late Thursday afternoon, Direct Relief received from Eli Lilly a large-scale delivery of insulin that will be shipped Friday to several sites in Texas caring for patients with diabetes who are among those displaced by Hurricane Harvey.