Hurricane Michael

Communities Brace for Impact as Hurricane Michael Escalates to Category 4 Storm

Hurricane Michael gathers strength in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is expected to make landfall Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of NOAA)
Hurricane Michael gathers strength in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is expected to make landfall Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of NOAA)

Hurricane Michael, churning towards the Gulf Coast, is now a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 145 miles per hour.

The storm is expected to make landfall in the Florida panhandle on Wednesday, and could have devastating impacts on the area. The National Weather Service said the storm could create a “catastrophic event the likes of which this region has never seen.”

Direct Relief staff have contacted 190 partner health facilities in the storm’s projected path in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, and will be responding when medical aid is requested. Storm-prone communities already have caches of medicine ready for use if needed, and 10 facilities in Hurricane Michael’s path already have emergency medical packs prepositioned for staff to use, as part of Direct Relief’s hurricane preparedness program.

Each pack contains enough medicines and supplies to treat 100 patients for three to five days and includes medicines to manage chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Continuing Response in the Weeks After Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Michael’s path could impact areas still reeling from Hurricane Florence’s wrath. The Carolinas were seriously impacted by the earlier storm, and some communities still have standing water weeks later.

Direct Relief has been continuously supporting the health centers and free clinics in Hurricane Florence-impacted communities since the storm made landfall. Since that time, 74 shipments of medical aid have gone out to more than 21 health centers and free clinics.

On Tuesday, eight shipments left Direct Relief’s warehouse as part of Hurricane Florence response, containing personal care items for people still displaced from their homes, Tdap vaccines, and insulin.

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