Hurricane Michael

Direct Relief Commits $250,000 in Emergency Grants to Hurricane Michael-Impacted Health Facilities

Mexico Beach, Florida, was demolished by Hurricane Michael's impact in the Florida Panhandle. Many in the region are still displaced from the storm, and health centers and free clinics in Florida's Panhandle are working to regroup and continue serving patients. Direct Relief is issuing $250,000 for emergency costs to support their efforts. (Photo by Zack Wittman for Direct Relief)
Mexico Beach, Florida, was demolished by Hurricane Michael's impact in the Florida Panhandle. Many in the region are still displaced from the storm, and health centers and free clinics in Florida's Panhandle are working to regroup and continue serving patients. Direct Relief is issuing $250,000 for emergency costs to support their efforts. (Photo by Zack Wittman for Direct Relief)

Direct Relief today committed an initial $250,000 in cash and made available its current inventory of more than $85 million in medications and other medical products in response to the continuing emergency in Florida caused by Hurricane Michael, which has resulted in at least 26 deaths across four states and caused thousands to evacuate.

Many health centers and free clinics in Florida have sustained damage to their facilities, are lacking power, and have staff who remain displaced.

Direct Relief is providing emergency operating grants to be used immediately to enable these facilities to continue services. Health facilities in neighboring states impacted by Hurricane Michael may also apply for grant funding.

Direct Relief emergency response staff brings medical supplies to Mexico Beach after Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle. Photo by Zack Wittman for Direct Relief. October 14, 2018.
Direct Relief emergency response staff brings medical supplies to Mexico Beach after Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle. (Zack Wittman/Direct Relief)

The grants are meant to cover repairs to storm-damaged health facilities, the purchase of mobile health units, generators and other costs incurred by health centers and free clinics that are non-reimbursable through insurance.

Direct Relief offered similar support to clinics in Texas and Florida after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

In addition to cash support, Direct Relief delivered requested medical supplies to facilities responding to the crisis, including emergency health kits containing essential medicines and supplies, as well as medicines to manage chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma.

Direct Relief staff pack emergency medicines and medical supplies bound for PanCare Health, based in Panama City, Florida. (Bryn Blanks/Direct Relief).
Direct Relief staff pack emergency medicines and medical supplies bound for PanCare Health, based in Panama City, Florida. (Bryn Blanks/Direct Relief)

Direct Relief is working to supply facilities in the area with requested medications to keep people out of local emergency rooms, which have been seriously impacted by high patient volumes.

Direct Relief staff have been coordinating response efforts with the Florida Association of Community Health Centers and the Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, whose members operate more than 148 clinics and health centers throughout the state, providing primary care services to more than 1.6 million residents annually.

Direct Relief has worked closely with state health associations and their members for the past nine years and has furnished more than $65.3 million in medical material aid and financial assistance to 147 health centers and free clinics in Florida.

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