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Direct Relief Commits $1.5 Million to Wildfire Response, Prepares to Donate 500,000 Particulate Respirators



Requested medical supplies arrived at the Chino Valley Community Health Center in San Bernardino County, California, on Sept. 11, 2020. The El Dorado Fire is impacting air quality in the region, and supplies delivered to the health center included respiratory medicines, opthalmic supplies and other essentials often requested during fires. (Chris Alleway/Direct Relief)

In response to the record-breaking wildfires across California, Oregon, and Washington, Direct Relief is committing $1.5 million in cash to its response and making available its substantial inventory of particulate respirators, oxygen concentrators, and other medical resources to more than 200 state and county health agencies, emergency management departments, community health centers and clinics in fire-affected areas.

Direct Relief is also purchasing 500,000 KN95 masks from BYD to help address hazardous air quality risks along much of the smoke-blanketed West Coast.

In addition, the organization is donating Wildfire Health Kits to health centers and public health agencies.

Each kit is designed to enable the treatment of about 250 people for 3 to 5 days, with medicines and supplies most requested by healthcare providers in past wildfire emergencies.

Items in the kit include inhalers and nebulizer solutions to treat respiratory irritation, irrigation solutions and antibiotics for dermal and ophthalmic injuries, analgesics for headaches, bandages and wound care items for lacerations and minor injuries like sprains and strains, and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves to protect health workers.

To date, Direct Relief has delivered more than 20 emergency shipments of requested PPE, medicine, supplies and equipment to health facilities and emergency response agencies, and is preparing another series of deliveries that will arrive next week.

Direct Relief’s activities are being informed by its extensive experience responding to wildfires and efforts to map and analyze wildfire risk among vulnerable populations.

The organization publishes a range of wildfire mapping applications and works closely with emergency response authorities to provide insights and analysis related to social vulnerability and population movements.

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