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California, U.S. Storm Response Continues

Direct Relief's Humanitarian Activity for the week of 01/06/2023 - 01/13/2023


Operational Update

On January 12th, 2023, Direct Relief joined the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade and Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County to bag and load sandbags for Montecito community members ahead of the next storm in Santa Barbara. (Brianna Newport/Direct Relief)

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 336 shipments of requested medical aid to 40 U.S. states and territories and nine countries worldwide.

The shipments contained 3.6 million defined daily doses of medication, including insulin, inhalers, antibiotics, asthma medications and more.

California Storm response

This past week, California has experienced destructive flooding in the aftermath of recent storms in the region. At least 19 people have been killed statewide due to the series of storms since Jan. 1, and thousands evacuated under threats from flash flooding and landslides.

Direct Relief is making available more than $100 million in medicine and medical supplies from its inventory to support relief and recovery efforts in communities affected by the storms.

In preparation for the arrival of a potential second storm this coming weekend, Direct Relief joined the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade and Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County on Thursday to bag and load sandbags for Montecito community members. Direct Relief is also committing financial and staff support to bolster clean-up efforts in the area after the recent flooding.

On January 12, 2023, Direct Relief joined the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade and Habitat for Humanity Santa Barbara to bag and load sandbags for Montecito community members ahead of the next storm here in Santa Barbara. (Brianna Newport/Direct Relief)

Northern California was especially impacted by last week’s storms. In response, Direct Relief delivered emergency medical backpacks to Monterey Fire, as well as other healthcare clinics in the area on Friday. The backpacks contain critical essentials, including trauma care products, PPE, tourniquets and more to treat patients and evacuees. The organization is also providing heavy equipment for search and rescue efforts.

Direct Relief Emergency Medical Backpacks are distributed by Direct Relief’s Emergency Response Team to Monterey Fire on January 13, 2023. Northern California was hit especially hard by recent flooding, and Direct Relief is providing financial and material support in response. (Direct Relief photo)

Direct Relief will continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly, as a second storm is expected to hit the state this weekend.

Alabama tornadoes

More than a dozen tornadoes touched down in Alabama on Thursday, with a very large tornado causing ‘significant damage’ in and around the City of Selma, according to the city’s mayor. More than 35 million people in the Southeast and the Ohio Valley – from Louisiana eastward to the Carolinas and from Kentucky south to the Gulf Coast – are under some level of threat for severe storms Thursday that could include damaging wind gusts and tornadoes. More than 118,000 individuals in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee were without power as of Thursday afternoon.

Direct Relief has reached out to state-level organizations in Alabama, including the Alabama Primary Care Association and the Alabama Association of Free & Charitable Clinics. The organization’s current inventory was shared with both organizations. Direct Relief will reach out to additional health centers and clinics to offer assistance as needs are made known.

Material Support for Ukraine

Also this week, Association Іnternationale de Сoopération Médicale – Ukraine (AICM) and TAPS Ukraine each received an ambulance donated by Direct Relief. The vehicles will soon be operational in Ukraine, providing critical healthcare services to patients in need.

This week, Association Іnternationale de Сoopération Médicale – Ukraine (AICM) and TAPS Ukraine each received an ambulance donated by Direct Relief. (Photos courtesy of AICM)
Critical medications donated by Direct Relief were received by Kharkiv Renovation Fund and distributed to local healthcare providers in Ukraine. (Courtesy photo)

Since Feb. 24, Direct Relief has provided medical aid to Ukraine weighing more than 2.3 million pounds, or 1,150 tons, with more on the way.



This week, Direct Relief shipped 3.2 million defined daily doses of medication outside the U.S.

Countries that received medical aid over the past week included:

  • Ukraine
  • Sierra Leone
  • Burkina Faso
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Haiti
  • Panama


Direct Relief delivered 319 shipments containing 458,401 doses of medications over the past week to organizations, including the following:

  • Open Arms Health Clinic, Texas
  • The Damien Center, Indiana
  • St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy, Ohio
  • Smoky Mountain Harm Reduction, North Carolina
  • North Jefferson County Clinic Pharmacy, Texas
  • Mission of Mercy, Maryland
  • Horizons Health Coastal Horizons Center, Inc., North Carolina
  • Washington State Department of Health, Washington
  • San Francisco Free Clinic, California


Since Jan. 1, 2023, Direct Relief has delivered 473 shipments to 394 healthcare providers in 43 U.S. states and territories and 10 countries.

These shipments contained 3.9 million defined daily doses of medication valued at $15.3 million (wholesale), totaling 136,097 lbs.

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