Operational Update: Responding to Hurricane Idalia, Maui Fires and More


Extreme Weather

Flooding caused by Hurricane Idalia causes several streets, residences and businesses to be above water in the city of Steinhatchee in Florida, Wednesday, August 30, 2023. (Photo by Xavier Garcia for Direct Relief)

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 278 shipments of requested medical aid to 27 U.S. states and territories and 12 countries worldwide.

The shipments contained 12.1 million defined daily doses of medication, including first aid kits, insulin, vitamins, PPE, antibiotics, and more.

Shipments Arrive in Florida, Georgia, in response to Hurricane Idalia

Clean-up and recovery efforts are underway after Hurricane Idalia, which is now dissipating over the Atlantic Ocean.

At least one fatality in the United States has been attributed to the storm, which took a relatively quick path through parts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Initial damage assessments are underway across all three states, even as about 200,000 homes and businesses were without power Thursday, down from over 300,000 locations earlier in the day, according to power outage tracking site Poweroutage.us.

Direct Relief is working with dozens of healthcare clinics and centers focused on helping communities affected by the storm.

Urgent medical needs include a combination of prescription medicines, over-the-counter medications, and emergency supplies, including antibiotics, inhalers, PPE, Direct Relief’s emergency medical backpacks, blood pressure medications, tetanus vaccines and insulin.

Direct Relief will continue to respond to requests for medicines and medical supplies into next week.

Maui Fire Response Continues

Direct Relief continues to field and respond to requests for medicines and medical supplies from clinics and emergency responders in Maui.

Urgently needed medical products include albuterol inhalers, tetanus vaccines, and a vaccine refrigerator, which Direct Relief is donating on an ongoing basis.

Direct Relief is also supporting re-entry needs for residents of Lahaina by working with local volunteers and the Maui County Emergency Management Agency to provide protective gear for residents going back to retrieve belongings and assess damage to their property.

To help make re-entry as safe as possible, Direct Relief is providing 20,000 N95 masks, 5,000 P100 respirators, coveralls, safety goggles, work gloves, boot covers, and drawstring bags for the effort in addition to these supplies.

Medical bus in India gets upgraded after 20 years of service

After the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Direct Relief helped secure a medical outreach vehicle for Amrita Hospital, a large university teaching hospital in Kochi, India, allowing it to reach remote communities lacking healthcare.

Amrita Mobile Medical Unit, purchased and equipped with support from Direct Relief. (courtesy photo)

Since then, the bus has facilitated over 900,000 patient screenings and appointments across India.

But after 20 years, the bus was on its last legs, so Amrita Hospital approached Direct Relief for help with funding a replacement vehicle. So, Direct Relief granted Amrita Hospital $250K to build, equip and operate a new vehicle, complete with diagnostic and x-ray capabilities.

The bus is preparing for its first medical outreach missions to support rural communities lacking easy access to healthcare. The bus will also enable Amrita Hospital to respond to disasters across the country.



This week, Direct Relief shipped 10.7 million defined daily doses of medication outside the U.S.

Countries that received medical aid over the past week included:

  • Yemen
  • Ukraine
  • Ethiopia
  • Tanzania
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Sudan
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Iraq
  • Tunisia
  • Malawi 


Direct Relief delivered 265 shipments containing more than 8.5 tons of medications over the past week to organizations, including the following:

  • HEALing Community Center, Georgia
  • Light of the World Clinic, Florida
  • J.C. Lewis Health Care Center, Georgia
  • Icna Relief USA Programs Inc dba Shifa Free Clinic, South Carolina
  • Rapha Clinic of West Georgia, Georgia
  • Samaritan Health and Wellness Center, Florida
  • Open Arms Clinic, Georgia
  • Grace Medical Home, Florida
  • Family Health Services Burley Pharmacy, Idaho
  • Tree Of Life Healthcare, Georgia


Since January 1, 2023, Direct Relief has delivered 14,000 shipments to 2,157 healthcare providers in 55 U.S. states and territories and 82 countries.

These shipments contained 34.8 million defined daily doses of medication valued at $1.4 billion (wholesale), totaling 4.6 million lbs.

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