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Hurricane Beryl Relief

Disaster Relief

Direct Relief is providing emergency response for Hurricane Beryl with emergency medicines, supplies, and funding for impacted communities.

Aerial imagery from above Lahaina, Maui, on Aug. 9, 2023. Most of the town has been destroyed due to wildfires in the area. (Photo courtesy of County of Maui)

Responding in the Caribbean, Texas

After clearing a devastating path through the Caribbean, Beryl struck Texas as a Category 1 storm, flooding streets, and cutting off power for more than one million residents.

Direct Relief is coordinating with regional organizations, including the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the Pan American Health Organization.

Direct Relief is in close contact with healthcare organizations and emergency responders in Texas to address medical needs that arise.


Caribbean Hurricane Relief

Hurricane Beryl, a Category 4 storm, hit Grenada’s Carriacou Island on July 1, causing extensive damage across the Windward Islands. With winds up to 150 mph and heavy rainfall, it significantly impacted Carriacou, Petit Martinique, and Jamaica, before moving across the Cayman Islands and Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Preliminary assessments revealed that 98% of structures on Carriacou and Petit Martinique were damaged or destroyed, including Carriacou’s Princess Royal Hospital and Grenada’s Mount Gay Psychiatric Hospital.

In response, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the UN’s Emergency Technical Team conducted rapid needs assessments, finding that 90% of houses on Union Island were affected. Despite extensive damage to health facilities in the Grenadines, several remain operational on Saint Vincent Island.

Members of the Office of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) load Direct Relief field medic packs, filled with first aid products for triage care, as well as other essential medications into a helicopter in St. Lucia before transport hurricane-impacted areas of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (Photo courtesy of OECS)

Texas Hurricane Relief

Hurricane Beryl also struck the Texas coastline, leaving over 1.5 million residents without power amid extreme heat. This outage threatens individuals dependent on electricity for medical devices and the refrigeration of medications. Service disruptions in healthcare facilities have delayed damage reports and assessments.

To address these challenges, Direct Relief’s annual hurricane preparedness initiative prepositions Hurricane Prep Packs in vulnerable regions. Each pack, containing 220 types of medicine and essential supplies, supports 100 people for 72 hours. These packs were pre-staged at 11 healthcare facilities in Texas, providing critical support to affected patients.

Direct Relief continues to replenish medical inventories at health centers, clinics, and nonprofit health providers to meet the increased demand for services, ensuring the health and well-being of communities impacted by Hurricane Beryl.

Hurricane Beryl Response

100% of proceeds will go to Hurricane Beryl response.

Regional Preparedness and Response Capabilities

Direct Relief medicines and supplies are transported from St. Lucia to Grenada and St. Vincent after Hurricane Beryl made landfall this. Because the supplies were prepositioned, medicines reached impacted communities less than 24 hours after the storm.

As climate change continues to increase the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones and other weather-related emergencies, Direct Relief remains well-positioned to rapidly respond to humanitarian and health needs in the Caribbean and hurricane-prone regions along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

The organization’s approach includes:

  • Regional Disaster Hub for the Caribbean: Since 2017, Direct Relief has maintained a regional hub for emergency responses in Puerto Rico, with essential medicines and supplies, as well as emergency response personnel ready to deploy throughout the Caribbean in the event of an emergency. The regional disaster hub is critical for enabling rapid responses in the region. Since its inception, Direct Relief’s regional hub in Puerto Rico has dispatched more than 200 shipments of emergency medical aid throughout Puerto Rico and the Caribbean region.
  • Strategic Stockpiling of Emergency Medical Supplies: In advance of hurricane season each year, Direct Relief strategically prepositions Hurricane Preparedness Packs—comprising sufficient medicines and medical supplies to care for as many as 1,000 people for 30 days following a weather-related emergency— throughout hurricane-prone regions, thereby ensuring essential medical supplies are available when disaster strikes. In 2024, Direct Relief coordinated closely with its multilateral partners in the region, including PAHO and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), to stage more than 12 Hurricane Preparedness Packs across the Caribbean, including in Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Panama, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia. Additional caches are ready for deployment from Direct Relief’s regional disaster hub in Puerto Rico and its global headquarters in Santa Barbara, California.
  • In the U.S., Direct Relief prepositioned 70 Hurricane Preparedness Packs in hurricane-prone states along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Saipan. The U.S. version of the pack contains 220 types of medicine and medical supplies and is designed to support the care of up to 100 people for 72 hours.
  • Strategic Regional Partnerships: To bolster its capacity to quickly mobilize emergency medical aid throughout the Caribbean, Direct Relief has invested in strategic partnerships with key local, national, and regional stakeholders. These partnerships, including with health facilities, ministries of health, and regional organizations, are critical to understanding the situation on the ground, identifying priority needs, and delivering aid to people in need. They include:
  • The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS): With 11 member states in the Eastern Caribbean, Direct Relief’s partnership with OECS enables the organization to tap into a network of health ministries and national emergency management agencies following a disaster. The partnership facilitates the prepositioning of emergency supplies at OECS’ warehouse in Saint Lucia and was critical to ensuring the delivery of a Hurricane Preparedness Pack and 12 Emergency Medical Backpacks to SVG within 48 hours of Hurricane Beryl’s passage.
  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO): Direct Relief maintains a memorandum of understanding with PAHO, which has offices throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The agreement enables PAHO to act as a distribution partner to public health facilities in post-disaster situations and allows Direct Relief to stage emergency medical supplies at the organization’s emergency stockpile in Panama. Since 2018, Direct Relief and PAHO have coordinated the delivery of more than $400 million in medicines and medical supplies to disaster-affected communities in 18 countries.
  • In Mexico, Direct Relief is working with the federal health secretariat’s emergency response team (COPAC) as well as the National Defense Secretariat (SEDENA) and is in close communication with both agencies to mobilize support if it is needed and requested in the Yucatan Peninsula from Beryl’s impacts.

Additionally, Direct Relief has an extensive network of partners, including with public health officials and facilities, throughout the U.S. and is well-prepared to activate an emergency response in the U.S. should Hurricane Beryl impact Texas or other Gulf Coast states.

Direct Relief’s Regional Response to Hurricane Beryl

As multi-disciplinary assessments get underway and the situation continues to evolve, Direct Relief is coordinating closely with humanitarian partners, including the Ministries of Health in Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as PAHO and OECS, to identify priority health needs and deliver aid.

Critical medical supplies and medications departed Direct Relief’s warehouse in Santa Barbara, California on July 3, 2024, bound for St. Vincent and the Grenadines as part of Direct Relief’s response to Hurricane Beryl. (Maeve Ozimec/Direct Relief)

Direct Relief’s response has included shipments to:
• Grenada: Delivery of a Hurricane Preparedness Pack containing essential medicines and supplies to care for as many as 1,000 people for 30 days and 3 Emergency Medical Backpacks to Grenada. The emergency relief commodities were strategically stockpiled at OECS’ warehouse in Saint Lucia and dispatched via helicopter to the island nation on July 2.

• St. Vincent and Grenadines: Dispatch of a Hurricane Preparedness Pack and 200 family hygiene kits from Direct Relief’s warehouse in Santa Barbara, CA, to the SVG Ministry of Health on July 3.

Saint Lucia: Delivery and staging of an additional 36 Emergency Medical Backpacks and an additional Hurricane Preparedness Pack at OECS’s emergency stockpile in Saint Lucia; the supplies are ready for dispatch to support emergency first responders and mobile medicine providers in hurricane-affected areas.

• In addition, Direct Relief equipped doctors with partner Medical Professionals on a Mission, a group of certified healthcare professionals that provide surge capacity to support the emergency healthcare and humanitarian needs of communities in the Caribbean, with 10 Emergency Medical Backpacks for use should a medical mission become necessary.

Long-Term Investments in Building Health Resiliency Across the Caribbean

In 2023, Direct Relief convened top health officials from 15 Caribbean nations at its regional disaster hub for the Caribbean to strengthen coordination on regional emergency preparedness and response, as well as efforts to mitigate risks. Following the health summit, Direct Relief made a $12.6 million commitment to building resiliency throughout the Caribbean region.

Among other initiatives, the commitment includes:

  • $3 million to build a large solar and battery backup system for a central pharmaceutical warehouse in Jamaica, among other initiatives. The system will be critical to preventing refrigerated medicine from spoiling during extended power outages;
  • $3 million for health infrastructure projects, including resilient power, cold-chain infrastructure for refrigerated medicine, medical oxygen, and mobile healthcare services, in Eastern Caribbean nations;
  • $1 million to support emergency operating costs for nine health facilities affected by the civil unrest in Haiti;
  • $2 million to bolster disaster preparedness and response capacities in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico; and
  • $275,000 to help establish a new rapid medical response network for Caribbean nations comprised of volunteer U.S.-based doctors and nurses (many of them of Caribbean origin) who are ready to deploy when a hurricane overwhelms local healthcare capacity

Cumulatively, Direct Relief has provided more than $1 billion in crucial resources, including medications, medical refrigeration, solar power, requested supplies, and logistical and financial assistance, to support countries throughout the Caribbean before, during and after hurricanes and other emergencies.

The organization will continue to respond to Beryl’s impacts as requested.

Efficient. Effective. Transparent.

Nongovernmental. Nonsectarian. Apolitical.