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For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

Hurricane Ida Relief

Emergency Response

Direct Relief used all contributions designated for Hurricane Ida solely for relief and recovery efforts related to Hurricane Ida.

Quick Facts

Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, causing significant damage to the U.S. Gulf Coast, as well as additional flooding along Ida’s path on the East Coast.


Widespread power and communications outages affected many areas as recovery took place.


Direct Relief committed $1 million in funding for Hurricane Ida relief efforts and made its $100 million+ medical inventory available for medical needs in the region.

Responding to Medical Needs Across the U.S. in Ida’s Wake

Direct Relief has a long history of responding to hurricanes in the United States, including Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago.

When Ida made landfall, medical aid was already in New Orleans and the greater region, and the organization had prepositioned 17 Hurricane Preparedness Packs with partner facilities in areas that had experience impacts from Hurricane Ida. The caches included medications and medical supplies commonly requested after disasters, including prescription medications for diabetes and hypertension.

Shipments were dispatched to health centers in New Orleans, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Houston and Picayune, Mississippi, and other communities, and included emergency medications and supplies, Tdap vaccines, and other resources.

In addition to making available its $100 million+ medical inventory, Direct Relief committed $1 million in funding for Hurricane Ida response and recovery.

Emergency medical supplies, including wound care, antibiotics and chronic disease medications, depart Direct Relief's warehouse for health providers responding to Hurricane Ida on August 30, 2021. The shipments included medical support for Rapides Primary Health Care Center in Alexandria, Louisiana, as well as CORE Response. Both organizations are conducting medical outreach and providing care to storm impacted communities. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)
Emergency medical supplies, including wound care, antibiotics and chronic disease medications, depart Direct Relief’s warehouse for health providers responding to Hurricane Ida on August 30, 2021. The shipments included medical support for Rapides Primary Health Care Center in Alexandria, Louisiana, as well as CORE Response. Both organizations conducted medical outreach and provided care to storm impacted communities. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

Health Impacts on Hurricane-Prone Communities

Hurricanes and similar storms can bring with them a host of health concerns for those affected. Covid-19 complicates evacuation efforts in congregant shelters, and health systems already strained by the pandemic may experience another surge of patients needing care from the storm’s impacts. High burdens of chronic disease, like diabetes and heart disease, can also complicate evacuation efforts. If a person managing a chronic disease is suddenly cut off from reliable prescription medications or medical care, they may require emergency care.

Access to Power is Essential for Health

Power and water outages can also impede local health providers, and a storm’s after-effects also present health concerns, ranging from water-borne illness to the risk of tetanus from clean-up and recovery efforts.

Without power, critical health services can’t be provided – life-saving medicines go bad, electronic health records can’t be accessed, essential medical equipment can’t be powered, and vital community health facilities serving the most vulnerable shut down.

Acknowledging that access to power is a prerequisite to health, the organization offered up its inventory of power backup options to health providers lacking consistent electricity after Ida. Options from portable fridges to keep vaccines, insulin, and other cold therapies at stable temperatures to solar kits with battery back-up are being prepared for departure.

In response to Hurricane Ida, Direct Relief contacted a number of clinics, health centers, and health networks in areas affected by the storm to assess needs and send additional infusions of support.

Direct Relief staff members also communicated with Primary Care Associations in states across the U.S. Gulf and East Coasts around needed emergency response efforts.

More than 200 health care partners throughout the impacted areas were notified about the availability of emergency support from Direct Relief.

Medical aid was prepositioned in hurricane-prone communities, including those along Ida’s path.