Characteristics of the Response

The typical characteristics of a volcano emergency response are a short 24-­ to 48-hour emergency phase, followed by an extended recovery phase, which may be weeks or years, depending on the context. The emergency phase encompasses the critical window when those people injured in the initial eruption need to receive urgent life-saving care.

The recovery phase is characterized by the extended period of elevated primary health needs among the affected community, particularly those families displaced and living in evacuation centers. The main primary health problems during a volcano response are: respiratory and eye issues, exacerbated chronic conditions, dermatological issues, and maternal and child health care.

Factors that can extend the recovery phase are damage and contamination of sources of drinking water, such as wells, river systems, dams and catchment areas, as well as deforestation and the destruction of crops and livestock, which creates increased vulnerability among subsistence communities and undermines livelihoods. All these factors combine to weaken community health resiliency and increase the need to support local health care providers.

Active Emergency Responses

Direct Relief staff load critical medicines and supplies on to a helicopter in San Juan on Dec. 18, 2017. The medicines went to Health ProMed Health Center on the island of Vieques, which was hard-hit by Hurricane Maria. (Photo by Donnie Hedden for Direct Relief)

Hurricanes

Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria churned a devastating path through the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. As the crisis unfolds, Direct Relief is responding to those in need, focusing relief efforts on the health facilities that serve people who rely on the healthcare safety net for essential services.

Refugee Crisis

Rohingya Refugee Crisis

An unprecedented humanitarian emergency has been building as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have crossed the Myanmar border into neighboring Bangladesh.

Designed for Disaster