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 Emergencies

Firefighters battle the Carr Fire in Shasta County last week. Direct Relief is offering respiratory masks and other supplies to healthcare facilities in areas across the state impacted by fires. (Photo courtesy of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)

Wildfires

California Wildfires

Direct Relief is responding to a series of devastating fires burning across its home state of California, providing healthcare agencies and emergency responders in wildfire-affected communities with N-95 masks, medicine and other needed items.
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Hurricanes

Hurricane Florence

With Hurricane Florence threatening the East Coast, Direct Relief has offered support to more than 200 local healthcare organizations that are currently in the storm’s projected path.
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Emergency News

Designed for Disaster