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Direct Relief Delivers Hurricane Packs As FEMA Urges Preparedness
Date:5/25/2012

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., May 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As hurricane season officially begins June 1 and communities in the U.S. and neighboring countries prepare for the threat of storms, Direct Relief announced today the delivery of Hurricane Preparedness Packs to nine U.S. states and seven countries most likely to be affected during hurricane season. 

Direct Relief's Hurricane Preparedness program is a million-dollar initiative whereby large quantities of medicines and supplies are pre-positioned at health centers, clinics and hospitals in at-risk areas to treat vulnerable people during emergencies.  The pre-positioning of these medical resources is a key component of Direct Relief's emergency relief efforts and ongoing assistance to partner clinics to facilitate a fast, efficient response when a disaster strikes.  

This year marks year six for the growing program - the only one of its kind- which has expanded support to cover 50 U.S. sites in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia and South Carolina and 10 international partners in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, and Nicaragua.   

"Smart preparation is the best defense when a hurricane strikes. Community health clinics are a key component of an effective response and speedy recovery.  It is critical that clinics in areas most often hit by extreme weather are bolstered with additional supplies to utilize when the devastation first occurs," said Damon Taugher, Director of USA Programs at Direct Relief.

Health centers that have received the medical supplies in the past reported that they have been incorporated into local emergency preparedness efforts.

Jo Anne Powell, Special Projects Manager at Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center in Ahoskie, N.C., said, "When Hurricane Irene was approaching with possibility of a direct hit, everyone was worried they would not be able to get the supplies they needed for days.  I repacked the first aid supplies from Direct Relief's hurricane prep kits and stationed them on the most outlying emergency vehicles. All who received the supplies were greatly appreciative."

The contents of the prep packs are versatile and can be used for acute care as well as to treat patients with chronic diseases should they become displaced by storms and lose access to their medications or medical care.  Each U.S.-bound pack contains enough medicines and supplies to treat 100 patients for three to five days after a hurricane hits.  The modules shipped internationally are much larger, containing enough supplies to treat 1,000 people for a month following a disaster.

Direct Relief tracks the latest storm activity and every partner receiving a hurricane pack using their interactive mapping technology. The map can be viewed here: https://maps.directrelief.org/USA/hpp/index.html

Direct Relief is able to supply the Hurricane Prep Packs with donations from pharmaceutical and medical corporations and through a long-standing relationship with FedEx to assist in shipping and logistics. The Prep Packs are provided free of charge to the healthcare facilities.

About Direct Relief International
Direct Relief International is a leading medical relief organization, active in all 50 states and in 70 countries. It works with more than 1,000 health clinics across the U.S. to assist in emergencies and an ongoing basis, providing them with free medications for people in need. The organization has been among the world's largest medical suppliers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has top charity ratings, including four-star and "top-notch" rating from Charity Navigator, and a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine.   For more information visit www.DirectRelief.org

CONTACT: Kerri Murray, (805) 452-7599 / kmurray@directrelief.org  


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SOURCE Direct Relief International
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