Hurricane season has just begun in the United States. Experts predict as many as 14 serious storms this year. In preparation, AmeriCares conducted site visits with nearly 30 health care and social service providers in communities in Louisiana and Mississippi affected by Hurricane Katrina to assess their needs this season.
AmeriCares has been providing aid to people devastated by natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires for over 25 years – including a massive response to Hurricane Katrina which continues today. AmeriCares disaster relief professionals have the expertise needed to deliver emergency supplies and critical medicines to areas destroyed by these violent storms. What’s more, AmeriCares stays the course, in this case for years, and has helped the battered communities rebuild and restore health care facilities.
AmeriCares has set up a network of hurricane relief suppliers and local partnerships with emergency first responders. This ensures fast delivery of aid to the people who need it the most.
On the fact finding mission, AmeriCares assessed facilities, researched emergency preparedness and developed plans for when the hardest storms hit. Sites were also evaluated as possible locations for staging disaster pharmacies and providing critical supplies and ongoing medical aid for struggling families. Between 20-35% of the region’s population is uninsured and access to health care is a challenge, particularly in poor rural and urban areas.
“One of the biggest lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina is to be prepared,” said Morgan White, AmeriCares manager of U.S. outreach. “AmeriCares continues to strengthen our relationships in the region to ensure rapid response in the event of another devastating hurricane.”
From urban health centers in New Orleans to rural relief outposts in Mississippi, AmeriCares provided grants, disaster relief and medical aid to local groups in response to Hurricane Katrina.