Stamford, Conn. – July 5, 2012 – AmeriCares is delivering medical aid and bottled water to help West Virginia residents affected by the double devastation of long-lasting power outages and a sweltering heat wave. Hundreds of thousands of East Coast and Midwest residents have been without power since last weekend’s storms and it could be days before it is fully restored.
Two truckloads of water donated by Nestle Waters North America are headed to the Huntington Area Food Bank in Huntington, West Virginia, where there are widespread food and water shortages after six consecutive days without power. The food bank serves nearly 100,000 people throughout West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.
AmeriCares is also delivering emergency medical aid, including 500 doses of tetanus vaccines donated by Sanofi Pasteur, to the West Virginia Health Right clinic in Charleston. The clinic is anticipating a surge in demand for care as area residents have difficulty accessing their regular health care providers or become injured clearing storm debris.
“Right now clean water is an urgent need for the hundreds of thousands still affected by these severe storms. In West Virginia alone, the governor reports they are using 40 truckloads of water a day,” said Garrett Ingoglia, AmeriCares director of emergency response. “As power is restored and the clean-up effort continues, residents and workers risk puncture wounds that can cause them to contract tetanus. We are ensuring local health care providers have enough vaccines and medical supplies on hand to meet the need in the coming weeks.”
AmeriCares has provided medical relief and humanitarian assistance to millions affected by natural and man-made disasters for 30 years, including Hurricane Katrina in the United States. In 2011, in response to one of the worst U.S. tornado seasons in decades, AmeriCares delivered nearly $3 million in aid for U.S. disaster survivors, including more than 1 million bottles of water donated by Nestle Waters. AmeriCares also awarded $600,000 in disaster recovery grants to help more than 62,000 people recover and prepare for future emergencies.