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West Virginia, United States

AmeriCares Responds to West Virginia Flood Disaster

  • July 01, 2016
  • Photo by REUTERS/Marcus Constantino
  • Emergency Programs, North America

“An emergency of this scale is just devastating for the affected communities,” said AmeriCares Director of Emergency Response Kate Dischino. “We are working to ensure survivors have access to critical medicine and relief supplies during a difficult time.”

AmeriCares has delivered medical relief and humanitarian assistance to people in crisis since 1979. The emergency response and global health organization stocks medicine and relief supplies in its Connecticut warehouse that can be delivered quickly to partner health clinics and food banks across the United States. AmeriCares has a long history of responding to U.S. emergencies, including Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin tornado, Hurricane Sandy and the 2013 Oklahoma tornadoes.

AmeriCares Emergency Response Team is on the ground in West Virginia coordinating distribution of relief supplies for families affected by historic flooding. The team is working with local partners identifying immediate community health needs and planning recovery efforts.

President Barack Obama has issued a federal disaster declaration for three counties after flash floods killed at least 23 people and washed away homes. Thousands more were forced from their homes or left without power as heavy rains overflowed rivers and streams and washed out roads in 44 of the state’s 55 counties. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said it was the worst flooding in a century for some parts of the state.

AmeriCares first shipment, which includes insulin for diabetic patients who lost medication in the floodwaters and Tdap vaccine to protect residents cleaning up the damage, has been sent to West Virginia Health Right, a free clinic partner in Charleston. More shipments of first aid supplies and 1,500 family emergency kits are underway. AmeriCares has also worked with Nestlé Waters North America to deliver four truckloads of bottled water to the Mountaineer Food Bank in Gassaway.