Stamford, Conn. – Oct. 3, 2016 – Americares is preparing to respond to Hurricane Matthew as the Caribbean braces for one of the most powerful storms in nearly a decade. The category 4 storm is headed toward western Haiti with punishing winds and up to 40 inches of rain, increasing the risk of flash floods and mudslides. An Americares emergency response team on the ground in Haiti is coordinating with partner organizations throughout the country to prepare for the storm as it bears down on Haiti and Jamaica. In addition, Americares is preparing to send relief workers, medicine and supplies from its U.S. headquarters.
The slow-moving storm also poses a dangerous threat to Cuba and the Bahamas. Americares is prepared to expand its response to additional countries, including the southern U.S., if needed. Americares began readying relief supplies in its Connecticut distribution center on Monday in response to requests for medicine, first aid kits, hygiene supplies and other necessities.
“Haiti is directly in Matthew’s path, and millions of people could be in danger,” Americares Emergency Response Team Leader Julie Hard said from Haiti. “With families living in housing that cannot withstand hurricane-force winds, survivors could be left homeless and in need of medical care. We are also very concerned there could be a spike in cholera and other waterborne diseases due to flooding.”
Americares relief workers are among the first to respond to emergencies and stay as long as needed, helping to restore health services for survivors. The organization responds to an average of 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.