- Active Emergency
- September 12, 2018 -Present
- U.S. East Coast
We deployed an emergency team to the Carolinas in advance of Florence delivering a major blow to the area. We coordinated with local clinics and national emergency response partners to provide immediate help for survivors and assess the health needs in building the longer term recovery effort. Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wilmington, NC, as a dangerous Category 1 storm of enormous size, bringing life-threatening storm surges, torrential inland rainfall and catastrophic flooding. The storm produced more than 40 fatalities as it moved slowly and delivered historic rainfall. Tens of thousands of homes were damaged by the flooding and some communities, including the city of Wilmington, were cut off as roads were closed with many rivers and streams still rising above flood stage. The flood threat continued for many days in South Carolina as swollen rivers threatened many communities. Americares response team worked to meet immediate needs in the affected communities, delivering emergency medicines and relief supplies, including supplies for displaced families, as well as support to damaged health clinics.
Relief Effort Underway
As the flooding from the 8 trillion gallons of rain dumped by Florence continued in the Carolinas, three Americares emergency response teams went to work, and the organization has now delivered a total of 60 shipments of health and hygiene supplies to 14 shelters, 2 health clinics and 5 nonprofit partners. One response team flew into Wilmington, which had been cut off to ground traffic, in order to assess damage to health services.
“Federal officials contacted us requesting supplies for a shelter housing 200 people with serious medical needs,” said Americares Emergency Response Specialist Tom Cotter, who led the team in North Carolina. “As we head out into hard-hit communities we expect to identify more needs and deliver more supplies.”
Following a first shipment of 1,400 first aid kits and 800 hygiene kits from Americares distribution center in Stamford, CT, 39 more shipments of relief supplies have followed. In addition, 21 shipments of locally procured products were delivered to shelters, clinics and partners. The response team made a number of local deliveries as needs were identified.
The recovery plans in the Carolinas are similar to those of hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Sandy, requiring the restoration of health services and long-term mental health and disaster risk reduction programming. Assistance to local health centers has already begun with three partners already receiving recovery support.
Americares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice and stocks emergency medicine and supplies in its warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis. The organization has a long history of responding to emergencies in the U.S., including hurricanes Sandy, Harvey, Irma, and Maria. and the 2018 California wildfires.
Americares 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.
Should Americares raise funds in excess of what's needed to respond to this particular crisis, the funds will be redirected to where the need is greatest.