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Stamford, CT, September 24 2005 – AmeriCares emergency personnel are en route to Texas and shipments of relief supplies are ready to be deployed in response to Hurricane Rita, while relief workers already stationed in Louisiana prepare to evaluate and respond to the damage there.
Hurricane Rita made landfall near the Texas-Louisiana borders early Saturday morning as a Category 3 storm, and was later downgraded to Category 2. Early reports indicated that high winds, rain and flooding were reported in both states, with southwestern Louisiana—an area that was already devastated after Hurricane Katrina—being hit particularly hard.
“We have been communicating with the Texas Department of State Health Services and we are sending emergency response workers from Stamford and from Baton Rouge, where we have had people aiding survivors of Katrina,” said John Connell, AmeriCares director of emergency response. “We will continue to evaluate and monitor the situation throughout the next 48 hours, deploying more personnel if they are needed.”
In response to Hurricane Katrina, AmeriCares has mounted a comprehensive relief effort across the Gulf Coast, delivering more than $3 million in relief supplies in the past three weeks. While emergency personnel worked tirelessly in Louisiana and Mississippi, medicines and additional supplies were also sent to help those Alabama and evacuees in Texas. In total, more than 40 shipments of much-needed antibiotics and other medicines, medical supplies, bottled water, nutritional supplements, cleaning supplies and personal care items have been shipped and distributed to those most in need. AmeriCares relief personnel remain in Louisiana, where the AmeriCares Free Clinics mobile health unit has been treating patients in New Orleans as other response teams respond to needs in the Baton Rouge area.
AmeriCares is continuing to coordinate with the Department of Health & Human Services and the Center for Disease Control to monitor needs for medicines and supplies. The organization is also working with major pharmaceutical companies to provide free prescription medicines directly through the supply chain to ensure that people in need of prescription medicines have access to their regular medications.
To support AmeriCares hurricane relief efforts, log onto www.americares.org or call AmeriCares directly at 1-800-486-HELP (4357).