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Hurricane Ike: Homes Flooded but People Are In Need of Clean Water

  • September 12, 2008

Residents of Haiti and the Gulf Coast have weathered brutal storms this year. The latest, Hurricane Ike, touched down on many Caribbean islands including an already fragile Haiti. The storm is set to barrage Galveston, Texas and the Gulf Coast this weekend. With a death toll nearing 100, Ike could become one of the deadliest storms of this season and survivors need help now.

In Haiti, hurricane victims are suffering from a dire lack of safe drinking water. “While there is flood water everywhere, it’s polluted with dangerous contaminants that make people sick,” reports Jonathan Hodgdon, AmeriCares emergency response expert.

AmeriCares has identified and prioritized the need for medicines to treat infections and diseases spread by contaminated water and pills to help safely re-hydrate people. Children are particularly sensitive to dehydration and can become so dry that their little bodies cannot even produce tears. It becomes life-threatening when left untreated and organ failure sets in.

Essential fluids cannot easily be absorbed by someone suffering from dehydration. “Re-hydration support helps the body act like a sponge and soak up fluids,” says Hodgdon. AmeriCares is preparing for the delivery and distribution of these life-saving re-hydration tablets.

Help is on the Way to Texas

The storm approaching the Gulf Coast of Texas is being closely monitored by AmeriCares emergency response teams. We are standing by on the ready to give the care and relief needed during these times.

One of the least understood and most underserved needs after a Hurricane is psychological counseling for “storm struck” residents; a term often used to describe an acute form of post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).  People who are “storm struck” can experience insomnia, nausea and physical pain from tension. AmeriCares is coordinating with local groups to help ensure access to counseling will be available after Hurricane Ike.

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