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U.S. Disaster Recovery Initiative Helps Health Care Providers Prepare for Future Emergencies

  • February 22, 2012

To strengthen response efforts in disaster-prone communities, AmeriCares has awarded five grants totaling $195,276 – for model emergency preparedness programs, training and crucial equipment in Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Alabama, expected to touch the lives of more than 42,000 people.The grants, awarded in December as part of AmeriCares U.S. Disaster Recovery Initiative, address crucial resource gaps revealed amid the chaos and destruction left by 2011 wildfires, flooding, and tornadoes. Grant funding will help health care providers:

  • Increase capacity to provide care during power outages
  • Expand ability to address the health care needs of the displaced
  • Train first responders how to manage survivors with autism and other special needs.

$98,000 to create a model program to address needs of displaced survivors
Recent disaster events, including raging wildfires in Texas, displaced an overwhelming number of families and revealed a clear need for medical shelters, alternate care sites, and staff trained in disaster medicine. AmeriCares awarded a $98,000 grant to BCFS Health and Human Services in San Antonio to develop a model program that will improve the state of Texas’s capability to address the needs of displaced disaster survivors requiring skilled medical care.

Photo courtesy of REUTERS/ Mike Stone

Photo courtesy of REUTERS/ Mike Stone www.Trust.orgA U.S. forestry worker watches a controlled burn created to seal off a wildfire’s path as it approaches a house near Bastrop, Texas on September 6, 2011.The program will create protocols and procedures for medical shelter/alternate care site capacity building, and will train responders and health care staff in shelter management, incident management, and disaster medicine. Once in place, the program will help over 6,000 people following disaster events. In addition, the program is designed to have a lasting and wide-ranging impact by producing a template and training course that can be replicated, serving as a model for other states across the country.Three grants totaling $90,276 to purchase back-up generators for health care facilitiesWhen disaster strikes, quick response by health care providers can make a life-saving difference. The purchase of backup generators for the Memphis Health Center in Tennessee, Wake Health Services in Raleigh, NC, and Capstone Rural Health Care Center in Jasper, Al, will enable these community health care centers, serving the un-insured and under-insured to continue operations during power outages. These health centers now will be better prepared to provide continuous care to vulnerable populations and play a more active role in disaster response, benefitting a combined 36,000 people. The Memphis Health Center, located in a community facing significant annual Mississippi River flood threats, was unable to render basic health care services due to power outages during the record-setting 2011 floods.Wake Health Services was forced to close its facilities several times in 2011 as a result of power outages from April tornadoes, and Hurricane Irene in September.Capstone Rural Health Center lost power 10 times last year, including once for several days following the April tornadoes that ripped through Alabama.$7,000 to train first responders to work with autistic children and adultsWith a $7,000 grant, North Alabama Medical Reserve Corps in Huntsville, AL, will train 200-300 first responders on methods of working with children and adults diagnosed at varying levels on the autism spectrum – a clear resource gap exposed in the aftermath of April, 2011 tornados that ravaged northern Alabama. The North Alabama Medical Reserve Corps determined that the response to future disasters could be improved by providing first responders with the tools to tailor their response to more effectively help disaster victims with special needs.To help communities across America recover from massive tornadoes, storms, and flood-related devastation, AmeriCares launched its U.S. Disaster Recovery Initiative, and has awarded more than $600,000 in grants supporting medical care for the uninsured, mental health services and preparedness for future disasters. Read MoreDonate Now