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U.S. Disaster Relief: New Aid for Tornado Survivors

  • May 13, 2014

In the weeks since an outbreak of powerful tornadoes and severe weather devastated the Midwest and South, AmeriCares has provided more than $330,000 in aid to help survivors in 4 states.

More than $318,000 in medicines, water and relief supplies has been provided to support partners in Arkansas, Florida and Kansas and $15,100 in funding has been committed to restore access to health services in Arkansas and Mississippi.

In Louisville, Mississippi, where tornadoes destroyed a community health clinic on April 28, AmeriCares is providing funding to ensure that the 3,200 low-income residents who rely on the clinic will have access to health care for at least the next six months. Staff from the Greater Meridian Health Clinic will set up in a space nearby while they rebuild; AmeriCares is funding the temporary facility.

“Without AmeriCares help many of our patients would be forced to go untreated,” explained clinic CEO Wilbert Jones.

The clinic support is the most recent aid in our ongoing response to the deadly April tornadoes, which also includes donations of critical medicines such as tetanus vaccine and chronic disease medicines to health facilities in Arkansas and Florida.

Our team was on the ground in Little Rock, Arkansas in less than 24 hours, after tornadoes devastated the city’s suburbs on April 27, meeting with local clinics and community organizations to assess needs and facilitate aid deliveries. From May 1-3, the team traveled to the tornado-damaged community of Louisville to connect with partners on urgent needs and mobilize deliveries.

The Salvation Army in Pensacola, FL distributing cleanup kits to help flood survivors.

Emergency medical aid, including chronic disease medication, water and relief supplies arrived in Arkansas to help survivors

“We delivered urgently needed relief supplies within the first 72 hours and more aid is on the way,” said Garrett Ingoglia, AmeriCares vice president of emergency response. “Our team worked directly with health care providers and community organizations to meet the immediate needs of the injured and displaced.”

The aid deliveries include:

  • Insulin and other chronic care medicines and relief supplies to Conway Interfaith Clinic, where patients from Central Arkansas, including hard-hit Mayflower and Vilonia, are being treated, ensuring access to medicines for the most vulnerable survivors. The shipment, which was delivered on May 2, was followed by a second shipment of family hygiene kits, hygiene items and diapers delivered on May 9, 2014. We have also provided the clinic with funding for supplies to help patients with diabetes.
  • Bottled water: Two truckloads containing more than 73,000 bottles of water from Nestle Waters North America arrived at the Arkansas Foodbank in Little Rock, which is supplying water and non-perishable food items to Vilonia and Mayflower residents left without power in the aftermath.
  • 300 doses of tetanus vaccines to Cherokee County Health Department in Kansas to protect residents and first responders digging through the rubble. The delivery enables health care providers to continue providing free vaccinations; it had run out of stock in the aftermath of the storm.
  • Family emergency kits and household clean-up kits were sent to the Salvation Army in Pensacola, Florida to help families affected by torrential rain and flooding.

What began as a deadly multi-day tornado outbreak across the Midwest and South expanded into a severe flooding event along the East Coast. From April 27-May 1, the powerful storm system caused heavy rains and floods, hail, high-speed winds and spawned 117 tornadoes – the deadliest outbreak of the year — including two EF-4 and eleven EF-3 tornadoes. The system brought massive devastation from Iowa to Arkansas, the Gulf Coast, Florida and the East Coast.

“The damage is staggering, and we will continue to identify and meet needs in the affected communities,” Ingoglia said.

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