Stamford, Conn. – September 6, 2017 – Americares has deployed emergency response experts to Puerto Rico to assist in response efforts for Hurricane Irma. The health-focused relief and development organization also has staff prepositioned in the Dominican Republic and in its office in Haiti, and has a team ready to deploy to Florida. Among the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded, Irma is a Category 5 storm, packing winds of 185 mph, with the potential to cause catastrophic damage. Hurricane Irma destroyed buildings and caused major flooding on several Caribbean islands, including Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin, earlier today.
“Hurricane Irma has already caused significant damage, and millions more people live in its path,” said Americares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “Our relief workers are on the ground in several different locations, coordinating with partners and standing ready to help address health needs resulting from the storm.”
Americares has been in touch with its network of local health centers, free clinics and response partners in Florida, as well as partners in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean nations. Irma is expected to reach Puerto Rico today and the island of Hispaniola and the Bahamas later in the week. President Donald Trump has declared states of emergency in Florida, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, and areas of Florida are under mandatory evacuation orders.
Americares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters rapidly 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 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. Americares has a long history of responding to severe storms in the United States including Hurricane Ike in 2008 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Americares is also currently responding to Hurricane Harvey. The organization has relief workers on the ground in Houston, delivering medicine and relief supplies to emergency shelters and supporting health facilities serving low-income and uninsured patients in affected areas.
Donations to Americares Hurricane Irma Relief Fund will support Americares response to the storm. To make a donation, please go to americares.org/Irma