Stamford, Conn. – Oct. 10, 2018 – Americares is deploying an emergency team to Florida to respond to Hurricane Michael, which is expected to make landfall today as the strongest storm on record to hit the Florida Panhandle. The National Weather Service is forecasting the Category 4 storm will bring torrential rains, maximum sustained winds of up to 145 mph and life-threatening storm surge to the northeastern Gulf Coast.
The governors of Florida, Alabama and Georgia have declared states of emergency and a federal disaster declaration was issued for 35 Florida counties. Hundreds of thousands of Florida residents were urged to evacuate as the monstrous storm closed in on the coast. An estimated 3.7 million people are under hurricane warnings in the Panhandle and Big Bend regions, as well as parts of Alabama and Georgia. In North Carolina, where Americares responded to the destruction of Hurricane Florence last month, Gov. Roy Cooper warned that Michael could bring moderate storm surge, downed trees and power outages to the state.
Two men board up a business in advance of Hurricane Michael in Destin, Florida. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
“Michael is on track to be a life-threatening hurricane,” said Americares Director of Emergency Response Brian Scheel. “Our response team is on the way and ready to meet the health needs in affected communities.”
Americares emergency response team is expected to arrive in Jacksonville, Fla., later today. The health-focused relief and development organization is also contacting partner health clinics located in the path of the storm with offers of assistance. Americares is prepared to deliver emergency medicines and relief supplies, including supplies for displaced families, as well as provide support to impacted health clinics.
Americares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice 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 has a long history of responding to emergencies in the U.S., including Hurricanes Sandy, Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Florence and the 2018 California wildfires.
Americares 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.