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Americares Responds to Hurricane Idalia

  • August 30, 2023

Stamford, Conn. Aug. 30, 2023 – Americares is preparing to deploy an emergency response team to Florida to respond to Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall today as a Category 3 storm along Florida’s Gulf Coast. An Americares emergency response team is expected to be on the ground in Florida by the end of the week.  

Hurricane Idalia hit near Keaton Beach in the Big Bend area this morning, bringing a dangerous storm surge and catastrophic winds, according to the National Hurricane Center. Residents of more than two dozen Florida counties were under evacuation orders as of this morning and President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide support and federal funding for the recovery. The storm continues its path across Florida and Georgia as it moves toward coastal South Carolina.

Americares is prepared to send hygiene kits, first aid supplies and other critically needed medicines and relief supplies to help meet the health needs of storm survivors, as well as emergency funding to help restore health services in affected communities. Ahead of the storm, Americares relief workers contacted nearly 450 partner clinics across Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina to offer assistance. As the storm traveled up Florida’s West Coast some of the communities it passed over are still recovering from Hurricane Ian and experienced the second major hurricane in less than a year.  

“With a hurricane of this magnitude and widespread power outages, we expect significant disruption to health care services,” said Americares U.S. Director of Emergency Response Mariel Fonteyn, who will lead the response team. “We know from our experience with Hurricanes Ian and Michael—and dozens of other storms—that health care providers will need help serving the most vulnerable survivors. We will soon have an emergency response team on the ground working with local partners to meet the most urgent health needs.”  

Americares has been responding to emergencies worldwide for over 40 years and has a long history of responding to storms in Florida and the Gulf Coast. The organization has been on the frontlines of recovery efforts following major hurricanes in the region in recent years, including Hurricanes Ian, Irma, Dorian and Michael.  

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian last September, Americares delivered more than 8 tons of medicine and relief supplies and awarded emergency funding to assist health clinics and nonprofit organizations with repairing storm damage, fueling generators, replacing damaged medical equipment and other needs. Nearly a year later, Americares continues to support safety net health care providers in the hardest hit areas still recovering from the storm.  

After Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm that devastated the Florida Panhandle in 2018, Americares delivered 61 shipments of medicines, medical supplies, hygiene products and other relief items and operated a temporary medical clinic in Panama City, Fla., that provided primary care services for more than 800 survivors.  

Americares responds to more than 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings preparedness programs to communities vulnerable to disasters. Americares relief workers are among the first to respond to emergencies, helping to restore health services for survivors. After disasters, we often stay for months—or years—helping communities recover.

Donations to Americares Hurricane Idalia Relief Fund will support its response to the storm.