SANTA BARBARA, Calif., May 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As hurricane season officially begins June 1 and communities in the U.S. and neighboring countries prepare for the threat of storms, Direct Relief announced today the delivery of Hurricane Preparedness Packs to nine U.S. states and seven countries most likely to be affected during hurricane season.
Direct Relief's Hurricane Preparedness program is a million-dollar initiative whereby large quantities of medicines and supplies are pre-positioned at health centers, clinics and hospitals in at-risk areas to treat vulnerable people during emergencies. The pre-positioning of these medical resources is a key component of Direct Relief's emergency relief efforts and ongoing assistance to partner clinics to facilitate a fast, efficient response when a disaster strikes.
This year marks year six for the growing program - the only one of its kind- which has expanded support to cover 50 U.S. sites in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia and South Carolina and 10 international partners in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, and Nicaragua.
"Smart preparation is the best defense when a hurricane strikes. Community health clinics are a key component of an effective response and speedy recovery. It is critical that clinics in areas most often hit by extreme weather are bolstered with additional supplies to utilize when the devastation first occurs," said Damon Taugher, Director of USA Programs at Direct Relief.
Health centers that have received the medical supplies in the past reported that they have been incorporated into local emergency preparedness efforts.
Jo Anne Powell, Special Projects Manager at Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center in Ahoskie, N.C., said, "When Hurricane Irene was approaching with possibility of a direct hit, everyone was worr