Direct Relief is committing to scale up its proven Hurricane Preparedness Program (HPP) in the Caribbean in advance of potential storms during the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. The HPP provides international hospitals and US safety net clinics with the essential emergency medicines and medical supplies required to meet the healthcare needs of patients immediately after a hurricane disaster. The program prepositions emergency medicines and medical supplies in two forms: the Hurricane Prep Pack – stocked to treat 100 patients for five days after an emergency and designed for prepositioning at U.S. safety net clinics in high disaster-risk areas – and the Hurricane Preparedness Module – stocked to treat 5,000 patients for a month and designed to be prepositioned with international hospital-partners in high hurricane-risk areas. All supplies are stored in portable, water-resistant containers, and include a wide range of items such as trauma and wound care supplies, antibiotics, first aid supplies, and medications for common chronic diseases and severe allergic reactions.
For this scale-up, Direct Relief will double the number of pre-positioned international hurricane preparedness modules from 10 to 20 recipients, and will increase the number of US Prep Packs from 50 to 60 recipients. New recipients will include countries and territories that were severely impacted by the 2017 hurricane season, including Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, Puerto Rico, and the US and British Virgin Islands. To coordinate this scale-up, Direct Relief will work with health and emergencies in each geographic area included in the program, as well as regional bodies such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), national and state associations of health centers, and dozens of private sector healthcare companies who supply products for the modules, as well as logistics companies such as FedEx.
Direct Relief will equip their in-country partners with Hurricane Preparedness Packs by the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. In accordance with Direct Relief's program MOU, the recipient must notify Direct Relief when the HPP has been received in their storage facility as well as if they open their HPP in response to a disaster.
June 1st – HPP arrives in recipient location.
November 30th – If no disaster occurs, recipient can open HPPs and absorb the supplies into their general inventory.
Hurricanes pose an annual threat to millions of people living in at-risk regions around the world. In times of emergency, clinics and hospitals are often underequipped to handle the large influx of patients. The best defense against these challenges is smart preparation: as the oft-cited statistic indicates, for every $1 spent on disaster preparedness, $7 is saved on response. The pre-positioning of supplies eliminates delivery delays and enables medical professionals to treat injured patients on-site when an emergency strikes. Since 2007, Direct Relief has done just that by providing vulnerable partner health facilities with medicines and medical supplies to improve their ability to respond quickly.
In order to scale up the Hurricane Preparedness Program, Direct Relief is seeking financial resources to support the program and to match its own financial commitment. Direct Relief is also seeking partnerships with multilateral agencies and in-country/territory EOCs in order to help coordinate and facilitate the arrival, storage, and usage of the kits and reporting back on them when utilized.
As part of the Hurricane Preparedness Program Direct Relief is offering a preparedness service, whereby it sources, organizes, packages, ships, and delivers what its partners need and in the format they need it. At the same time Direct Relief is continually offering regular support in terms of medicine and supply donations that are a small part of helping their partners increase community health resiliency, and thus, resiliency in the face of disasters. Direct Relief also offers logistics and financial support to their partners where requested and where possible.