As you likely know, Hurricane Maria made landfall early this morning as a Category 5 storm on the Caribbean island of Dominica. We have beenin touch with the Domenica Department of Health since before the storm hit and will continue to partner with them as needs arise.
With maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, Maria is now moving towards the Irma-battered Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, where many Irma survivors have sought shelter. If the storm continues on its path, it will be the first Category 4 or higher storm to hit Puerto Rico in 85 years. We will continue to track the storm’s path and coordinate with partners such as FEMA and the US Virgin Island Department of Health to assess damage and needs in the days ahead.
-Over the weekend, Americares airlifted over 6 tons of medicines and supplies, valued at over $2.3M, into St. Thomas aboard two planes (See photos attached)
-As Maria picked up force, the timeline for the second of the two planes was accelerated to ensure health facilities were stocked before the storm arrived
-The shipments were delivered to the US Virgin Islands Department of Health for use across several islands
-Contents included antibiotics, dehydration fluids and medical supplies to treat patients with disaster-related injuries and illnesses as well as chronic disease medicine to replace supplies lost in the storm
-In anticipation of Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico, we have been coordinating closely with the Puerto Rico Department of Health-Procured dialysis treatment supplies for medically fragile US Virgin Island residents sheltering in San Juan. (As you might remember from earlier updates, Americares helped transport dialysis patients through the Houston flood waters to treatment centers. Lack of access to dialysis during a disaster is life-threatening. We want to ensure those displaced in PuertoRico, awaiting Maria’s impact, are prepared.)
-With emergency response teams still on the ground in Naples, Orlando and the Florida Keys, we are working closely with health clinic partners to restock medicines and supplies for low-income communities
-To date, Americares has provided support to 10 health care facilities in South and Central Florida, including the Keys.
-We have now deliveredover $350,000 in medicine and supplies and are working on meeting additional needs.
-Many school-based shelters are beginning to close in flood-affected areas, enabling children to return to school. However, many people residing in these shelters cannot yet return home. In hard-hit Port Arthur, a 1,200 person tent-based displacement camp in being erected to provide temporary housing.
-Americares has now delivered over $2.3M in medicines and supplies to 23 partners in Texas
-Provided $90K in operating support to local health clinicsto restore health services and enable the facilities to treat patients from far-reaching communities
Thank you for your continued support. We will provide more information on Hurricane Maria’s impact as it is available.