STAMFORD, Conn. – Stamford-based Americares is preparing to deploy an emergency response team from its U.S. headquarters to assist with the Hurricane Matthew relief efforts after the Category 4 storm slammed into the southern coast of Haiti on Tuesday.
The storm downed trees, flooded roads and tore roofs off homes and businesses.
“The full extent of the damage is still unknown, but based on initial reports there will be significant humanitarian needs. We are particularly concerned about the potential for a spike in cholera cases in the aftermath of the storm,” said Americares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia, who is headed to Haiti. “We are readying a shipment of basic medicine and relief supplies, including fluids to treat cholera.”
Another Americares emergency response team is already at work in Haiti, coordinating aid shipments with partner organizations throughout the country providing health services to survivors.
The slow-moving storm, which has killed at least seven people, also poses a threat to Cuba and the Bahamas. Americares is prepared to expand its response, including to the southern United States, if needed. Americares began readying relief supplies in its Stamford distribution center Monday in response to requests for medicine, first aid kits, wound care supplies and other necessities.
The second emergency response team is expected to be on the ground as early as Wednesday.
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 been supporting health care in Haiti since 1984. Over the years, Americares has responded to dozens of emergencies in the island nation, including Hurricane Ivan, the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the ensuing cholera epidemic. In the aftermath of the earthquake, Americares provided $97 million in aid to improve the health of survivors, including enough medicine to fill 3.8 million prescriptions. In all, Americares reached 160 hospitals, clinics and community health programs with donated medicine, relief supplies and project support, including technical support.
Donations to Americares' Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund will support its response. To make a donation, visit americares.org/matthew .