International Medical Corps Responding after Hurricane Irma and Monitoring Hurricane Maria
International Medical Corps disaster response experts in the Caribbean and Florida are already identifying pressing needs so they can provide much-needed assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Now, with Hurricane Maria gaining strength in the eastern Caribbean, our experts are monitoring its path and preparing to respond should it be needed.
Though the majority of International Medical Corps’ relief efforts take place overseas, the organization does respond to disasters in the United States in extreme situations. With domestic resources stretched after Hurricane Harvey, International Medical Corps deployed a team to Florida to assist in the southern U.S., should it be needed.
Our team in Florida is already out in affected areas to identify the most pressing needs and working to provide relief after Hurricane Irma. The team has assessed several highly affected areas, coordinating closely with federal, state, and local responders in Collier, Lee, and Miami-Dade counties. With staff still displaced, flood waters blocking roads, and power still shut off to many of the communities—health centers that provide access to care for underserved communities are struggling to reopen. International Medical Corps is now collaborating with one local network of 30 health clinics that reaches 80,000 underserved men, women, and children in and around Fort Myers, Florida.
Another International Medical Corps team is in Barbados and Antigua to support our Caribbean response efforts for those who have lost so much in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The team is also monitoring the situation with Hurricane Maria and stands ready to call forward additional staff and supplies should it be needed.
Our team on the ground in northern Haiti continues to operate mobile medical units that can respond to flare-ups of cholera—a risk that could increase as a result of Irma’s heavy rainfall as it passed the island. The team is looking at ways they can plus up support to help prevent a spike in cholera cases, and working to identify additional relief that might be needed in the wake of Irma.
Hurricane Irma—the strongest Atlantic hurricane on record—made its destructive path across the Caribbean in early September. The storm caused near total devastation on some islands, including the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Martin, and Antigua.
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, was predicted to likely be another above-normal season—with between 14 to 19 named storms and two to five major hurricanes.
A pre-eminent first responder for more than three decades, International Medical Corps has extensive experience providing medical care and other lifesaving relief in the aftermath of disasters, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.
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