On the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria's devastating landfall in Puerto Rico, MAP International’s Disaster Response Team was once again helping people in need following a hurricane. The significance of the moment was not lost on the team as they delivered over 2,000 Disaster Health Kits (DHK) and other health supplies to people in need in Lumberton, NC.
Many of the lessons MAP learned from our work for Hurricane Maria have been applied to our response to Florence:
Getting relief supplies in ahead of the hurricane allowed thousands of Carolina residents who took refuge from the storm to have a MAP Disaster Health Kit waiting for them as they arrived at shelters.
In advance of Hurricane Florence, MAP worked with local partners to deliver an initial shipment of over 4,500 DHKs and health supplies to staging centers in Tabor City and Windsor, NC near the coast. These prepositioned supplies were used by crews assisting thousands of hurricane evacuees.
MAP was one of the first organizations to support emergency management teams ahead of Florence. These prepositioned kits were a measure of comfort in a time of crisis and provided important items for basic hygiene and to prevent illness.
Following Maria, MAP learned the importance of constant communication with key partners serving people weeks after the storm dissipated.
After Florence made landfall and dumped record levels of rain across the state, MAP remained in communication with partners on the ground to meet the needs of evacuees.
Residents are just now beginning the process of repairing their lives; thousands are not able to return home.
For these people beginning recovery, MAP has provided:
- 3,300 DHKs to residents of Wilmington, NC, along with 5,500 packs of antiseptic wipes and over 950 cans of insect repellent. The CDC has warned that mosquitoes that could cause illness can increase in population around two weeks to two months after a hurricane.
- 1,405 DHKs were delivered to Robeson County a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall. They will be distributed to 14 distribution points across the county, including seven shelters.
- In total, nearly 15,000 DHKs were provided for evacuees in Bertie, Robeson, Lenoir, and Beaufort counties near the NC coast and heavily flooded river communities.
Perhaps the most important lesson from Hurricane Maria is to remain prepared. MAP’s supply of prepackaged DHKs and health supplies are now running low.
This week, volunteers packed more kits for what could be a long recovery period for so many in NC. Listen to one special resident who fled Hurricane Florence from Wilmington, NC share her story on why she chose to help.
Please consider a donation to MAP to help the residents of the Carolinas. Just $40 provides a Disaster Health Kit for a family of four.
Thank you for all you do to support MAP International in times of disaster.