Miracles Big and Small After Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael roared across the Florida panhandle leaving behind a swath of destruction of historic proportions. The death toll has grown to 19, and more than 435,000 homes are still without power. First responders are still assessing the damage in many communities.

Panama City Beach had never experienced a storm as powerful as Michael. The hurricane left the city in shambles. Both local hospitals were severely damaged. Those who did not evacuate or left a car behind lost their vehicle when Michael slammed ashore. Their ability to reach a physician, or a pharmacy to get medication has been hampered. Could you imagine not being able to pick up a critically-needed prescription?

Topics: disaster relief hurricane michael florida

Before, During, and Now After Hurricane Florence

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: 

Topics: disaster relief hurricane disaster health kits hurricane florence

Getting Ahead of the Storm: How MAP Plans for Disasters

One year ago today, Hurricane Irma made landfall on Cudjoe Key, Florida as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds. As it barreled across the Florida Keys and into the Gulf of Mexico, residents fled Irma's dangerous path before it once again made landfall on Marco Island. Homes were destroyed, and millions were left without power as the hurricane continued up the state and into Georgia.

MAP provided thousands of its signature Disaster Health Kits (DHK) to affected residents in both states. DHKs provide essential items to help prevent the spread of disease. Each kit is designed to help meet the needs of one person residing in a shelter for one week.

Senior Partnership Development Officer, Kipp Branch was on the ground one year ago assisting families affected by Irma.

In this interview, Kipp describes how MAP prepares in advance for disasters and then acts immediately to help people in need.

Topics: disaster relief hurricane irma hurricane disaster health kits

Behind the Scenes: Rose's Resilience

After I introduced myself to Rose, the first words I remember her saying were, “Lespwa fè viv.”

My translator, Florence, said it means “hope makes one live.” Florence then shared with me; however, “When you hear Rose’s story, you will know that this means so much more for her.” I looked at my translator quizzically.

Topics: Haiti earthquakes disaster relief

A Volunteer Miracle Worker in Guatemala

You may never meet Dr. Jose Amezquita, unless you are in desperate need of medical care in Guatemala.

Dr. Amezquita works closely with MAP International’s partner, Vine International, who shared this story with us:

On Saturdays, after a week of work at his office, Dr. Amezquita opens his home as a clinic to patients who have no money to pay for medical care. 

All of the supplies and medicines he dispenses to his patients are made possible because of you and your generous support of MAP International.

Unfortunately, Dr Amezquita’s home is near Alotenango, a small community near the Fuego volcanic eruption that affected thousands of lives earlier this month.

Topics: disaster relief disaster health kits volcano guatemala matching gift

Tragedy in Guatemala: Fuego Volcano Update

Sadly, the tragic news from aftermath of the Guatemala Fuego volcano continues.

News reports indicate that 109 people have died as a result of the eruption. Hundreds of people are still missing and presumed dead. After two eruptions in three days, more than 12,000 people have been evacuated. The entire village of El Rodeo was covered by a river of boiling lava and ash.

Topics: disaster relief disaster health kits volcano guatemala

Deadly Lava and Ash: Fuego Volcano Destroys Parts of Guatemala

A river of boiling volcanic lava and ash overwhelmed communities 30 miles outside Guatemala City, Guatemala, Sunday displacing thousands of people from their homes and leaving 1.7 million people at risk for respiratory illness and other short and long term illness.

The Fuego volcano is one of the most active in Latin America. Tragically, this eruption is Guatemala's deadliest such event in more than a century.

As of June 5, 69 deaths have been confirmed. Many are still missing and presumed buried in the ash. Thousands have been injured and burned.

Topics: disaster relief disaster health kits volcano guatemala

When Lives Depend on MAP: Preparing for the 2018 Hurricane Season

For the people of Puerto Rico and Texas, the chance of any hurricane threat seems daunting. So many communities are still recovering from Maria and Harvey. Now this week, NOAA has released its predictions for 2018:

NOAA’s forecasters predict 10 to 16 named storms, of which five to nine could become hurricanes, including one to four major hurricanes.

One is too many for the hundreds of thousands of lives torn apart last fall. Thanks to thousands of MAP donors and supporters who helped send Disaster Health Kits and medicines, many were provided a ray of hope in the most desperate of conditions.

Topics: disaster relief disaster health kits hurricane

Before The Storm Hits: Being Prepared For Disaster

Even before a disaster hits, MAP becomes a disaster response center. And much of the preparation necessary for a humanitarian response requires significant advance planning.

When we know a hurricane is forming, or receive news of an earthquake, or see refugees fleeing conflict, MAP springs into action.

This past week, MAP International hosted members from Rotary International District 6920 to pack MAP's signature Disaster Health Kits (DHK). These kits are readied for a disaster that has yet to happen.  Why? 

Because the first question we ask is always, “How can we best help those who may be affected?”

Topics: disaster disaster relief hurricane harvey Hurricane maria hurricane irma disaster health kits Hurricane Matthew

Damaged Buildings and Souls: Update on Bolivia Mudslide

Last week we shared news of the devastating mudslides that affected central Bolivia.  It’s hard to imagine the terror of watching a violent mudslide destroy your home and cover streets in mud and rubble.

(Photo: Mauricio Rocabado, Los Tiempos)

Yet this is what happened in Chilimarca when the banks of the Taquina River overflowed more than ten days ago. The MAP Bolivia Health Office suffered severe damage, and tragically, a MAP-trained health promoter lost her life.

The mud was relentless. The clean-up has just begun.

In addition to taking care of the immediate needs of their own families, the MAP team is working to aid those living in difficult conditions.

MAP’s Bolivia Office Director, Jose Miguel Deangulo, wrote to us about the MAP facility:

"The clinic resumed activities after very intense support from MAP staff and people from the community. It took several days to remove the mud and to rehabilitate the different areas that were covered .

Families are getting clothes, food and other crucial items. We have accommodated one of the staff families that was living in very high-risk conditions inside of her home. We opened our program to children of other families that have been placed in a shelter so that children may have more relaxed environment and better conditions to process their trauma.”

While retaining walls can be fixed and mud washed away, the emotional damage suffered by the residents of the community is harder to repair.  Mothers and children are slowly returning to the clinic for weekly programs, but the fear of more mudslides remains.

Unfortunately for one of the clinic program participants, Maribel Alarcon, her story does not have a happy ending.

The day of the mudslides, Maribel was home with her young son and worried, like many, about the unceasing rain. Before she knew it, the mudslides inundated her home depositing over six feet of mud and rubble.

Tearful and trembling, Maribel shared this account with a MAP employee:

“Everything happened in minutes. I only ghad time to take my barefoot son out, and he ran off with what he was wearing, and everything was left inside. It is very sad to see that all the effort I put every day to build my life today is nothing, I lost everything!”   

She and her husband and two children are now homeless and relying on the generosity of neighbors and friends. MAP staff members have provided emotional support, along with personal items and clothing for the children. The family has moved to a shelter – their future remains uncertain.

This small community has suffered greatly. The MAP Bolivia Office serves the healthcare needs of the Chilimarca community and surrounding area. In 2017, the MAP team there served more than 25,000 people.

Will you consider a donation to keep this clinic operating and able to provide medicines and health supplies to the neediest? 

During this season of Lent, let us remember:

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them”  Hebrews 6:10

 Bolivia Relief Efforts

Topics: Bolivia mudslides disaster relief

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