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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 4:51 am | Fair 39º


Direct Relief Sending Additional Medical Supplies for Hurricane Ike Victims

As Texas Gulf Coast embarks on long road to recovery, DRI wades in with critical material aid.

Direct Relief International is preparing additional emergency medical material assistance to assist health centers and evacuation shelters serving those affected by Hurricane Ike, which made landfall early Saturday at Galveston, Texas.

At least seven people died in the storm, whose 110 mph winds and towering waves smashed houses, flooded thousands of homes, blew out windows in Houston’s skyscrapers, and cut off power to more than 3 million people, perhaps for weeks. Authorities were still searching for survivors in some of the hardest areas.

Longtime corporate donors Abbott, BD, BBoehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Covidien, CVS, GlaxoSmithKline, Henry Schein, Johnson & Johnson, Matrixx, Merck, Miltex, Nexxus, sanofi-aventis and Schering-Plough” title=“Schering-Plough”>Schering-Plough have given their product for use at sites in Austin and Corpus Christi, Texas, and in Eunice and Monroe, La. The shipments are being handled by FedEx through a generous donation.

Since Sept. 1, Direct Relief has supplied its medical safety-net partners in Texas and Louisiana with nearly $400,000 in medical material aid to assist their response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Two members of Direct Relief’s domestic programs team will arrive in Louisiana on Sunday, and will be surveying clinic sites and evacuation centers throughout the week. Many evacuation shelters set up for Gustav are now serving those affected by Ike.

One such shelter in Shreveport, La., is served by Martin Luther King Health Center, a recipient of one of the 18 hurricane preparedness packs Direct Relief sent to safety-net clinics throughout the Gulf of Mexico in July. “The shelter calls in or e-mails medication orders, we fill them at the clinic, and then take them to the shelter,” King Health Center executive director Janet Mentesane said in an e-mail. “So far it is running smoothly with what we are doing.”

Jim Prosser is a spokesman for Direct Relief International.

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