International Medical Corps disaster response experts in the Caribbean and Florida are providing much-needed assistance and identifying pressing needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. Hurricane Maria was the third massive hurricane to hit the Caribbean this year and continued the destruction where Irma left off, further destroying homes, crops, and livelihoods, and leaving thousands without access to electricity, clean water, and communication lines.
Hurricane Irma inflicted disastrous damage across the Caribbean and Florida with winds as high as 185 miles per hour leveling homes and disabling communities across the region. Hurricane Maria reached the Caribbean only two weeks later, leaving all of Puerto Rico without power and continuing the devastation. Both storms have left the vulnerable populations in the Caribbean and in Florida without access to clean water, creating the possibility of deadly waterborne illnesses such as cholera.
International Medical Corps teams have mobilized and are responding to meet health care and recovery needs in Florida and the Caribbean. In Haiti, we are providing surge capacity to our teams so they can reach families with cholera treatment and prevention services. In the British Virgin Islands, we have deployed medication that can provide care to 10,000 people for 3 months. We are continuing to collaborate with responders to ensure that doctors, nurses and supplies reach those most vulnerable.
International Medical Corps' approach is to help people help themselves to the extent possible, ensuring a sustained and long-term impact in the communities we serve. 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 2015 earthquake in Nepal, and Hurricane Matthew in Haiti in 2016.