Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a Category 3 storm with wind speeds of 125 mph the morning of August 30th in Taylor County, Florida. Prior to the storm’s impact, evacuation orders were in place for 30 of Florida’s 67 counties, and Red Cross data reported that nearly 4,500 people located in Idalia’s path took refuge in shelters. At least three people were killed in storm-related incidents, and estimates indicate that more than 1,700 homes were damaged or destroyed. In the immediate aftermath of Idalia, 250,000 Florida residents lost power due to storm-related damage. 48 hours later, many towns in Florida’s coastal Big Bend region remained without access to power, leaving thousands of residents to cope with dangerous heat conditions. Idalia is the strongest storm to hit the Big Bend since 1896, flooding homes and leaving roads full of debris. The sparsely populated waterfront villages of Big Bend are some of the poorest communities in the state. This means that even with state and federal resources, local communities will struggle to rebuild.
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, International Medical Corps partnered with Palms Medical Group, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) with multiple locations in north Florida that serve communities that were in the direct path of Hurricane Idalia. With the support of FedEx’s charitable shipping account, International Medical Corps transported 1,350 household hygiene kits, 1,140 individual hygiene kits, and 2,971 wound care kits— 37 pallets in total— to Palms Medical Group. These kits were distributed to 5,461 direct beneficiaries and 3,415 indirect beneficiaries to meet the needs of storm-impacted patients who may have experienced flooding in their homes, incurred minor injuries, or faced other challenging circumstances in the wake of Idalia.
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