Hurricane Preparedness Week: FFTP Pre-Positions Supplies Before Disaster Strikes
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (April 28, 2022) With the start of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 1 – 7, just days away, Food For The Poor is preparing to position critical relief supplies to help its in-country partners respond if a storm, earthquake or other disaster strikes.
Forecasters are bracing for an above-average 2022 hurricane season, which begins on June 1. Scientists at Colorado State University have predicted there will be at least 19 named storms and nine hurricanes – four of which will be Category 3 or higher – by the time the season ends on November 30.
“Pre-positioning of emergency relief supplies allows our in-country partners to respond immediately to needs on the ground,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said. “We saw the success of pre-positioning supplies in the Haiti earthquake last August. Within 24 hours after the earthquake, supplies were on the way to the disaster areas for distribution.”
This year, disaster kits will be sent to nine countries, including the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. FFTP also is preparing domestic kits for response to disasters in the United States.
Some of the charity’s key U.S. partners provided items to include in the kits.
The international kits will have enough supplies to support 250 families in each country. Each kit will include 250 tarps, 320 disaster blankets, 280 children’s activity kits from Midwest Mission Distribution Center, 540 disaster hygiene kits with hygiene items from MAP International, 250 women’s care kits, 7,000 packets of Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier, an oral rehydration solution, 5,760 water purification packets from Water Mission, 250 hand-crank emergency radio flashlights and 5,000 diapers. The charity also provides heavy-duty bags that in-country partners use to package individual relief kits for each family.
In addition to the kits, Living Water Treatment Systems from Water Mission were sent to eight of the nine countries last year. The system is capable of purifying 10,000 gallons of water a day and providing clean drinking water for 5,000 people.
Among all the items in the kits, the items for women and children go beyond the traditional supplies distributed to families in need after a storm.
“Women and children are the most vulnerable during a crisis, and we wanted to address their immediate needs,” said Jisabelle Garcia-Pedroso, FFTP’s Director of Programs and Operations. “The activity kits will help keep the children occupied and shift their attention away from the chaotic environment, giving their parents the space to focus on the family’s recovery after a storm. Our women’s care kit provides specific items, such as personal cleaning wipes and hygiene pads, that aren’t always readily available during a crisis.”
In addition to the pre-positioned supplies, FFTP will maintain four international air freight-ready disaster response kits in the charity’s Coconut Creek warehouse. Each kit contains 200 tarps, 90 disaster blankets, 3,240 cans of Vienna sausages, 540 disaster hygiene kits, and 60 LPG two-burner stoves. The kits can be sent within days to replenish supplies if one of the nine countries exhausts its supply of pre-positioned relief kits. They also can be sent to help any of the other countries the charity helps in the Caribbean and Latin America.
In preparation for the shipment of supplies, FFTP is hosting its first Hearts United Community Day on Saturday, April 30, when volunteers from churches, businesses and schools will pack hygiene items into disaster relief kits and sort donations. There is still time to volunteer and donate goods for shipment. For more information, please click here to read about the event.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.