Hurricane Season 2022: FFTP Prepares for an Above-Average Season of Storms
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 25, 2022) With hurricane season starting in one week, Food For The Poor is preparing to assist the countries it helps in the Caribbean and Latin America in case they are hit by a storm.
On Wednesday, June 1 – the first day of hurricane season – the charity will host a hurricane media briefing at 10:30 a.m. in its warehouse in Coconut Creek. Mark Khouri, FFTP Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, and Jisabelle Garcia-Pedroso, Director of Programs and Operations, will talk about preparations and how the charity responds to hurricanes.
“After a hurricane, survivors will need emergency relief supplies as soon as possible,” Khouri said. “Our Disaster Preparedness and Response team collaborates with our in-country partners well in advance to determine what relief they will require in the days after the hurricane. We pre-position those supplies in-country, putting them in a safe, secure place so they are ready for distribution when the need arises.”
Expectations are high for an above-average 2022 hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30. On Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center forecast a 65% chance of an above-average season. NOAA has forecast 14 to 21 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes – of Category 3 strength or greater.
In November 2020, Hurricanes Eta and Iota destroyed tens of thousands of homes, wiped out roads and bridges and flooded croplands in Honduras and other countries already vulnerable and dealing with the ongoing pandemic. FFTP responded immediately and shipped 155 tractor-trailer loads of disaster relief items that included nonperishable food, two-burner liquid petroleum gas (propane) stoves and supplies, followed by additional assistance to help with recovery and rebuilding in the ensuing months.
One year later, recovery was still underway as those countries struggled to rebuild after the devastating impact of the back-to-back hurricanes. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, FFTP continues to work with its in-country partners to help communities rebuild and become self-sufficient.
In 2021, the charity began pre-positioning kits in countries that are the most vulnerable to hurricanes to have them in place before a storm strikes. Kits are already in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and are set to be replenished in July. Additional kits are being sent to St. Lucia and to Haiti, where pre-positioned kits already in-country were distributed in January to residents in Cap-Haitien after floodwaters damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes.
FFTP also is preparing four kits to respond 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 contain enough supplies to support 250 families in each country. Supplies include tarps, disaster blankets, children’s activity kits from Midwest Mission Distribution Center, disaster hygiene kits with hygiene items from MAP International, women’s care kits, Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier, an oral rehydration solution, water purification packets from Water Mission, hand-crank emergency radio flashlights and diapers. The charity also provides heavy-duty bags that in-country partners use to package individual relief kits for each family.
FFTP has also prepared air freight-ready kits at the FFTP headquarters in Coconut Creek. Those kits include the same items already pre-positioned in each of the countries, as well as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stoves, and Vienna sausages as a source of protein.
“Preparation is critical to our being able to help the countries we serve,” Garcia-Pedroso said. “Having additional air freight-ready kits ready for shipment provides support for countries where we are not pre-positioning kits and in areas where seaports are damaged and we need to ship supplies via air transport.”
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.