Puerto Rico (The United States of America): Dorian, Now Category 1 Hurricane, Tracks Toward Puerto Rico

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By Lara Cooper

Hurricane Dorian gathered strength on Wednesday afternoon, accelerating from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of more than 75 miles per hour.

The storm’s path is tracking just east of Puerto Rico, avoiding a direct hit to the main island, but high winds, heavy rain, storm surge, and the threat of landslides are a concern to Puerto Rico residents.

Direct Relief is working closely with health centers and clinics across Puerto Rico and is well positioned to respond. Since Hurricane Maria, Direct Relief has invested significant resources to help Puerto Rico withstand future storms.

At the start of hurricane season, the organization stationed 13 caches of emergency medical supplies with health facilities across the island.

View the map below for a live track of Dorian relative to Direct Relief’s pre-positioned emergency medical modules.

To further prepare healthcare providers for hurricanes and other emergencies, Direct Relief has outfitted seven Puerto Rico health facilities with solar panels and batteries; furnished 168 pharmaceutical and laboratory refrigerators and freezers with enough capacity to store roughly 6 million vials of vaccines; enabled health services in remote communities through the procurement of 30 mobile medical vehicles; and equipped Puerto Rico’s Medical Reserve Corps with Emergency Medical Packs for triage medical outreach.

Direct Relief is also making available more than $37 million in emergency medical aid to organizations throughout the Caribbean as Dorian moves northward.

Through formal agreements with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the Pan American Health Organization, and dozens of NGO and government entities, Direct Relief is able to deploy emergency resources rapidly should the need arise.