IsraAID responds to Hurricane Florence
The Israeli humanitarian NGO has responded to frequent US disasters in recent years.
After Hurricane Florence has devastated North and South Carolina, Israeli humanitarian aid NGO IsraAID has mobilized an Emergency Response Team, which is preparing to respond. The hurricane, now downgraded to a tropical depression, has brought life-threatening storm surges and flash flooding. At least 14 people have been killed in the Carolinas since it made landfall on Friday. IsraAID’s team includes Israeli disaster responders who have been in the U.S. since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston last year, and a bigger team in Israel ready to deploy if necessary. IsraAID’s team will arrive in the affected area in the next few days and assist in household recovery for vulnerable populations.
In its response to Florence, IsraAID will leverage its extensive recent experience responding to crises and disasters in the United States. In 2017, IsraAID emergency response teams provided support and aid to communities affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Hurricane Harvey in Houston, and wildfires in Santa Rosa, California.
After the initial emergency period ends, IsraAID transitions towards long-term programming, with the aim of accompanying communities on the journey towards a better, sustainable future. The NGO still has teams on the ground in Houston and Puerto Rico, one year after Hurricanes Harvey and Maria.
In Houston, IsraAID’s team focused during the weeks after Harvey on household recovery, debris removal, and community support, working directly with 180 households. Since the initial emergency period, IsraAID has concentrated its work in Texas on reducing the risks potential future disasters pose to local communities. The IsraAID mission in Houston is currently mapping community vulnerability to enhance planning and response to future disasters.
After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, IsraAID distributed water filters for 6,000 people in six remote communities, operated six mobile medical clinics, treating hundreds of people from some of Puerto Rico’s most deprived communities in nine different areas, provided direct mental health support in six shelters, and trained the staff of two hospitals in using expressive arts techniques to respond to trauma. Since the emergency, IsraAID’s team has focused on providing safe water to rural Puerto Ricans and developing the capacity of the island’s communities to respond to the psychological and social impact of the hurricane.
Yotam Polizer and Voni Glick, IsraAID Co-CEOs, said: “We have been watching as communities in the United States again suffer the onslaught of a devastating storm. We are praying for the people of the Carolinas and are ready to provide help and assistance for as long as we are needed.”