IsraAID to deploy in Florida following Hurricane Michael’s devastation
The Israeli NGO will send a team to Florida after one of the strongest storms the continental U.S. has ever seen.
IsraAID, the leading Israeli humanitarian NGO, is preparing to deploy an emergency response team to northwest Florida, which has suffered brutal devastation at the hands of Hurricane Michael, since it made landfall as a category four hurricane on Wednesday. At least six people have been killed, with that number expected to rise, and thousands have been evacuated from their homes. The hurricane has damaged and destroyed houses, hospitals, roads and water systems across the Florida panhandle, which is dotted with small, coastal communities. IsraAID’s emergency response team will work to return affected people to their homes.
IsraAID is currently conducting emergency response operations in North Carolina, the Philippines, and Indonesia. In North Carolina, IsraAID’s team is working with Team Rubicon, the international disaster response organization founded by U.S. military veterans, to remove debris and restore the homes of people forced to evacuate by Hurricane Florence last month. IsraAID’s team in Florida will also collaborate with Team Rubicon to aid the return of survivors of Hurricane Michael to their homes.
IsraAID has extensive recent experience in U.S.-based emergency response. In addition to the team currently deployed to North Carolina, IsraAID has since 2017 provided disaster relief to communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma, in Texas, Puerto Rico, and Florida, and by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California. After the initial emergency period ends, IsraAID transitions towards supporting a long-term, sustainable recovery, based on an assessment of need and in partnership with the local community.
Following the 2017 hurricanes, IsraAID has kept teams on the ground in Houston and Puerto Rico. In Houston the organization is piloting a new project to map community vulnerability to future disasters, while in Puerto Rico the team is providing long-term access to safe water and developing community response to the psychological and social impact of Hurricane Maria.
Yotam Polizer and Navonel Glick, IsraAID Co-CEOs, said: “Our thoughts turn again towards the southeastern United States, as towns and cities in northwest Florida have suffered large-scale, catastrophic damage at the hands of Hurricane Michael. IsraAID currently has a team in North Carolina, assisting in the recovery and reconstruction of communities struck by Hurricane Florence, and we are preparing to send a team to the worst-affected area in the Florida panhandle as soon as possible. This will be the second time in just over a year that we have responded to an emergency in the state, after Hurricane Irma hit last September. Our team will remain in the area to help people affected by this devastating storm for as long as we are needed.”