Port-Au-Prince, HAITI (August 23, 2012) — World Vision is prepared, and staff are on high alert as forecasters project that the Dominican Republic and Haiti will fall directly in the path of Tropical Storm Isaac. The storm is expected to make landfall early this weekend with islanders starting to feel the effects Thursday night.
“In the Caribbean, at this time of year we are constantly on alert with an eye towards the weather,” said Claudio Doņe, World Vision’s national director in the Dominican Republic. “These types of storms can come up suddenly and have a devastating impact on large numbers of people. Being an island, we can’t wait the hours or even days it can take for supplies to arrive. We need to be prepared to respond immediately with items on site and a plan to get them to the people who need them.”
World Vision has prepositioned tarps, blankets, water purification supplies, water containers, cooking sets, hygiene kits, mosquito nets, and bed sheets to assist more than 10,000 families in Haiti alone in the immediate time after the storm. Additional supplies are stationed around Latin America as well as in the United States. Staff are monitoring and updating the emergency preparedness plan to best respond to any weather threat.
Given the number of people in Haiti still displaced from the 2010 earthquake, the organization is especially concerned about the impact of strong winds and heavy rain on those without a permanent home.
“There are close to 400,000 victims of the January 2010 earthquake still living in camps in Port-Au-Prince. They remain amongst the most vulnerable, should the storm hit the city,” said Jean-Claude Mukadi, World Vision’s national director in Haiti. “Without a stable sanitation system or permanent housing, heavy rain and wind can create much larger problems like disease from water contamination.”
To help address these needs, World Vision also works with key stakeholders including local governments, local and international non-governmental organizations and UN agencies to ensure families in rural communities as well as those living in urban homes and displacement camps know how to prepare their families for an emergency.
In the United States, World Vision has prepositioned supplies including basic hygiene items, building supplies and non-perishable food to provide relief if the storm hits the country. The organization is reaching out to church and aid partners in Miami and Immokalee, vulnerable communities in the path of the storm, to help receive and distribute aid as needed.
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About World Vision:World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews