Mercy Corps Readies for 2018 Hurricane Season

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Global Organization Focuses on Preparedness in at-Risk Locations

San Lorenzo, Morovis, Puerto Rico. A resident guides her son across the Rio Grande de Manati after the nearby bridge was washed away by Hurricane Maria

Supporting local communities’ preparations is key to saving lives.

The scars of last year’s Atlantic hurricane season are still fresh but Mercy Corps has put people and plans in place for the start of the 2018 season, with a focus on promoting preparedness in at-risk locations such as Haiti and Puerto Rico.

“Millions in the Caribbean and U.S. coastal areas are still recovering from last year’s devastating storm season,” says Javier Alvarez, director of Mercy Corps’ Strategic Response and Global Emergencies Unit. “People remain at greater risk because their resources have already been used up."

The annual Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through the end of November. U.S. government forecasters are predicting a normal to above-normal season for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic as well as in the eastern and central Pacific. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center estimates a 35 percent chance that the season will produce more storms than normal.

“There are homes and business across this region that won’t withstand even an average storm season. We simply can’t have another situation like Puerto Rico after Maria,” Alvarez says. “Supporting local communities’ preparations is key to saving lives.”

In Puerto Rico, Mercy Corps is solarizing 15 community centers and facilitating disaster-preparedness and risk-reduction training to help Puerto Ricans better prepare for future storms. Mercy Corps’ areas of expertise in disaster relief include partnering with local organizations to distribute emergency cash so people can buy what they need most urgently, ensuring access to clean water, and laying the foundation for a strong recovery.

Recognized as a leader in delivering rapid, lifesaving aid to hard-hit communities, Mercy Corps has responded to almost every global emergency in the past 20 years, including Hurricanes Harvey and Maria (2017), the Nepal earthquakes (2015), Philippines typhoon (2013), the Japan earthquake and tsunami (2011), Horn of Africa drought and hunger crisis (2010) and Kashmir earthquake (2005). Mercy Corps was also one of the first responders to the Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) and Haiti earthquake (2010).

Join us and support Mercy Corps’ work after disasters and beyond.

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Christy Delafield
Mercy Corps
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