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Need Hurricane Sandy Supplies?

Need Hurricane Sandy Supplies?

A list of convenience and grocery stores that are open in the face of Hurricane Sandy

We all know the drill — tape up windows, charge all electronic equipment, gather flashlights and candles, and, of course, stockpile water and nonperishable foods. Being prepared for this Frankenstorm is important, and The Daily Meal wants to help.

Check out the status of common stores in New York City if you find yourself in need of extra batteries or a few more bottles of water:

- All Duane Reade stores are open except for locations on Avenue of the Americas, Long Island City, and Far Rockaway

- All D’Agostino locations are closed

- All Trader Joe’s are closed

- All Gristedes stores are closed except for the following locations:

Broadway and 96th, Broadway and 103rd, Broadway and 170th

Columbus and 84th, Sheridan Square and 4th

9th and 24th, 8th and 26th, 3rd and 78th, 3rd and 32nd, 2nd and 40th, 2nd and 29th, 1st and 20th

Long story short: Bet on Gristedes and Duane Reade — don’t bother going to D’Ag or Trader Joe’s.

The information presented in this article is current as of Monday, October 29, at 4 pm ET.

Marilyn He is a Junior Writer for The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @Marilyn_He.


These Are the Essential Items You Need In a Hurricane

Late August is peak hurricane season, when some of the most severe tropical storms hit the southern and eastern coasts of the United States. While there’s no avoiding the weather, it’s not that difficult&mdashor expensive&mdashto stock up on basic items in case you lose power or are temporarily unable to leave your home.

This year’s hurricane season is expected to be the worst since 2012, when the East Coast was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. While we’ve yet to see any serious storms, a tropical depression is currently brewing in the Gulf Coast and could make landfall in Florida as early as Thursday or Friday, according to the local NBC News affiliate. Officials are already fearing the public health dangers of standing water that such a storm would cause, would compound the state’s health problems amid its struggles with the Zika virus.

While it might run you a couple hundred of dollars to gather emergency supplies, your investment could save you even more money&mdashor your life&mdashif a severe weather event strikes. If you live in the potential path of a storm, here are the necessities you need to have on hand to cope with blackouts, flooding, and other weather-related problems.


Five Lessons That Have Made Hospitals Better Prepared Since Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy

No matter what hospitals do to prepare for monster hurricanes, they will never anticipate all their effects. Things will go wrong, and there will always be something that takes a facility by surprise. Hence, it’s a common tenet of emergency planning in healthcare that facilities need to try to be prepared for everything—but also have a backup plan just in case those preparations fall through. That’s definitely been branded in the minds of planners now that hospitals have weathered two storms that tested them in ways never before seen: Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Katrina hit the New Orleans area on August 29, 2005 as a Category 3 storm, and when 53 of the city’s protective levees failed as a result, almost 80% of New Orleans was left underwater, sending citizens scrambling to the roofs of their houses to escape the flooding. Several hospitals were stranded, with no evacuation plans, a lack of doctors (or the inability to get staff to and from work), and failed utilities that ultimately led to many deaths of patients whose life support systems failed. The storm’s aftermath led to major overhauls in emergency preparation, and it changed the way healthcare organizations plan and drill for disasters.

Then came Sandy in 2012. The New York area generally is not a likely target for a direct hurricane strike, but Sandy made a very sudden and unexpected turn inland, coming ashore in coastal New Jersey on October 29 as a weak Category 1 storm. It sent storm surges as high as 16 feet into New York Harbor, flooding tunnels and basements and cutting power to many parts of lower Manhattan.

During the height of the storm, 12 hospitals that had originally planned to shelter in place had to completely or partially evacuate their patients, mostly due to loss of power from flooded generators or backed-up sewer systems that sent water into the lower levels. About 65 hospitals took in patients from evacuated facilities.

Storms like those are only supposed to hit once in a lifetime—but our lifetimes are proving to be different. It took Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston this past September, and the familiar sight of flooded streets and Coast Guard helicopters rescuing residents from their homes, to realize that powerful hurricanes are a part of emergency prep now and in the future.

Lessons learned

So, the question is: Have U.S. hospitals learned the lessons necessary to make sure they can stay open during a monster hurricane? Going by what some emergency officials say, hospitals in Houston were able to prepare well ahead of Harvey and stay open despite conditions that rivaled New Orleans and New York City.

“What we learned in Katrina can be seen directly in Houston,” said William Lokey, who served as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s coordinating officer for the response to Katrina, in a New York Times report. “At every level the response [was] more robust.”

The following is a primer of past lessons that have helped hospitals prepare.

Communications. It’s a law of emergency management that if you can’t communicate with the outside world, you are on your own, and that’s exactly what happened to many hospitals after Katrina struck.

Hamm says that when the power went out and phone service was cut, staff members tried to use cell phones, but downed towers from the wind and overcrowded circuits rendered them useless. There were a few satellite phones available, but to use them, staff had to go to the roof of the hospital to search for a signal.

“They weren’t adequately tested, and there weren’t any reliable antennas,” says Lee Hamm, MD, senior vice president and dean of the School of Medicine at Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans. In 2005, Hamm was chair of one of the largest departments at Tulane, and he remained on-site throughout the entire disaster, he says. He was one of the last people to leave by helicopter evacuation, after five days without power or water. “Everyone goes through exercises thinking they are prepared, but reality is the things you didn’t anticipate are the biggest problems. We couldn’t have expected the entire city to be underwater and not be able to get things in and out.”

Today, cell networks are much more reliable, and hospitals are required to have multiple backup systems available in the event of a crisis. Emergency planning experts recommend that hospital staff train to communicate with each other and emergency responders using relatively primitive means, even pen and paper or two-way radios, in the event of a power outage.

Also, federal and local officials now work together to plan. They go through the same disaster training and largely work from the same playbook, which means they speak a common language, use the same radio equipment, and can work together—and in Houston, that meant the response was that much smoother.

By comparison, the response to Katrina was crippled by blame and miscommunication. In New Orleans, local and federal leaders grew frustrated and lashed out at each other. “We wanted soldiers, helicopters, food and water,” Denise Bottcher, press secretary for the governor of Louisiana, said about FEMA’s Katrina response in the New York Times report. “They wanted to negotiate an organizational chart.”

Resupply lines. Gone are the days of hospitals relying completely on government resources to resupply them if they become incapacitated. In 2005, FEMA was unable to get supplies into New Orleans because of a failure to properly position and mobilize resources. As a result, citizens—and hospitals—largely found themselves on their own without ways to resupply food, water, fuel, and medical supplies until National Guard troops were able to move into the city.

Houston showed that FEMA now has their act together to help hospitals. But experts still say the best way to plan is to expect to be isolated, without help, for several days in the event of a major disaster—hence The Joint Commission requires hospitals to actively monitor emergency conditions and patient needs, and determine their capabilities, including the amount of time they are capable of sheltering in place with no assistance. They recommend hospitals project out for 96 hours and plan accordingly.

That said, hospitals do still need help from the government to keep the supply lines running. During Katrina and Sandy, debris and flooding kept trucks of water, food, and fuel from reaching stricken hospitals, and few supplies had been stored beforehand at designated areas outside known flooding zones. Before Harvey struck Houston, FEMA pre-positioned supplies—a practice managers say is now standard and lifesaving because local officials no longer find themselves days away from vital resources.

Evacuation plans. One of the biggest problems experienced during Katrina was the late decision to evacuate. At both the federal level, where the government waited too long to issue an effective evacuation order for the city, and the local level, where hospitals delayed evacuating their patients and staff, those crucial decisions made the difference between being able to get ambulances and buses in for transport and having to wait for helicopters after floodwaters overtook the city.

By Sandy, healthcare had learned from the past. Hospitals in the New York City area had ambulance companies on standby long before the hurricane ever hit, just in case, and in some cases the most critical patients were moved early to inland hospitals as a precaution. The same thing happened in Houston, where ambulances were staged outside the disaster area for quick deployment.

Hospitals were left short-staffed in New Orleans when employees would not or could not report to work now, contingencies are in place to make sure employees’ needs and the needs of their families are met. Evacuees brought to shelters in Houston found plenty of food, water, cots, and blankets. According to the Times report, “mega-shelters” were also set up in surrounding cities in case Houston’s shelters were overwhelmed.

Drills. Hospitals in Katrina found themselves crippled by a lack of preparation, with emergency and evacuation drills that had not been practiced in years. Because of this, staff had to improvise evacuations of the most critical patients, transporting them up to rooftop parking areas to await helicopter rescue.

Emergency plans now are required to include extremely detailed contingency plans. The Joint Commission and CMS require these plans to be rehearsed at least twice per year in the form of emergency exercises, and at least one of those exercises must test the hospital’s ability to handle a crisis that floods the facility with a patient surge. The idea, of course, is to make sure that staff are ready for any situation under any level of stress.

According to the New York Times, FEMA has spent more than $2 billion to train and prepare local authorities—including hospitals. At the time of Katrina, a survey by the agency found that only about 40% of communities had confidence in their plans. That number has grown to 80%, said Kathleen Fox, FEMA’s acting deputy administrator overseeing disaster preparedness, in the report.

Know who your friends are. Prior to Katrina, hospitals in New Orleans didn’t have “memorandums of understanding” with other facilities to care for patients should the need arise. In many ways, this could have helped hospitals isolated in the most heavily hit areas of the city. By Sandy, again, hospitals knew better. Facilities in New York City took in patients from facilities that were overwhelmed and had to evacuate.

Hospitals routinely train to not only sustain themselves in an emergency, but also to be ready to help out other facilities with supplies or patient care, should a sister hospital become incapacitated. This type of agreement proved helpful during the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri, when an EF-5 twister wiped out St. John’s Hospital. Predetermined agreements went right into effect, allowing patients to be transferred (in many cases, by any means possible) to other hospitals. Facilities from miles away sent supplies, nurses, and volunteers to help with the response effort, taking in some of the most critically injured patients. In addition, other hospitals helped out logistically. When the tornado knocked out water pressure in Joplin, Freeman Hospital could not sterilize its medical equipment and had to send it to a hospital 20 miles to the south by couriers.

Also, hospitals shouldn’t be afraid to count on the general public. In the past, disaster management training warned against using volunteer rescuers, saying they were a potential liability. But now managers are trained to react quickly when a growing disaster overwhelms existing plans, and they have begun to see citizens as an untapped emergency force. During Katrina, authorities turned away volunteer rescuers in boats, but in Houston a literal flotilla of citizens helped evacuate flood victims and get them to hospitals. In Missouri, citizens put injured patients into the back of pickup trucks to help get them to the hospital.

“You can’t always anticipate what your needs will be, but if you have partners you can count on, that will save the day in a big way,” says Paula F. Baker, president and CEO of Freeman Health System in Joplin. Freeman took in more than 100 of the most critical patients who had been evacuated from St. John’s, but also about 1,700 patients that had walked into the ER off the streets. Emergency surgeons performed 22 lifesaving operations in the first hour after the twister struck.

Baker adds that positive relationships with hospital associations, police and fire organizations, and other state and federal emergency organizations can mean mobilizing help quicker and more effectively. “You need to think about who you will need in an emergency, and you need to make sure you have good communication and know what your facility’s limitations are,” she says.

John Palmer is a contributing writer to PSQH.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article stated the Joint Commission requires hospitals to prove they can be self-reliant and operations for 96 hours during a disaster.


A Week After Hurricane Sandy, Students Step Up Their Relief Work

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the damage it inflicted on many college campuses in the New York metropolitan area, there has been a swelling of support from students, including those who were personally affected by the storm. In the last week, students have called closed campuses to volunteer, organized donation drives, and delivered food and supplies to local residents, among other relief efforts.

At Pace University, whose main campus is in hard-hit Lower Manhattan, students are working on several clean-up projects coordinated by the New York City government and a local church. This week, the university’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee is holding a clothing drive.

Pace itself did not suffer serious damage in the storm, but it had to evacuate a residence hall, and buildings lost power. Classes resumed only on Wednesday. But last weekend, a group of students, flashlights in hand, went to Southbridge Towers, a nearby apartment complex with many older residents, to deliver hot meals to the homebound.

“They really jumped to help,” said Marijo Russell-O’Grady, Pace’s dean of students. “Afterwards they had tears in their eyes, telling me how wonderful it was.”

Jordan Hirsch, a junior majoring in film and screen studies, plans a food drive to honor emergency workers. “I know a lot of students are involved with helping victims,” he said, “and I thought it would be a great idea to have students thank these first responders.”

The drive will be called “The Guardians of the Holiday Meal,” said Mr. Hirsch, an intern at Paramount Pictures. “The first responders were like our guardians,” he said, “so we’re taking that theme to the food drive.”

Sleeping on Cots in a Gym

Service learning is a graduation requirement at Pace, and Stephen J. Friedman, the university’s president, estimates that last year students performed around 45,000 hours of community service. This year he expects much of the service to be focused on storm relief.

“Many of these students themselves were impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said Mr. Friedman. “It’s particularly a noble thing to do for students who themselves are sleeping on cots in a gym, to go out and help other people.”

Pace has set up an emergency-assistance table to connect students and employees who are still suffering from the effects of the storm with resources on and off the campus.

In the Bronx, the State University of New York’s Maritime College was closed until Monday, but that did not prevent some students from taking action.

After the storm, they asked the university what they could do to help, said Arianne Romeo, assistant dean of students. While students have been going door-to-door to provide neighbors with necessities such as water, medicine, and batteries, the university is being used as a staging area, with beds, food, and shelter for Federal Emergency Management Agency relief and recovery workers.

“I’m really proud of our staff and students,” said Ms. Romeo. “The outpour of support and energy is incredible.”

‘Humbling Experience’

Last weekend at Adelphi University, students and staff loaded up vans with bags of clothing and boxes of cleaning supplies to deliver to Freeport, N.Y., a staging area for relief to the city of Long Beach, one of the hardest-hit municipalities on Long Island. More than 100 volunteers also spent Saturday collecting clothing, food, and supplies.

“We worked a long, long day,” said Michael J. Berthel, senior assistant director of Adelphi’s Center for Student Involvement. The university collected more than 13,500 items, as well as about $1,000 for the American Red Cross, 200 thank-you cards for emergency workers, and 155 pints of blood. Since then, volunteers have continued to collect more items to donate to organizations such as the Salvation Army, shelters, and churches. Adelphi students plan a trip this weekend to the Rockaway area of Queens—which was hit with flooding, wind damage, and a devastating fire—to help run a donation center, assist with cleanup, and reach out to housebound elderly residents.

“Students on Facebook are posting things like ‘It’s a humbling experience,’ and it’s positive to see that reaction,” said Mr. Berthel. “A lot of students were personally affected, some coming and saying, ‘I lost my house.’ But they’re here going to shelters when they could easily be complaining.”

Lauren Ciuffo, a senior psychology major, has been involved in community-service projects throughout her time at Adelphi, but the donation drive and other relief efforts, she said, were special.

“Since it’s something that happened here, affected people here, we’ve come closer together as a community,” Ms. Ciuffo said. “You pass people in the halls and hear someone offering everything they have—to stay in their room, to give food. It’s brought us together as a student community.”

Farther Afield

Even universities in areas that did not suffer damage from Hurricane Sandy have been giving their support.

Landmark College, a two-year institution in Putney, Vt., for students with learning disabilities, has been busy planning community-outreach programs.

“I had students coming up to me asking, ‘Hey, can we do anything? How will we be able to give back?’ I was blown away,” said Meghan R. Benzel, an alumna and volunteer coordinator with AmeriCorps. “Before I could plan anything, they were already coming to me with ideas.”

The students wanted to hold donation drives, write thank-you notes to volunteers, and plan trips. On Friday nine of them will travel to New York City to team up with the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance. A trip to New Jersey over spring break is in the works.

“With the recovery and work that will need to be done, trips will be ongoing,” said Ms. Benzel.

Students at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pa., who missed classes last week because of power outages have been collaborating with faculty, staff, and alumni to brainstorm ways to help. The university’s Community Service Office is leading a project to design and sell T-shirts to raise funds for the Red Cross.

Students also plan to help with recovery projects to return communities to their pre-disaster norms. “We will be there, and are going to be there, for many years out,” said Carolina A. Hernandez, director of the service office. “Sometimes we lose touch of what’s going on in years after a disaster,” she said, “so we’re going to make sure to be present and committed to the community.”


Need Hurricane Sandy Supplies? - Recipes

Destructive winds, heavy rainfall, and storm-surge flooding hit both the Caribbean and the East Coast with immense force. In the days and weeks after Hurricane Sandy struck, Direct Relief delivered more than 89 shipments of medications and supplies valued at $2.2 million to 35 health centers and clinics in the hardest-hit areas.

Ahead of the storm, Direct Relief prepositioned seven Hurricane Preparedness Modules in the Caribbean, including in Jamaica and Haiti, where they could each support up to 5,000 people for one month. Hurricane Preparedness Packs were also placed at the ready along the U.S. East Coast in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Each of the packs contained enough medicine and supplies to treat 100 people for 3 to 5 days. The packs were sent to 50 clinic partners across nine U.S. states at the beginning of the hurricane season on June 1, 2012.

As Hurricane Sandy headed north in late October 2012, threatening portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, Direct Relief sent notifications and offers of assistance to more than 300 clinical partners in 17 states and D.C., along the hurricane’s projected path and evacuation routes. The offer went out via text message, so partners could contact Direct Relief in the event of a power outage.

When New York City went to full alert late on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in preparation for the imminent landfall of Hurricane Sandy, Direct Relief worked to integrate data streams including open-source epidemiological alerts from HealthMap shelter locations dynamically updated by the Red Cross and government agencies storm activity alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster response and evacuation route data and local agency reports and crowdsourced feeds.

Within and near evacuation zones, Direct Relief supports the ongoing work of 54 clinics, health centers, and other public health institutions.

Direct Relief also reviewed its inventory of items most requested during emergency situations — such as personal-care products, chronic-disease medications, and tetanus vaccine — and alerted its corporate sponsors of likely needs. AstraZeneca, Baxter, BD, Henry Schein, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic/Covidien, Merck, and Sanofi preapproved shipments of inventoried products for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The organization also got in touch with Primary Care Development Corporation, an organization working with health centers in New York, to spread the word about products and supplies Direct Relief had available to ship.

Efforts on the Ground in the U.S.

Direct Relief kept in continual contact with partners in affected areas when Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and New York on October 29, 2012. Contacts reported in from organizations including the Community Health Care Association of New York State, FEMA, the Florida Association of Community Health Centers, the National Association of Community Health Centers, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, the New Jersey Primary Care Association, the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, the U.S. Medical Reserve Corps, and the William F. Ryan Community Health Center in Manhattan. All expressed gratitude for Direct Relief’s offer of assistance and pledged to stay in touch as they formed a better sense of medical needs in the storm’s aftermath.

The day after the storm, roughly two-thirds of the 31 commercial pharmacies in Manhattan below 53rd Street were closed. Direct Relief targeted efforts to reach clinical partners there and reopen supply chains, working with stakeholders from Healthcare Ready (formerly Rx Response) and CHCANYS.

On October 31, 2012, Direct Relief committed an initial $250,000 and its entire $25 million stockpile of available medical inventories to support medical relief and recovery efforts. That initial commitment was raised to $1 million within 48 hours, after the organization received financial contributions totaling more than $500,000. Additionally, corporate sponsors, including Abbott, Eli Lilly and Company, and Teva, stepped forward to offer support. And FedEx generously offered a donation of $50,000 cash and in-kind transportation services to help send medical supplies to those affected by the storm.

The next day, 50 cases of Abbott nutritional supplements such as Zone bars, Ensure, and PediaSure were sent to William F. Ryan Community Health Center, serving a network of clinics in New York City. Another shipment to the center included 360 personal care packs, containing hygiene supplies from Johnson & Johnson, Neutrogena, and Prestige Brands such as lotion, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and other toiletries. Subsequent shipments were prepared for Zarephath Health Center in Somerset, New Jersey the Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton, New Jersey and the Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

When the Ryan-NENA Community Health Center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side reopened, after a week without power, Direct Relief was on hand to greet the first FedEx truck and help unload a two-part emergency shipment. By the time the second shipment arrived, a line had formed around the block, with more than 500 area residents receiving much-needed supplies.

Direct Relief also made continuing deliveries and visits to partners including the Brooklyn Free Clinic, Damian Family Care Center in Queens, The Floating Hospital, Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center in Brooklyn, Newark Community Health Centers in New Jersey, World Cares Center in Manhattan, and the Community Healthcare Network. Supplies distributed included personal care items, nutrition supplements, diabetes supplies, antibiotics, gloves, bandages, Neosporin, blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, masks, fuel for clinic and shelter shuttles, and small vaccine refrigerators from Sanofi.

Sandy Relief in Haiti: Preparation Saves Lives

Meanwhile, the organization continued to assess and respond to needs in Haiti, where heavy rains led to flooding that resulted in more than 50 deaths and affected another 200,000 people. The rains also increased cholera concerns, as damage to water-filtration systems reduced available clean water, while flooding led to the spread of sewage and waste.

Direct Relief had been among the largest providers of medical aid to Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake there, with significant experience fighting cholera. The organization contacted partners in the area, including Maison de Naissance, a birthing center in Torbeck, Haiti, and offered one of the remaining hurricane modules to Visitation Hospital in Petite Riviere de Nippes.

On November 3, 2012, Direct Relief distributed a five-pallet hurricane module to Visitation Hospital. Direct Relief had pre-positioned this module in its warehouse in Port-au-Prince for just this scenario. Direct Relief’s pre-positioned hurricane modules proved vital to the relief and recovery efforts in Haiti. Valued at more than $50,000, these modules contain enough antibiotics, wound care supplies, nutritional supplements, food and oral rehydration products, needles, syringes, and personal care products to treat up to 5,000 people.

The roads around Visitation Hospital were completely washed out, yet the facility saw an increase in the number of patients seeking treatment. A cholera outbreak in Anse-à-Veau, less than 10 miles south of the hospital, would bring Visitation more patients in need of treatment to slow the spread of the outbreak. The contents of the hurricane module, including IV fluids and Ensure, immediately saved lives and provided care to more than 450 patients.

In Port-au-Prince, St. Luke’s Hospital also made use of the hurricane module provided to them by Direct Relief in June in preparation for the hurricane season. In Cite Soleil, St. Mary’s Hospital, newly completed by the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti at the time Hurricane Sandy hit, serves the roughly 300,000 inhabitants of this densely populated, low-lying community situated on the waterfront. The hurricane wreaked havoc in the area, bring rushing water and mud into homes, destroying food stocks available in markets, and spreading cholera.

Sainte Therese Hospital in Miragoane, which serves a population of 300,000 in southwest Haiti, reported 33 cases of cholera through the end of November, up from six before Sandy. The additional supplies allowed them to maintain a broad range of services, including OB/GYN, surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, orthopedics, and a cholera treatment center.

Helping the Most Vulnerable

It was critical in the storm’s aftermath to focus relief efforts on health facilities that serve people who rely on the healthcare safety net for essential services. Direct Relief supported existing nonprofit community clinics and health centers providing services to those who are most vulnerable. This helped make private charitable resources, which were so generously given by private supporters, available to safety-net facilities on the front lines in affected communities. All donations for Hurricane Sandy relief were used exclusively for that effort.

The people who receive care at America’s nonprofit safety-net clinics and health centers — and the facilities themselves — are among those least able to financially absorb this type of blow. They faced difficult challenges bouncing back. The assistance provided helped these facilities and their patients make it through the critical period after the storm, as well as sustain and serve the same people in the same communities in the years yet to come.

Direct Relief provided 89 emergency deliveries of medication and supplies valued at $2.2 million to 35 safety-net health centers and clinics in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Extending the Reach of Relief

On November 7, 2012, National Association of Community Health Centers and Direct Relief announced a partnership to better help people in need by establishing the Sandy Safety-Net Fund, supporting patients of nonprofit health centers and clinics in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. More than $1.5 million has been committed to the fund. All contributions to the fund have exclusively been used to support nonprofit healthcare safety-net facilities and related activities in affected communities.

Beginning with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Direct Relief and NACHC have worked together on a series of initiatives. The organizations have mobilized private charitable resources to benefit patients at nonprofit safety-net health centers and clinics, as well as coordinated emergency preparedness and response activities.

On November 21, 2012, Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center became the first to receive a cash grant from the organizations’ Sandy Safety-Net Fund, with $250,000 going to address catastrophic damage to three of its community health centers. In July 2013, 26 nonprofit health centers in Hurricane Sandy–affected areas of New York and New Jersey, including the Ryan-NENA Community Health Center, received cash grants collectively totaling $1.5 million. The nonprofit facilities receiving grants served as the main point of access to primary and preventive health services for more than 700,000 low-income and uninsured people in New York and New Jersey’s hurricane-devastated areas.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Direct Relief also coordinated efforts to assess unmet needs, to ensure all organizations involved understood how to appropriately and accurately target distribution of resources as more immediate relief efforts turned into longer-term recovery and resiliency efforts. In early February 2013, Direct Relief hosted a Hurricane Sandy Health Taskforce Meeting in New York, bringing together representatives from health centers, state primary care associations, NACHC, and officials from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration.

The organizations discussed, among other topics, the important role health centers play in communities after emergencies, the benefits of mobile medical vans, the impact of lost revenue, and the difficulty of accessing state and federal funds. Health centers throughout New York and New Jersey had documented more than $25 million in losses and had received zero public dollars and limited private resources. Direct Relief and NACHC pledged to support affected health centers and help rebuild the regional health-care safety net through the Hurricane Sandy Safety-Net Fund, assisting health facilities that were severely impacted by flooding and other damage to their facilities.

Big Data vs. Big Storm

Direct Relief helped safety-net facilities get back on their feet and ensured its effectiveness in part through big-data analysis of a range of relevant, dynamic data sources. Accurate and effective public-health emergency response demands deep understanding of the context and the details of chaotic situations.

Using analytics and mapping software from technology partners including Esri, Direct Relief was able to better understand needs on the ground and deploy appropriate resources to those areas. This work began with preparedness activities driven by social vulnerability and health risk analysis, then extended through meteorological investigations rapid scrutiny of shipping histories and continual monitoring of clinic status, shelters, pharmacies, and power outages within a common framework.


How P&G created a 'ready for anything' supply chain

For the last decade, the CPG giant has been on a mission to use technology to take the guesswork out of disaster response.

This article is part of a series on natural disaster preparation and response. View all the articles here.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy took down Procter & Gamble’s Avenel, N.J., plant.

At the time, the facility made 91% of P&G’s perfumes. The other 9% were made by five manufacturers in that same area who are also essential suppliers of raw materials for the fragranced products P&G makes.

It came back online with a generator and a skeleton crew after two and a half days — a seemingly small interruption in the grand scheme (the CPG giant has since sold the plant). At the time it was deemed a relative success.

A few years before Hurricane Sandy rocked the New York area, P&G reorganized its disaster response structure. It brought disaster decision-making into a control tower model — also called a "decision-making clearinghouse."

Previously, each of P&G’s 300 facilities around the world made its own planning decisions. If a disaster struck, there was no central authority handing out orders or prioritizing with the entire business in mind. It was every warehouse, business line and product for herself. After the shift, disasters triggered a streamlined process, and P&G’s "planning service center" was born.

"We recognized that it was very reactive and … we needed to go from being reactive to proactive."

Associate Director of Planning, P&G

Bob Herzog, associate director of planning at P&G, said the centralization helped and the relatively quick recovery from Sandy’s chaos was proof. The planners expedited deliveries. They sourced from abroad when domestic suppliers were down. They even worked with R&D to temporarily reduce the amount of fragrance in several household products until supply recovered.

According to Herzog, decisions in the moment were made quickly and decisively, but the control tower model wasn’t enough.

"Although this was a new capability for our company and new capability in the industry, we recognized that it was very reactive and … we needed to go from being reactive to proactive," he told Supply Chain Dive.

Getting ahead of the storm

Three years ago, P&G set out to augment that decision-making clearinghouse with technology that could help the team make decisions faster and sooner when supply chain disruptions were on the way — not after they arrived.

The answer came from Canadian tech provider Kinaxis, maker of a product called Rapid Response. The cloud-based software maintains a digital map of P&G’s supply chain, along with the bill of materials (recipe) for every product. Bringing in data from the company’s ERP system, Herzog’s team can run scenarios to find out the best possible adjustment when a link in the supply chain has to be changed for any reason.

“What if some of our materials are delayed or not available for a period of time? We can eliminate that and see what the impacts are,” said Herzog.

Kinaxis also incorporates external data like the National Weather Service forecasts to start planning for a storm the moment it is detected.

"We take what used to be days if not weeks' worth of effort and we can get that work done in hours and sometimes minutes."

Associate Director of Planning, P&G

Rapid Response alerts Herzog’s planners to all manner of anomaly whether it’s a weather forecast or a string of trucks behind schedule. P&G sets what Kinaxis calls "guard rails" for what constitutes an anomaly or "exception" in the normal course of business and then the software assigns a level of priority to those exceptions based on how important the supplier, route, facility or product in question is to the business.

Then the planners can run scenarios to try to avoid disruption in the most cost-effective manner.

"We take what used to be days if not weeks’ worth of effort and we can get that work done in hours and sometimes minutes," Herzog said.

Data disaster in, data disaster out

The Kinaxis system is "powered by a lot of data infrastructure that we had to put in place to get near real-time data from the supply chain so that we know when an area is potentially affected," Claudio Borger, program manager at P&G, told Supply Chain Dive.

The planning team needed to ensure a robust ERP was sending clean data to the Rapid Response system in order to glean value. Then it needed to import as much real-time data from elsewhere in the supply chain to know precisely when deliveries were being made and trucks were leaving facilities.

"We’re agnostic to any type of data sources," Tom Gregorchik, senior industry principal at Kinaxis, told Supply Chain Dive. "We can take in all that data and harmonize it to make sense of it."

Modeling out the future goes far beyond hurricanes. Small disruptions like road closures or missed or late shipments from suppliers can trigger alerts too.

P&G planners even modeled out scenarios for the Mexican border closure when President Trump began threatening that possibility — a much tougher scenario to run than small, succinct problems.

"The shorter the time horizon is, the more granular the data. Obviously, if we’re planning for tomorrow or the next day, we’re looking at it by SKU, by location level. But if we’re planning further out in time, for example, capacity planning six months from now or nine months from now — all of that data is also inside Rapid Response," Herzog said.

Harvey presents another test

After years of work, the planning team was put to the test again in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey devastated Southeast Texas and Louisiana.

Tide detergent is made in two U.S. plants — one in Lima, Ohio and one in Alexandria, Louisiana. Alexandria was spared most of Harvey’s rain, but the system told planners that freight routes and deliveries in and out of the facility would likely be compromised. Days ahead of the storm, P&G transferred resources and people to the Ohio plant to keep a steady supply going out to customers so it could temporarily shut down the other facility.

"Not only were there no impacts from the hurricane on our supply chain, but we were prepositioned so that as soon as our customers were ready to receive products, we were ready to provide them," Herzog said. "As a result, we’ve been able to supply consistently when our competitors haven’t."

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Storm outages and disruptions to the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport "may cause ripple effects" through global supply chains, according to a DHL Resilience360 report.


For you hard core coffee drinkers who need your liquid half & half, Land O'Lakes makes shelf stable half & half in the little individual serving cups. I get them at Walmart.

@VaBelle35 Will drink it strong and black if I have to. Saved old coffee pot and boiled water to make drip coffee on the gas grill during last power outage. No coffee. no sanity!!

During Hurricane Sandy a family member made a drip coffee maker out of a Metamucil container. Absolutely fabulous. She posted it on Facebook and everyone wanted one.

@VaBelle35 I just used my old glass Melita pot on grill & poured water through filter/coffee. Haven't used that pot in yrs. & forgot I had it.


Don’t lose your essential documents to the ravages of a storm. Keep important paperwork like copies of insurance policies, bank account information, and other financial records in a waterproof container that you can grab if necessary. You’ll thank yourself later replacing this key information could be time-consuming and potentially costly. A portable one like the type pictured above goes for about $50.

irst aid kits. (The Red Cross’s kit costs $29.) If you’re putting together your own, some items you should include: adhesive bandages, gauze rolls and pads, cotton balls, safety pins, tweezers, scissors, antibiotic ointment, and pain medication like aspirin.


TBM joins in multistate Hurricane Sandy disaster relief

NEW YORK—About 100 Texas Baptist Men volunteers joined in a multistate disaster relief effort to provide more than 670,000 meals to people affected by Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm that hit the United States’ most heavily populated region.

About 900 Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers from 27 states and Canada responded to needs with hot meals, mud-out and clean-out crews, chainsaw teams, temporary emergency childcare, and shower and laundry trailers.

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, TBM set up its emergency feeding unit—a specially equipped 18-wheel, tractor-trailer rig with a field kitchen—at Floyd Bennett Field in southeast Brooklyn.

From the TBM unit, volunteers prepared about 10,000 hot meals for first-responders, police officers, military personnel and sanitation workers.

“The shower and laundry unit provided much-appreciated hot showers and clean clothes,” said Terry Henderson, TBM state disaster relief director.

Henderson, who worked at the New York City office of emergency management headquarters as Southern Baptist disaster relief liaison, characterized the work of the TBM crew as “a shining light for the weary workers.”

The state food-service unit ended its work and began traveling back to Texas Nov. 14, but more than 20 TBM volunteers remained in New York to support Kentucky Baptists as they prepared meals in the Aqueduct Racetrack area.

“The feeding at Bennett Field closed much quicker than anticipated as businesses began reopening, and the city wanted to integrate the workers back into the community,” he said. “The team filled a great need and opened the door for future opportunities.”

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Meanwhile, the Baptist General Convention of Texas disaster recovery office set up regional collection sites for donated items that The Church at the Gateway in Staten Island will distribute to families in need.

Requested items include cleaning supplies, such as buckets, sponges, bleach and paper towels packing supplies, such as boxes, gallon-sized plastic bags, bubble wrap, plastic shelving and packing tape personal hygiene items, such as hand sanitizer, washcloths, towels and toilet paper and tools, such as shovels, dust masks, work gloves and crowbars.

Winter coats of all sizes are needed, but no other clothing will be accepted. School supplies, air mattresses, blankets and sheets also are requested, along with gift cards to hardware or discount stores.

Collection sites include Copperfield Church in Houston, FIRM Baptist Area in Cameron, University Baptist Church in Waco, Collin Baptist Association in McKinney, Hampton Road Baptist Church in DeSoto, First Baptist Church in Waxahachie and Guadalupe Baptist Association in Victoria. Cliff Scrutchins, a member of Sugar Land Baptist Church, also has been collecting items at his home at 1815 Rockfence Dr. in Richmond, but the drop-off site may change if he secures donated warehouse space.

Four sites have been established in Top O’ Texas Area—First Baptist Church in Dalhart, First Baptist Church in Memphis, First Baptist Church in Perryton and Top O’ Texas Baptist Association.

For a complete list of requested items, as well as specific locations, hours of operation and phone numbers for regional collection sites, visit http://texasbaptists.org/disaster. Items must be delivered to collection sites by Nov. 30 in order to be packed for Dec. 3 delivery to New York.

TBM disaster relief relies entirely on donations. To give, visit www.texasbaptistmen.org or send a check designated “disaster relief” to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron, Dallas 75227.

To support long-term recovery efforts coordinated by the BGCT, visit www.texasbaptists.org/give.

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Insurance help after a storm

Make sure that you're consulting experts once it's time to make repairs to help determine whether the hurricane damage was caused by wind or water. A public insurance adjuster can help you organize, submit, and track your claim.

"That can be a very gray area but a certified engineer or a reputable public adjusting company can help," says Damon Faunce, owner of Philadelphia-based Faunce & Associates. To find a reputable engineer or public insurance adjuster, Faunce suggests visiting the National Society of Professional Engineers and the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

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