October 5, 2018

After the Storm: Supporting Hurricane Florence Recovery

In the wake of a catastrophic storm, AbbVie Foundation commits $500,000 for nonprofit partners to bring relief.
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Brothers Amier and Nazier are pictured at an American Red Cross shelter in Washington, North Carolina.

In September, Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on the East Coast with powerful wind, relentless rain and life-threatening storm surges. As the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the Carolinas, producing 15 trillion gallons of water, Hurricane Florence displaced thousands of families in those two states and beyond. The storm moved north through Virginia and headed toward the Ohio Valley, hitting West Virginia and western Pennsylvania and leaving unprecedented flooding in its wake. At least 53 deaths have been attributed to the storm, and damage is currently estimated at more than $38 billion.

As part of AbbVie’s disaster preparedness efforts, and through its long-standing nonprofit partner Direct Relief, the company had already pre-positioned its medicines at health centers in the hurricane-prone states of North and South Carolina. As well, immediately before the storm hit, the AbbVie Foundation provided support to Heart to Heart International to enable its mobile medical unit (MMU) to get to the would-be impacted region in advance of Florence making landfall. The MMU provided on-the-ground medical care in the Carolinas, including emergency triage, wound care, tetanus vaccinations and point-of-care lab testing.  

In the aftermath of the disaster, the AbbVie Foundation worked with its long-standing disaster relief partners to evaluate immediate needs. To support ongoing recovery efforts, AbbVie Foundation is donating a total of $500,000 this year to the following five organizations:

  • American Red Cross: Enabling the provision of shelters, ready-to-eat meals, hygiene kits, medical supplies and cleaning products; deployment of emergency response vehicles; mobilizing personnel to affected areas.
     
  • Direct Relief: Supporting affected partner health centers and clinics; preparation, procurement and distribution of emergency shipments including medications, generators and replacement of medical equipment damaged in the storm.
     
  • International Medical Corps: Providing support for health facilities and mobile clinics by bringing in volunteer doctors, nurses, paramedics and other medical professionals to provide surge capacity with will allow the locally impacted health care facilities and providers the necessary time to rebuild their clinics, ensuring their patient population can continue to receive high-quality medical care.
     
  • Feeding America: Procuring and distributing 4.5 million pounds of food, water and supplies to network members serving impacted areas to help families access meals and emergency supplies.
     
  • MAP International: Shipping and distributing hygiene kits and relief supplies for people evacuated and living in shelters. These hygiene kits assist a person living in a shelter up to a week and include health and basic hygiene items designed to prevent the spread of illness, including mosquito repellent and antiseptic wipes.
 
“We are focused on providing relief following the devastation faced by people on the East Coast, who experienced both damage from the strong storm and the persistent flooding that continues weeks later,” says Tracie Haas, president, AbbVie Foundation. “Through the efforts of our long-standing partners, we are eager to support the medical, supply, food and shelter needs for these families as they begin their recovery from Hurricane Florence.”

The AbbVie Foundation also matches employee donations made to relief organizations, including those listed above.

Media inquiries:

Mary Kathryn Steel
Email: mk.steel@abbvie.com
Call: +1 847-937-4111