NEWS RELEASE: Operation USA Partnering With Gulf Coast Clinics In Preparation For Hurricane Gustav Response

LOS ANGELES (September 1, 2008) The Los Angeles-based international disaster relief agency, Operation USA, is working with communities likely to be affected by Hurricane Gustav next week.

Operation USA was active in Hurricanes Katrina and Rita which struck Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi on August 29, 2005 (Katrina) and again in mid September, 2005 (Rita). The disaster relief agency made over $2.5 million in grants and sent over $18 million in material aid to partner nonprofit clinics, schools and other community-based nonprofits in need of support. Included in these figures is $4.5 million in aid in 2007-2008 alone indicating that Operation USA’s commitment to the area is long-term.

We are partnering with established networks of Primary Health Care Associations and community health clinics which are working around the clock to anticipate needs resulting from a major storm with 15-30 foot storm surges necessitating the likely evacuation of millions of people. These clinics were and are partners of Operation USA since hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the South 3 years ago today. The response by FEMA to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was and still is inadequate. There was general mismanagement by government at all levels and it is up to the community-based organizations, foundations and companies to ensure that this time there are adequate safety measures in place to mitigate the effects of this so-far devastating storm.We hope everyone has learned the lessons of Katrina.

Operation USA is appealing to individuals, foundations and companies for money and appropriate relief supplies to enable it to respond effectively wherever on our shores Hurricane Gustav strikes.