NEWS RELEASE: Operation USA to Aid Recovery Efforts in Mexico Following Hurricane Patricia
Los Angeles, Calif., October 23, 2015—Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based international relief agency, announced today that is assessing needs in Mexico as Hurricane Patricia causes “catastrophic” damage. The agency is planning to deliver recovery aid to affected communities, and will call on long standing partnerships in the country to facilitate the distribution of aid.
Hurricane Patricia is being reported as a Category 5 storm, with several reports predicting that it will maintain its strength as it travels along Mexico’s west coast. Experts say this is the strongest hurricane ever recorded—with winds approaching 200 mph and waves as high as 30 feet—within the National Hurricane Center’s area of responsibility. The storm has the power to cause massive death and destruction on the country’s Pacific coastline, including the popular tourist areas of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta.
As of Friday morning, Mexican authorities were working rapidly to prepare the country for the approaching storm, urging residents and visitors to travel inland or take shelter with necessary supplies. Airports have also been closed, with flights in and out of the area grounded.
“The similarities between the havoc Hurricane Patricia is currently wreaking on the Mexican coast and Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines in November 2013, are abundant,” said Richard Walden, CEO, Operation USA. “We saw how many children and families were tragically displaced or killed during that storm, and we worked alongside those people who were so deeply affected as they struggled to overcome it’s devastating effects. We are likely to see similar devastation in Mexico, and we are prepared to help ease those burdens once again as soon as possible. We need the public’s help to do so.”
Operation USA has worked in Mexico since the early 1980s, relying exclusively on private funding. In 2013, after flooding inundated much of Acapulco, the agency helped renovate a damaged school with Ninos en Alegria and the Miguel Aleman Foundation. The Ninos en Alegria project, which supports schools and education programs in western Mexico, is particularly active in the three areas where the storm is expected to cause major damage—Jalisco, Nayarit and Colima– and OpUSA will leverage our partnership with the group to deliver aid quickly following the storm.
HOW TO HELP:
Donations to Operation USA will be allocated directly to relief and recovery efforts in Mexico.
Donate online at give.opusa.org
, by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, PO BOX 36188, Los Angeles, CA 90036-0188. Donations can also be made via text message: text AID to 50555 to donate $10. Text donations are collected for the benefit of Operation USA by the mGive Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.mGive.org/t.
Corporate donations supporting recovery and rebuilding efforts–bulk quantities of disaster-appropriate supplies, transportation and shipping services, shelter, power generation, water purification and medical supplies–are also being requested.
United Airlines miles can be donated to Operation USA through United Airlines Charity Miles program at www.united.com
ABOUT OPERATION USA:
Founded in 1979, Operation USA helps communities alleviate the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief, reconstruction and development aid throughout the world. The Los Angeles based non-government organization offers material and financial assistance to community-based organizations that promote sustainable development, leadership and capacity building, income generating activities, education, health services, and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people.
Richard Walden is available as an expert source on disaster recovery and international relief aid.