Emergency Responders on High Alert as Hurricane Matthew Takes Aim at Florida Coast

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 6, 2016) – After devastating Haiti, Hurricane Matthew is taking aim at the eastern coast of Florida over the next 24-28 hours, bringing with it the possibility of 145 mph winds, a dangerous storm surge and flooding. Every school district along the Florida coast is closed and two million people have been urged to evacuate across Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Save the Children is prepositioning an emergency response team in Florida to be able to help families and children as soon as the storm passes. The team will assess needs and is preparing to set up child friendly spaces in shelters when it is safe to do so. Child friendly spaces provide children with a safe place to be engaged in educational play with other children, while giving parents a much-needed opportunity to go out and assess the damage.

"We are carefully monitoring Hurricane Matthew as it moves up the coast so we can help children and families in need at the earliest possible moment," said Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children. "We have responded to every major hurricane since Hurricane Katrina and we will use the knowledge gained during those emergencies to help families in Florida."

"With the exact path and impact of the storm still not totally clear, we are prepositioning just outside the evacuation area so we are ready to respond," said Jeanne-Aimée de Marrais, Emergency Response Team leader said en route to Florida. "Save the Children supports early childhood education programming in the state and children and families will be the focus of our response efforts."

Save the Children continues to respond in Haiti. We are deploying our Emergency Health Unit, a team that will provide life-saving primary healthcare in response to water-born and other health needs caused by the hurricane. The government estimates that over one million people live in the hard-hit departments of Grand’ Anse and Sud, including more than 500,000 children.

To support Save the Children’s work in response to Hurricane Matthew, please visit: savethechildren.org/Matthew.

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.


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