Thomas Tighe: May 27, 2021

WILD WEATHER: ARE YOU AND YOUR
COMMUNITY PREPARED FOR NATURAL DISASTERS?  

WHO IS MOST AT RISK, AND HOW SHOULD FAMILIES PREPARE?     

**HURRICANE SEASON BEGINS JUNE 1ST**  

 

 

THOMAS TIGHE

President and CEO, Direct Relief    

 

   

In 2020, the U.S. experienced a record-smashing 22 weather and climate disasters that killed at least 262 people and injured scores more, including wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, flooding and heatwaves. Each year, disasters leave countless homes destroyed, critical infrastructure compromised — even entire towns leveled — and millions of lives and livelihoods upended.     

    

On Tuesday, June 1, the official start of the 2021 hurricane season, Direct Relief’s Thomas Tighe will be available from Puerto Rico to discuss how Americans can make the proper preparations to be ready for any disaster and what steps Direct Relief is taking in communities across American to help prepare.     

    

While each disaster is unique, the lessons they can teach are universal, and knowing them can save lives:     

    

  • Smart preparation is the best defense     
  • Those most at risk from disasters are those most vulnerable the day before a disaster strikes: Disasters have a disproportionate impact on people who are more socially vulnerable, including those without access to a vehicle, people with a chronic disease or disability, young children, and older adults. Communities can help by creating disaster plans with these populations in mind.     
  • Search-and-rescue comes first: The immediate priority after a disaster is providing immediate rescue and emergency first aid to injured persons. Counter to popular belief, those First to respond are Local residents helping themselves, their families and their neighbors, followed by public-safety officers emergency workers, and health professionals.     
  • Supporting displaced populations takes precedence: In addition to the acute medical needs caused by disasters, people can become ill due to a lack of shelter, compromised water and sanitation systems, lack of refrigeration, and untreated minor injuries: Having a plan and knowing what can lead to a medical emergency can help people avoid crisis    
  • Disasters recovery continues long after the headlines disappear. With the start of the 2021 hurricane season just days away, many at-risk communities are still healing from storms that struck years before.  Understanding this timeline can help guide long-term support for people rebuilding their lives after a disaster.     

 

    

For more information, please visit: www.directrelief.org    

 

    

MORE ABOUT THOMAS TIGHE     

Thomas Tighe has served as President and CEO of Direct Relief, a nonprofit humanitarian medical organization since October 2000. Since Tighe’s arrival, the organization has provided cash grants of more than $120 million and furnished more than $8 billion in essential medicines, equipment, and supplies to support health services for low-income people in over 100 countries and all 50 U.S. states, where the organization conducts the country’s largest nonprofit charitable medicines program. During Tighe’s tenure, Direct Relief has been named among the world’s most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, has been rated by Forbes as being 99 percent efficient or better in fundraising since 2001. From 1995 to 2000, Tighe served as Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer of the Peace Corps, overseeing day-to-day operations of the agency’s worldwide programs and a resurgent growth of the agency to a 27-year high. From 1993 to 1995, Tighe served as Associate General Counsel of the Peace Corps, negotiating bilateral agreements to initiate Peace Corps programs in South Africa and China. From 1989 to 1993, he served as Associate Counsel on the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, conducting oversight and developing legislation related to veterans’ mental-health care, special disability programs, drug and alcohol treatment, and services for homeless veterans. Tighe also handled collateral duties related to foreign aid and the Peace Corps.    

   

  

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