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How Direct Relief Turned a Refrigerator Into a Life Saver in Houston

September 8, 2017

Dan Hovey from Direct Relief delivers a refrigerator to a health clinic

When Dan Hovey arrived in Houston to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery work, he didn’t quite expect that he’d be shopping for an appliance.

Yet, finding a refrigerator became the focus of one of the most impactful things that he did on day one. Without it, vital medicines (that must be kept cold) would have spoiled and become useless.

Dan works for Direct Relief as Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordinator. Direct Relief’s approach to disasters is to support the health needs of affected people by working with local clinics and health centers that are best situated to assess, respond, and prepare for long-term recovery.

Damage from Hurricane HarveyWhen Direct Relief arrived on the scene in Houston, they quickly assessed the needs of local clinics and immediately began distributing Hurricane Prep Packs and healthcare assistance.

The Katy, Texas based Christ Clinic had an urgent need for additional refrigeration for insulin and vaccines for tetanus & diphtheria. Dan went straight to work. He managed to find his way to a mega-store that wasn’t damaged, bought a refrigerator, and hand delivered it so the clinic could continue their life-saving work.

As the recovery and response to this hurricane and other disasters continues, work like this is critical to the expanded need for services and often the requirements of extra storage space for their treatments.

Sometimes it’s as simple as a cool head finding a way to keep things cold.

Note: Direct Relief relies on the logistical expertise and network of FedEx to help deliver medicines and supplies to survivors, doctors, and relief workers in the hardest hit areas. The medicines shipped to Houston by FedEx used its SenseAware technology to monitor location and temperature throughout the shipping process.  Since 2003, FedEx has provided more than $12 million in monetary and charitable shipping support to Direct Relief.

*photos courtesy of Direct Relief

Vaccines provided by Direct Relief to hurricane survivors

Flooding from Hurricane Harvey



    Sergio Becerra says:

    We all required hope and optimism. In these unprecedented events happening in the US, take heart that people care, that kindnesses, innovation and generosity are happening all over the World. Thank God for organizations like Direct Relief.

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