Red Cross teams ready to respond as hurricane Matthew approaches

Published: 2 October 2016

2 October 2016, Panama. National Red Cross Societies across the Caribbean and central America are ramping up preparedness measures as hurricane Matthew approaches Jamaica and Haiti. 

The category 4 hurricane has been gaining strength in the Caribbean with wind up to 220 kilometre per hour. The eye of the hurricane is expected to hit Jamaica between Sunday and Monday.

“Our Red Cross teams in Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Colombia are currently running preparedness activities with the communities. Our volunteers and staff stand ready to respond immediately to the needs” said Walter Cotte, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) regional director for the Americas.

In Jamaica, the Red Cross has prepositioned blankets for over 1,000 families, kitchen kits for over 1,000 families and cleaning kits for 300 families.

The Red Cross of the Dominican Republic has prepositioned stocks for approximately 2,500 people. The National Society has 21 water treatment plants at its disposal. Water and sanitation teams as well as psychosocial support and health teams are on standby.

In Haiti, the Red Cross has put all its branches on alert and prepositioned stock to respond to the needs of more than 3,000 people.

In Colombia, more than 500 Red Cross staff and volunteers have been mobilized to provide support to vulnerable communities.

Swells generated by hurricane Matthew are expected to affect portions of the coasts of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Venezuela, and Colombia over the next few days; these swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. 

The IFRC is closely monitoring the situation, coordinating with National Red Cross societies of the region and stands ready to activate its emergency response units on request.

For updates, please follow: @IFRC_es and @Federation

For more information or to setup interviews

In Panama:

  • Diana Medina, communications manager (English and Spanish):
    Skype: medinadiana30
    Mobile phone /whatsApp: +507 6780-5395

In Jamaica:

  • Jose Fernando Giraldo (English and Spanish)
    Skype: jf.giraldo - Whatsapp: +50764535365 - Mobile: +1-876-4295464


In Haiti:

  • Ines Brill, IFRC country representative (English, Spanish and French):
    Mobile phone: +509 3170-7809
    Satellite phone: +88 1651460203
  • Stephane De Rengerves (English, Spanish and French):
    Mobile: +509 4895-6132
    Satellite phone: +88 1651460200
  • Marjorie Jasmin, communications officer (English and French):
    Mobile: +509 3170-6963

In Geneva