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Healthcare Ready provides critical assistance and coordination resources following Hurricane Ian

Nonprofit’s executive director travels to Lee County, Florida to assess damage and offers recommendations and hurricane season preparation tips

After Hurricane Ian made landfall in southeast Florida on Sept. 28, knocking out power for millions, washing away roads, bridges, cars and homes while unleashing catastrophic flooding and life-threatening storm surges, Healthcare Ready — a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring patient access to healthcare in times of disasters — was immediately engaged to provide emergency assistance and coordination support to response efforts.

During emergencies like Ian, Healthcare Ready works with a network of private and public sector partners to rapidly gather information and monitor for risks to critical infrastructures and healthcare supply chains. In Florida, Healthcare Ready is assisting in coordinating public and private partners, including federal agencies involved in disaster response, state emergency operations centers, and health systems – hospitals, clinics and FQHCs – to assess healthcare needs and impacts by:

  • Connecting needs and resources between NGOs, nonprofits, and shelters for supplies/medicines, and donations.
  • Assessing potential risks to critical infrastructure and healthcare supply chains.
  • Intelligence gathering and situational reporting.
  • Sharing resources and state-specific information to assist healthcare facilities, communities, and individuals.

Healthcare Ready’s Executive Director Tom Cotter, MPH, recently traveled to Lee County, Florida to assess the current situation and health needs of those severely impacted by Hurricane Ian.

“Hurricane Ian left so many communities without access to their most basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter, said Cotter.

“We’re now on the ground in Florida working diligently to assess the damage and with local hospitals, pharmacies, dialysis centers, rural health clinics, and federally qualified health centers to help the most vulnerable communities. We’re also in constant communication with private and public sector partners to monitor impacts, shortages, supply chain needs, and other potential vulnerabilities,” said Cotter.

Healthcare Ready’s most recent National Preparedness Poll indicates Americans are most concerned that a natural disaster will affect their community compared with other types of disasters – but less than 40 percent have a plan in place. Due to factors associated with climate change, natural disasters are increasing in both frequency and severity.

“The best thing that people can do is to educate themselves about a potential natural disaster or emergency event,” said Cotter. “Read about the latest data in your community, find out what your county and state’s plan is in case of a natural disaster and find out if and how they are prepared,” he said.

To support healthcare stakeholders and patients to improve preparedness and build resiliency to withstand future emergencies, Healthcare Ready provides a suite of information and resources for free, including:

  • Unique tool that maps pharmacy and dialysis center operating status in areas impacted after a disaster.
  • Situation Reports: Released daily for Hurricane Ian. Provides assessment of the impacts to healthcare and public health, healthcare infrastructure, and supply chains.
  • Hurricane map: Shows the location and information of healthcare facilities in affected areas.
  • RX on the Run: A resource created to help keep all medical information on hand. Users can print a personalized wallet card that documents their prescriptions and other important medical information.


About Healthcare Ready

Healthcare Ready is a nonprofit organization established in 2007 to help strengthen the U.S. healthcare system and assist communities in planning for, responding to, and recovering from disasters and disease pandemics. It serves as a linkage point between industry, and local, state, and federal governments to help build resilient communities and safeguard patients before, during, and after public health emergencies. For more information, visit or on Twitter @HC_Ready

Name and logo is a registered trademark.
The Shoestring Agency (the nonprofit's agency)