Direct Relief USA reaches out to tornado victims

Local non-profit waits for word to send medical supplies to Texas

POSTED: 10:12 PM PDT May 17, 2013    UPDATED: 08:39 PM PDT May 18, 2013 
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Direct Relief U.S.A. is doing what it can to help the victims of the Texas Tornadoes.  It's been days since the devastating tornadoes wreaked havoc in North Texas.

Hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed, many of them in the most vulnerable communities.

"These are homes that were built by Habitat for Humanity, for lower income families who often receive treatment at this particular clinic we partner with," explained DRI spokesperson, Hannah Rael.

The danger isn't over for many people.

"One of the most critical things is they're cleaning up, and Tetanus vaccinations are in demand, also personal protection equipment, gloves hand sanitizer.  As the clean-up continues, there's still a lot of health risks that can happen," said Rael.

Direct Relief is one of the country's only non-profit organizations certified to distribute pharmaceuticals to clinics and medical facilities in need.

"Often in events like this when people are forced to evacuate, if they have a chronic disease like Diabetes or Hypertension, their medications are gone. These people are really in need," said Rael.

DRI will continue to reach out to its partners in Texas.  The non-profit has supplies inside it warehouse ready to be shipped at a moment’s notice.  DRI isn't accepting donations for Texas at this time, but they encourage people to check their website and Facebook page to learn how they can help.