Initiatives Highlight: Emergency Relief Aid

Three major hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria, battered the United States and the Caribbean during the 2017 hurricane season. After the storms passed, disaster relief was necessary to help communities rebuild. To aid in the recovery the Chlorine Chemistry Foundation (CCF), working with safe water partners and volunteers on the ground, provided chlorine based products essential to removing mold and disinfecting surfaces impacted by flood waters.

After a home is flooded, the moist environment creates a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which can pose serious health risks to individuals. Airborne mold spores can be inhaled by people and cause lung infections, permanent neurological issues, and allergies. Bacteria can also cause infections. Chlorine based disinfectants, such as liquid bleach and NaDCC granular chlorine, are effective at destroying mold and bacteria and controlling any subsequent regrowth.

Recognizing the need for relief in impacted communities, CCF stepped in to get chlorine to areas affected by the three hurricanes. After Hurricane Harvey, CCF funded a donation of 18,500 gallons of bleach to Houston, TX. Once the bleach was sent to Houston, the U.S. Conference of Mayors enabled its distribution to the areas that needed it most.

In Haiti, CCF coordinated a donation by Lonza of 6,100 pounds of calcium hypochlorite tablets. The devastation from Hurricane Irma resulted in the Southeast Clean Water Project’s calcium hypochlorite tablets to be diverted to emergency relief efforts, instead of sustaining clean drinking water systems recently established in that area of the country. The donated calcium hypochlorite tablets were used to replenish the Southeast Clean Water Project’s supply so they could continue to provide clean drinking water to the people in southeast Haiti.

After Hurricane Maria, both Florida and Puerto Rico were in need of chlorine disinfectants. CCF funded the donation of over 8,700 gallons of bleach and partnered with World Vision to distribute the bleach in Florida. In Puerto Rico, CCF provided funding for 4,000 pounds of NaDCC granular chlorine. World Vision enabled the transport of the product to Puerto Rico and Water Engineers for the Americas (WEFTA) distributed the product to communities and trained community leaders on how to use the product safely. Approximately 10,000 people were helped by this effort.

Hurricanes and other natural disasters cannot be stopped; however, the aid provided by CCF in their aftermath is critical. During these trying times, CCF is grateful to work with invaluable partners and provide relief that helps the people impacted by hurricanes rebuild.