Hurricane Dorian Update

06 September 2019 ,  Philadelphia

As Hurricane Dorian continues in full force, International SOS has handled over 30 live cases to date, and is currently managing one live evacuation from the Bahamas of several hundred people, supported and coordinated by our multi-skilled deployed team on the ground. This is alongside daily requests for assistance, including search and rescue.

International SOS Security Director, Paul Doucet, currently in Nassau, Bahamas, commented, “The risk and disruption is continually changing and our frequent intelligence insights, advice and support on the ground is critical. There are full evacuation orders in place and organisations should continue to defer inbound travel. However, professionals such as disaster relief responders need to be able to access the impacted areas and work as safely as possible. Those in the area are facing infrastructure damage including power, communications and health facilities. Food and safe drinking water may be limited. Increased health risks posed by the flood waters include injury, diarrhoeal diseases, skin infections, insect-borne diseases.”

Hurricane Dorian has already caused major damage and flooding, particularly in Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands and is forecast to cause significant damage and disruption in coastal areas; evacuation orders are in place in several areas of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

For disaster and relief responders who will deploy to affected areas:

• Prior to travel:
  - Ensure routine vaccinations are up-to-date, including measles, mumps and seasonal flu vaccine.        Consider additional vaccinations (typhoid, hepatitis A). Consult a travel health doctor or clinic for        an individual health assessment.
  - Consider packing water purification supplies.
• Monitor developments closely and follow all directives issued by the authorities.
• Charge all communications devices, and, where feasible, keep extra batteries for backup. Ensure you have sufficient supplies for a period of at least seven days.
• Avoid flood waters.
• Use an effective insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.
• Be careful to choose safe food and water, drink only boiled or bottled water, or canned or carbonated beverages. Pay attention to hygiene - Wash your hands with soap regularly and wash skin cuts/abrasions thoroughly. Treat skin infections early.

Current Travel Advice
All staff in locations under official evacuation warnings in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina should evacuate and inbound travel to coastal areas of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina should be deferred until further notice. Given the possible rapid changes of hurricane trajectory, clients are advised to closely monitor the NHC updates for further information and we will update our evacuation notices and advice as events necessitate.
In the Bahamas, those in areas affected by Dorian's passage should continue to stand fast in a secure, elevated location with access to essential supplies, a local assistance network and robust communication methods. Inbound travel to Abaco, Berry, Bimini and Grand Bahama islands should be deferred until further notice because of widespread damage and logistical challenges.
Ensure business continuity measures and manage any potential shutdown procedures as required. Maintain close contact with external support providers, including International SOS, and ensure management and staff remain fully apprised of the situation.

Notes to Editors

About the International SOS Group of Companies

The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help you meet compliance reporting needs for good governance. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability.

Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group is trusted by 12,000 organisations, including over half of the Fortune Global 500, multi-national corporate clients and mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 10,000 multi-cultural medical, security and logistics experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 85 countries, 24/7, 365 days.   

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