Western Washington groups providing critical aid in wake of Hurricane Florence

VIDEO: Western Washington organizations play key role in helping people devastated by Hurricane Florence

Thousands of people in North Carolina are living out of shelters in the wake of Hurricane Florence, and groups from Western Washington are helping make sure they are safe and healthy.

“You know our prayers and thoughts are with all these people who are displaced,” said Cindy Johnson Breilh, of Medical Teams International.

The Redmond-based organization is providing crucial health items like hygiene wipes, toothbrushes, toothpaste and adhesive bandages.

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“On Monday we were able to deliver 4,000 kits to a church in Highpoint, North Carolina, because of our partner in Georgia,” Breilh said. “And that goes to the people in most need.”

Washington Emergency Management coordinated three teams of four people each that are on the ground.

That includes people from the Department of Corrections, which tweeted out they've worked on swift-water rescue evacuations and helped shelter 233 people.

Federal Way based World Vision sent seven truckloads of relief supplies that have now reached hard hit areas.  Each of the seven truckloads reaches up to 1,500 people.

Medical Teams International primarily focuses on global health crises, but Hurricane Florence got its attention.

“I think some of it was learning from last year's hurricanes and realizing in some cases the support wasn't enough,” Breilh said, “and maybe we could have a role because there were so many people in distress after the hurricanes last year.”

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