Responding to the devastation left by Hurricane Michael, Melaleuca delivered much-needed supplies in the form of chainsaws, generators and other critical items to help emergency responders save lives in Panama City, Florida. Melaleuca’s donation of equipment filled a specific request from police and firefighters who have been on the ground there.
Demonstrating its run-to-the-rescue mentality once again, Melaleuca sprang into action as soon as the request was made, combing hardware stores until all of the needed supplies were found.
Following the hurricane’s dissipation, a 10-person All Hazards Incident Management Team from eastern Idaho was dispatched to Bay County, Florida, to assist with recovery efforts. Foreseeing an opportunity to provide aid, Melaleuca established early lines of communication with this task force, made up of individuals from the Idaho Office of Emergency Management, the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho Falls Police and Fire Departments, and the Jefferson County Emergency Management.
This team’s mission is to manage a shelter base camp for roughly 1,000 first responders near Panama City, Florida. After arriving on scene and surveying the damage, the crew identified its top priority—clearing a swath of flattened pine trees and downed power lines left in Michael’s wake.
“Everywhere you look, massive pine trees have fallen from the storm— miles of trees snapped entirely in half,” said Idaho Falls Fire Public Information Officer Kerry Hammon, who is also a member of Idaho’s Region 3 Incident Management Team deployed to assist with the recovery efforts in Bay County, Florida. “The trees and other flying debris ripped down power lines and blocked roads, creating a very hazardous environment and making communication and recovery efforts challenging. When Melaleuca reached out and asked what we needed, the answer was clear: tools to help clear debris and provide emergency responders with power.”
Within hours of the request, Melaleuca had a truck loaded with chainsaws, extra chains, portable generators, engine oil, gas cans and other equipment en route to Florida. Melaleuca’s donation was quickly distributed to firefighters and emergency responders, many of whom have been working around the clock to help the people who have suffered so much.
“We can’t thank Melaleuca enough for their timely assistance and willingness to send exactly what was needed,” Hammon said.
Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10 as the strongest storm on record in the Florida Panhandle. It has resulted in at least 54 deaths, caused extensive flooding in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Central America, and destroyed over $3.7 billion in crops and timber alone.