Local non-profit preparing for worst in Haiti after Hurricane Ma - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local non-profit preparing for worst in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

In Haiti, less than 50 % of households have access to safe water and only 25 % have adequate sanitation services. 

The "Children's Nutrition Program of Haiti" works to empower communities with clean water and decrease the rate of severe childhood malnutrition .The non-profit group is headquartered right here in Chattanooga, but they've got a team on the ground in Haiti now preparing for the worst after Hurricane Matthew. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP | Children's Nutrition Program of Haiti website

Hurricane Matthew is the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic in almost a decade. 

"I am concerned about our staff," said Executive Director Chris Devaney. "The first thing we are doing in terms of the hurricane is to make sure that they are okay." 

Executive Director, Chris Devaney tells Channel 3 that he has 70 staff members on the ground in Haiti ready to help. They're closely monitoring Hurricane Matthew with doctors and several volunteers on standby.

"In the mountains, it's a rough and tough area," said Devaney. " Some of the houses up in the mountains are made up of smaller pieces of wood, sometimes a tarp and a tin roof." 

The category 4 storm made landfall in Haiti Tuesday morning, slamming the western peninsula with heavy rain and high winds up to 145 miles per hour.  With up to 40 inches of rain in the forecast, locals fear mudslides and deadly flooding. Crew members are concerned about a loss of communication.

"We're just praying that everybody is safe and sound through this catastrophe," said Devaney. 

 Disaster is unfortunately just the beginning," said Devaney. " It continues for a long time...our people are still trying to recover from the earthquake and that was 6 years ago." 

Staff members with  the "Children's Nutrition Program" plan to first distribute clean water and wash kits to those most affected.

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