The nonprofit American Kidney Fund (AKF) has expanded its Disaster Relief Program to provide emergency funds to help Louisiana dialysis patients who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. AKF announced last week that it had activated the program to help Texas dialysis patients.

Any Louisiana or Texas dialysis patient affected by the storm who needs an AKF emergency grant should contact a social worker at their dialysis center for information on applying, or call the American Kidney Fund directly at 1.800.795.3226.

The Disaster Relief Program provides emergency assistance to dialysis patients to help them replace medications, food and household items, and pay for essentials such as the cost of fuel or transportation to medical appointments.

“Several organizations and corporations, including the Amgen Foundation, American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and OPKO Health, have already pledged generous contributions to AKF’s Disaster Relief Program, helping to ensure that the program is adequately funded to meet escalating demand for financial assistance from this catastrophic storm,” AKF said in a news release.

AKF is accepting contributions from the public for its Disaster Relief Program, with 100% of charitable donations received going directly to dialysis patients affected by Harvey. To donate, visit KidneyFund.org/disaster-relief.

“We have been hearing from patients in the affected areas who are in a dire situation with the extensive flooding and closures of dialysis centers, and we are working to get grants out as quickly as possible,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the American Kidney Fund.

AKF said reports from patients who have been contacting them by phone and through social media indicate a worsening situation. Many patients have already missed dialysis treatments and are having difficulty finding clinics that can accommodate them, compounded by the difficulty of traveling around the flooded areas. AKF said they are answering patient questions, providing resources on its Kidney Today blog and social media channels, and working with the Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) coalition to meet patients’ needs.