Friday, September 12, 2008

Working In A Hurricane Evacuation Shelter

Last night I spent 4 hours volunteering at a shelter set up for people evacuating the Texas Gulf Coast in anticipation of Hurricane Ike hitting land. The shelter I was assigned to was one specifically set up to take in those whose medical problems require professional monitoring.

First thing as I arrived we helped folks off a bus which brought them to the shelter from the central check-in point. Some of them had been stuck on busses since early morning and hadn't eaten nor had much to drink. We assisted those with limited mobility with the help of their family members, through the check-in process and a quick medical screening.

The local hospital set up a clinic in the building the previous day. They took some of the supplies and equipment they set aside for mass casualty situations to stock and outfit the area they were assigned to. I and another EMT member of our CERT helped the doctors and nurses where we could, mostly just running people and things from place to place. I have to say, the hospital folks did a great job in setting up and getting going. I was impressed by their preparedness and professionalism.

I stayed until 10 PM. I'll be there again tonight and probably through next week. Depending on how hard Ike hits, there might be folks in the shelter for a while if the power is out for an extended time in their home towns.

I had a chance to "live blog" via Twitter a few times yesterday. If I have a chance, I'll do it again tonight. You can follow my Twitter reports on this page (on the left) but it's a lot easier to follow if you follow me at

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