Showing posts with label Hurricane Harvey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hurricane Harvey. Show all posts

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Texas Physician Volunteers Sleep on Clinic Floors to Care for Harvey Survivors

Mosquitoes, Medicine and Mold: Texas Battles Post-Harvey Health Issues
NBC News
September 9, 2017

Zika mosquito 'heaven'

So far, there's no big epidemic to cope with. The Harris County Health Department had to squelch rumors that plague was being spread by flood waters. Plague is carried by fleas, not in water.
Dr. Luke LeBas works on a patient at Code 3 ER and Urgent Care in Rockport, Texas. For-profit and free clinics alike across southeast Texas are struggling to cope with a deluge of patients after Harvey's floods devastated communities. Danado Saltarelli, RN / Courtesy Dr. Luke LeBas

Dr. Carrie de Moor has a nasty cough, and she’s not sure if it's allergies or one of the common respiratory infections that have been spreading since Hurricane Harvey hit southeast Texas late last month.

She's been sleeping in a trailer adjacent to her free-standing emergency room and urgent care clinic in Rockport, Texas, which was devastated by Harvey’s winds and flood waters. The clinic had only been open for two weeks when Harvey hit. De Moor is home in Dallas now for a few days with her children but will soon head back to the clinic, which is overwhelmed by people crowding in for stitches, tetanus shots, ear infections and skin rashes.

"We were seeing numbers outpacing anything we were prepared to take care of," said de Moor, an ER physician who is CEO of Code 3 ER and Urgent Care.
Physician volunteers have been cramming into the trailer and sleeping on the clinic floors as they tend to as many as 90 patients a day.
read more here

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Florida Needs to Learn From Harvey's Mistakes Preparing for Irma

Harvey victims can't always get life-saving aid easily, volunteers lament

FOX News
Hollie McKay
September 6, 2017

After Hurricane Harvey slammed ashore almost two weeks ago, scores of Americans made their way to Texas – but offering a helping hand in crisis is far from straightforward, which has left many volunteers frustrated and disheartened.
Water bottles waiting to be delivered to those in need after Hurricane Harvey.

Major players from the Texas National Guard and Texas State Troopers to the Red Cross, FEMA, Salvation Army quickly dispatched into the disaster zone, along with police, church groups, local and state aid groups and other well-intentioned people, quickly creating a chaos akin to too many cooks in the kitchen. It left assets and supplies languishing.

“We were trying to help a small community of people without food, water or electricity and had little contact with rescuers to receive supplies. They were very upset,” Chris Fiore, a 20-year-old volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Texas native, told Fox News this week from Deweyville, Texas – a small town about 110 miles northeast of Houston washed out by floods. 

“But we were told by police that they couldn’t let anyone in and didn’t seem to have a good reason behind it. We had cases of water, MREs, dog food and basic sanitary items – we just wanted to bring people supplies. It was impossible for me just to sit in my house while people are in need.”

Fiore was joined by five well-trained U.S. military veterans that had aligned with Southeast Texas (SETX) Disaster Relief. One of those veterans told Fox News that for the first couple of days they routinely saw and heard law enforcement personnel actively turning away volunteer search-and-rescue organizations with supplies or information about people who needed help.
read more here

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Floridians Prepare for Monster Invasion, And Irma!

National Reporters and Irma, Which is Worse?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 13, 2017

This is what is coming to Florida.

Hurricane Irma Is Passing Over Virgin Islands as a Potentially Catastrophic Category 5 Hurricane; Dangerous Threat for Florida, Southeast

Sep 6 2017 04:00 

But so are they!

You may think this is bad enough, but consider what, or who, is coming because of Hurricane Irma, it can be worse than it has to be if reporters forget that our lives are on the line now and for a very long time to come.

I remember Charlie, Frances and Jeanne in 2004. None of them were much fun. Every year since then, whenever hurricane season started, as soon as the weather report had anything brewing in the Atlantic, we took deep breaths, and waited, remembering what we had already experienced. To put it bluntly, it sucked!

Most of us paid close attention to what was happening in Texas and we were heartbroken for them but we we also deeply admired how they responded. They helped each other! They helped total strangers. They did whatever they could to make sure they did not let anyone do it alone without trying to make a difference.

We saw all the First Responders leaving their own families and homes to make sure Texans were as safe as possible. We saw National Guardsmen, Coast Guard, volunteers from all over the country and groups, rush in to help total strangers. 

What we saw were images like this on the Weather Channel
Matthew Koser, hypothermic and shaking, is rescued from atop his car after looking for important papers and heirlooms inside his grandfather's house after it was flooded by heavy rains from Hurricane Harvey August 29, 2017 in the Bear Creek neighborhood of west Houston, Texas. The neighborhood flooded after water was released from nearby Addicks Reservoir. (Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

What we also saw were many reporters also risking their lives to make sure their stories were told. Most, were commendable and people from across the country responded because of how you told their stories. You showed us the heartbreaking images of destroyed homes as much as you showed us the heartwarming images of people being rescued.

What we also witnessed are things like this.

I track what you are reporting all across the country on veterans stories. It is bad enough that few of the national reporters care to get the story right and do not take the lazy way out, that is, when they bother to report on them at all. Most of the posts within the over 28,000 on Combat PTSD Wounded Times, do not come from CNN, MSNBC or FOX, even though all three are operating 24-7. Guess that politics means a lot more than our veterans, or is it just an easier topic? Not sure which anymore.

Most of the reports here are done on the local level, all across the country by their local reporters, telling the stories about people right in their own backyards. When we are hit with something like a natural disaster, so are they. They do not get to hop on a plane and get back to their own territory and put is all behind them.

With Social Media what is now, to tell the truth, national reporters are not as vital as they used to be. It is about time that they either figured that one out and respected that their topic of the day is our lives!

So, as the stores run out of water, bread, and food, along with alcohol, gas stations run out of gas and everyone is getting evacuated into the Orlando area, looking for what we don't have. I was driving to work at 5:00 am, searching for gas to make sure I'd be able to get to my job the rest of the week. Finally after 3 statations, I found some left.

Please keep that in mind when you are complaining about the hardships you have to endure to report on what we will have to live with long after you get to go home and forget all about our stories the same way you just forgot all about Texas and what Hurricane Harvey did to them.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Houston VA Employees Wouldn't Let Flood Keep Them Away

‘They can count on us’: Houston VA hospital withstands Harvey, prepares for aftermath

Published: August 31, 2017

WASHINGTON — When Hurricane Harvey lashed southeast Texas on Friday and brought punishing rain and devastating floods for days afterward, the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in downtown Houston remained open, operated by about 700 staff members who made the facility their temporary home.
Hospital staff members were sleeping on floors or small cots in their offices or in a small auditorium, Dr. SreyRam Kuy, the associate chief of staff at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, described Wednesday in a post on the VA’s website. Some of them weren’t certain if their homes were flooded, while others saw news footage of their neighborhoods under water.
They stayed to care for about 400 veterans who remained at the hospital, which is also serving as a shelter for homeless veterans and others.
One former U.S. Army Ranger swam through flood waters to reach the hospital Tuesday, where he was treated for a burst appendix, The Associated Press reported.
If you are shocked by VA employees doing something like this, then you don't know many of them! 

Ain't no valley low enough

Ain't no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe
Remember the day I set you free

I told you you could always count on me darling

From that day on, I made a vow
I'll be there when you want me
Some way, some how
Oh baby there ain't no mountain high enough

Ain't no valley low enough

Ain't no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe
Oh no darling

No wind, no rain

Or winters cold can stop me baby, na na baby
'Cause you are my goal
If you're ever in trouble
I'll be there on the double
Just send for me, oh baby, ha
My love is alive

Way down in my heart

Although we are miles apart
If you ever need a helping hand
I'll be there on the double
Just as fast as I can
Don't you know that there

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Harvey Flood Waters Claimed Life of Homeless Veteran Who Died in His Wheelchair

Homeless veteran found dead in Bradenton floodwaters

FOX 13 News
Evan Axelbank
August 28, 2017

She pulled the man to the driveway, and, to her astonishment, recognized him as a homeless veteran.
 - A man was found dead in the flooding that ravaged Bradenton on Sunday.

Deputies say at around 8:45 p.m., a woman called to say she had found the man on Whitfield Ave. and 43rd Court East
"I would hate to hear one of my family members passed away that way," said Spencer, who found the man and his tipped-over wheelchair. "I ran in, grabbed my phone, dialed 911.
At first, she didn't realize what she saw in the water was a wheelchair.
"I thought that my neighbor had a garbage can out there, and I thought that is kind of silly. It was in the water, it was going to float away. I looked a little harder and I realized it looked like a wheelchair."

Texas Veterans Have Resources During Harvey Recovery

Here's How Harvey Is Impacting Military, Veteran Benefits
Amy Bushatz and Jim Absher
August 29, 2017

With America's fourth-largest city under water, up to 13 million people impacted across Texas and Louisiana and at least 15 deaths, Hurricane Harvey is wreaking havoc across the southern U.S.

Texas National Guardsmen aid citizens in heavily flooded areas of Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Lt. Zachary West/Army
While the Texas National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard have joined local, state and federal agencies in responding to what could be the worst natural disaster to ever strike Texas, the Veterans Affairs Department has also issued notices for a handful of benefits.
If you're a military family member, retiree or veteran in the impacted areas, several military and VA benefits have been temporarily changed in response to the ongoing crisis.

VA Hospitals, Clinics

Across impacted areas in Texas, some community health and outpatient Department of Veterans Affairs clinics are closed as a result of the storm. The Houston VA Medical Center, however, is open and fully operational, officials posted on that facility's website.
A series of mobile vet centers to provide counseling services were being deployed to impacted areas, such as Corpus Christi, or have been placed on standby, according to VA officials. Within the area impacted by Harvey are over 510,000 veterans and 115 VA clinics, they said.
The VA has also put in place their Pharmacy Disaster Relief Plan. Eligible veterans with a VA ID Card who need an emergency supply of medications can go to any CVS or HEB pharmacy with a written prescription or active VA prescription bottle to receive a 14-day supply. Veterans who need assistance can also call the Heritage Health Solutions Veterans Help line at 1-866 265-0124 to speak to a representative, officials said.
read more here 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Fueled the Water But Compassion is Fueling Hope

Compassion Takes Center Stage in Texas
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 28, 2017

What if everyday was like America's Got Talent, but instead of talent, it was about compassion? Instead of talent, you were competing with your gifts. Instead of going onto a stage, you were being watched and judged for how you used the gifts you had. Would you want to enter this contest?

I was thinking about this before work today. Since I get up around 4:00 am, it is pretty quiet with few distractions. I was checking in on how things are going in Texas when I was reading about, probably hundreds of strangers, showing up to help other strangers with whatever they had to give.

They were not trying to get on camera or get publicity. We'll probably never know the names of most of the rescuers, just like we will never know the names of the heroes doing it on a daily basis. Each one of them left their own families, their homes and put their lives on the line so they could make a difference.

Now that is compassion fueling courage! So many times we see things like this and then wonder how regular people got there? What is it inside of them that compelled them to do such a thing? When we see people getting paid to do the dangerous jobs, we don't seem too interested in wondering at all. Why is that?

There is a group that has been using their gifts abundantly. They did it in the military and then they have been doing it as civilians. TEAM RUBICON is heading into Texas. They made the announcement on Twitter

"I knew to expect devastation and hard work. What I didn’t expect was the incredible team made up of veterans and civilians ready to meet the challenges of the day. We know exactly where we’re headed and confident we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by disasters. In a single day, we’ve managed to become brothers and sisters." Lissie Hagerman USAF Veteran

Obviously they'd get my vote for compassion in action category. So would a lot of other people expecting nothing to come back to them other than the sense of having done something with their lives at the end of the day.

The thing is, when you are a giver, accustomed to using your gifts, and have nothing to do, it actually wears on your soul more than the exhaustion of giving what you could in the first place. Not being used, makes you feel as if you are not needed and then that is when everything you did in the past comes back with the worst you faced instead of how doing the best you could do filled your soul.

So, how about when you are considering how to help the people in Texas, you consider helping TEAM RUBICON help others as well as helping them help each other use the gifts they have to give?

Home Depot Foundation Commits $1 Million to Help Texas Recover

Remember our friends with the Home Depot Foundation showing up to help veterans? Well they're at it again! This time they are responding to Texas after Harvey hit them hard.

The Home Depot Foundation Commits $1 Million to Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Efforts

ATLANTAAug. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The Home Depot® Foundation today announced its commitment of $1 million to support Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts in Texas and Louisiana.
Funds will be distributed to several nonprofit partners including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Convoy of Hope, Operation Blessing and Team Rubicon to support both short-term relief and rebuilding needs.
"Our hearts and full support go out to our communities, customers and associates that are being impacted by Hurricane Harvey," said Shannon Gerber, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation. "The Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot volunteers will work alongside our disaster relief partners to assist the people and areas impacted by this catastrophic storm."
In addition to helping the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Foundation's employee assistance program, The Homer Fund, will provide emergency financial assistance to associates who have been affected by this tragedy.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

POTUS Pardons and Harvey Pounds Texas

What was POTUS getting ready for as Harvey headed to US?

1. President Trump Grants Pardon for Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio
NBC News
August 25, 2017

President Donald Trump on Friday pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt for ignoring a judge’s order not to detain suspected undocumented immigrants, the White House said.

Trump at a campaign-style rally in Phoenix strongly suggested he would pardon Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County. Arpaio had said he would appeal his conviction on misdemeanor contempt.
read more here

Is that what he as focused on as the monster Harvey was headed toward Texas? It looks like he had something else on his mind as well.
2. Trump Halts Pentagon Payments for Transgender SurgeryNBC Newsby ALI VITALI August 25, 2017
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday stopped funding for sex-reassignment treatment for transgender people currently in the military and barred the Pentagon from accepting any more transgender people into the services.

The president signed a memo giving new guidance to his previously-tweeted ban on transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military, according to a senior White House official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Trump signed the memo, the details of which were first reported by The Wall Street Journal, on Friday and directed the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to stop funding of sex-reassignment procedures and deny entry of transgender individuals into the military.
Openly transgender individuals will be barred until the Secretary of Defense "provides a recommendation to the contrary that I find convincing," Trump's memo reads. read more here

Hurricane Harvey Slams Texas, Risk of ‘Catastrophic Flooding’

NBC News
Saphora Smith
August 26, 2017

More than 200,000 people were without power Saturday after Hurricane Harvey smashed into Texas, bringing prolonged rainfall that was expected to cause "catastrophic flooding."
It made landfall near Corpus Christi as a Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 130mph, and weakened as it moved slowly inland to become Category 1 by 6 a.m. ET.
But while the winds eased to 90mph, forecasters warned that torrential rain would be a major threat.
"It's hard to imagine just how horrific and destructive this amount of water will be," NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins said.