Helping 17,000 Evacuees and Responders Through Hurricanes with BCFS Health and Human Services EMD
A hurricane can devastate a local community through structural damages, displacement, and disruption of needed medical care. Providing care for hurricane-affected areas is a core service of BCFS Health and Human Services EMD. This Texas-based organization offers multiple emergency management services, including medical sheltering, medical care, and public health management. It is part of a global group of nonprofit organizations that assist people in need.
The organization’s capabilities were used in the Galveston, Texas, area during the intense 2008 hurricane season. This season saw storms Dolly, Gustav, and Ike all make landfall in the state. Each storm was part of the third deadliest and destructive Atlantic Hurricane Season on record, which resulted in more than $50 billion dollars in damages.
To help people displaced by hurricanes and other large-scale disasters, EMD quickly sets up medical shelters that can aid thousands of people per day. The organization offered aid to more than 17,000 people in Galveston during the 2008 season, which included both responders and evacuees. As part of the organization’s efforts, it relocated evacuees to Galveston Island in October 2008. And it continued to support this group’s needs through expert medical care and transportation services that helped the people attend appointments and meet other obligations.
The only non-governmental organization to manage Federal Medical Stations (FMS) in Texas during the 2008 hurricane season, EMD was integral in providing needed care. It operated two of the three FMS facilities in the area. These setups contained vital medical supplies and equipment as part of a temporary non-acute medical care operation. Designed for treating up to 250 people, these facilities contained beds, supplies, and essential medications that were essential for the health of area residents. They were structured into different modules that included base support, which provided administrative and infrastructure capabilities, base treatment, which is the actual beds and medical supplies, laboratory capabilities, and a pharmacy for medicine distribution and refills. EMD managed two of these stations and provided guidance for the third federally managed facility by helping with local agency integration and improving supply order processes.