Hurricane Harvey, how to help?

  1. I need advice for preparing for Disaster Relief. I am an ICU nurse from Utah who just put in his application with the Red Cross, to help with the imminent need in Texas.


    I need to know how best to:
    -find an organization that will accept my help
    -what should I bring (seems power and resources are going to be
    scarce)
    -what concerns should I have about safety (e.g. other people)


    I would love to hear from somebody: who has helped in previous disasters, especially Hurricane Katrina; survivalists; military; etc.


    -Fletcher, RN, BSN, CCRN-CMC
    •  
  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   CrunchRN
    I don't know, but I applaud you for doing it.
  4. by   Fletch.
    Thanks , I wonder if there were any hospitals effected. I saw an article about nursing homes being flooded.
  5. by   sallyrnrrt
    Go to zlc, where every ev
    Aviator...your willingness to volunteer foot help will not be met with enthusing you will build a. Ee bridge
  6. by   Ksmaltbie
    Did you find out any information? I am on hold now with American Red Cross to ask about volunteering. I, too, at an ICU nurse and feel compelled to help! Thanks!
  7. by   aleyRN
    I'd like to help too. Please let me know if you find any information about how we can use our skills to help!
  8. by   Lmarieg
    I'm interested in helping also. Will be following hoping to get a lead!
  9. by   kjnsweets
    I live in southern Louisiana. Been doing some research on this. Haven't found a lot. Will keep you updated. I know with hurricane Rita our hospital had a lot of travel nurses so check with them maybe
  10. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Red Cross nurses are not front line hospital nurses. Local resources are primary. Generally Red Cross disaster relief nurses are case management. Red Cross first uses their credentialed disaster management team then works with local volunteers. As needs rise they add the rapid training modules.

    The current need is not healthcare workers but bulk distribution and shelter volunteers: Red Cross training volunteers to respond to Texas after Hurricane Harvey - WCPO Cincinnati, OH

    The time to volunteer is before a disaster strikes not during/after so you are trained and ready. Those already trained in flood water rescue and other tactical rescue teams (first responders, EMT, medics, firefighters, urban search & rescue rescue) are sent over as teams such as Task Force 1 NJ which has been dispatched. Credentials: http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/taskfor...on_package.pdf
    The team (which was dispatched already this week:

    NJ for Hurricane Harvey letting bygones be bygones when it comes to helping Texas


    Whatever you do don't just show up. You will be a liability not an asset. Do not bring items. The goal in disaster relief is to restore the local economies so they buy from local businesses and distributors.
  11. by   JustBeachyNurse
    To volunteer as a disaster health or mental health worker start here:

    Health & Mental Health Volunteers Needed | American Red Cross



    What is different about volunteering with the Red Cross?
     Be patient and flexible. Situations in disaster change rapidly and service delivery needs are fluid. You may be asked to work at one site providing one type of service and then be switched to another site within a short period of time.  90% of Red Cross workers are volunteers just like you.  You won’t have an office. Most disaster health and mental health work is done in non-traditional settings, like shelters and service centers. You may be providing support out in the community.  Disaster Health Services uses a community health RN-led model to support individuals and communities with disaster-related unmet health needs.
    o Helping people feel safe and secure o Obtaining food and water o Addressing physical health needs (e.g., first aid, medications) o Connecting to family, friends, and other social support networks.

     Disaster Mental Health provides non-traditional mental health services.
    o Psychological first aid, triage, crisis intervention, assessment and basic support o Early intervention is primarily focused on assisting disaster survivors and response workers in meeting their most basic needs. o Helping people feel safe and secure o Obtaining food and water o Connecting to family, friends, and other social support networks o Psychotherapy is not appropriate
     The work is very rewarding …. And very frustrating. You’re working with people who have
    immediate needs for physical & emotional support, food, shelter and other basics. The most crucial need is information, which you often don’t have because the situation is constantly changing. We do the best we can with the limited resources we have.

    Why do I need special training?
     The Red Cross has a specific role in disaster response which is different from the regular work of most health and mental health professionals. Training is needed to understand this role.  In order to minimize frustration, it helps to understand the disaster response system and organization of the Red Cross. For Disaster Health Services volunteers Most direct health care interventions are not appropriate in the early aftermath of disaster, but your specialized skills and experience can be helpful in identifying those who are at risk for longer-term complications.
     For Disaster Mental Health volunteers: What if I’m already a trauma specialist? Most trauma interventions are not appropriate in the early aftermath of disaster, but your specialized training can be helpful in identifying those who are at risk for longer-term complications.
    Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Aug 28
  12. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Quote from Ksmaltbie
    Did you find out any information? I am on hold now with American Red Cross to ask about volunteering. I, too, at an ICU nurse and feel compelled to help! Thanks!
    Red Cross does not need your icu skills but if you are willing to go through the process: Health & Mental Health Volunteers Needed | American Red Cross
  13. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Quote from kjnsweets
    I live in southern Louisiana. Been doing some research on this. Haven't found a lot. Will keep you updated. I know with hurricane Rita our hospital had a lot of travel nurses so check with them maybe
    Red Cross: Health & Mental Health Volunteers Needed | American Red Cross
  14. by   JustBeachyNurse
    (Lived through several disasters and at one point was a disaster training coordinator. I have family in TX)

    If you want to use clinical nursing skills rather than what the Red Cross needs there is a Harvey standby team
    National Nurses United | RNRN Standby Form

    other organizations:
    National VOAD

    Unless you have already been trained, background checked and credentialed don't expect to be sent out for a few weeks
    Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Aug 28

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