J. Tod Fetherling
15 years ago this week, Hurricane Katrina killed approximately 1,200 people and caused more than $100B in damage.
This morning, we are waking up to Hurricane Laura, which made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana. This is the same area hit by Hurricane Rita, another Category 5 hurricane that struck just a month after Katrina. The Gulf Coast was spared a bit by Marco earlier this week. Laura will not be so kind. Unfortunately, the region is already saturated with water and we are about to get a whole lot more.
To the people in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, please refer to the CDC's website for information related to the safety and wellbeing of you and your neighbors.
Stockpiles of water, plywood, and food will be needed as soon as possible in the region. Tetanus shots will be in short supply very quickly. If you have quantities of these available, think about transferring or donating extra supplies.
Sixty-one area hospitals are likely to be impacted by damage and/or increased volumes to their Emergency Rooms. It is a triple impact. The facilities who are designed to help those in an emergency situation will be dealing with their own issues: loss of power, damage to buildings, limited supplies, personnel who have been impacted or can't physically get to work. In addition, many of these facilities are still on restrictions due to Covid-19.
These are all scenarios which played out 15 years ago. Our team, led by Ken Pitts, jumped in at the request of ESRI and the Department of Homeland Security. We tracked hospital closures for more than 9 months.
I recommend you watch No Matter Where. This movie talks about the challenges which will be experienced by electronic medical records in the facilities effected. Let's hope we are more prepared than we were 15 years ago.
Below are screenshots from a training session we did with OSHA to prepare hospitals for emergencies and closures.
This area impacted by Laura is home to refineries and chemical plants. The long term impact of these storms can not be underestimated on the environment, people, and hospitals.
Contact us if we can help your hospital make connections for badly-needed supplies.