Hurricane Gustave Aug. 28 - Sept. 4, 2008

Published: September 10, 2008

This mission was more about displaced citizens than any of the other previous deployments. Literally millions of people were evacuated from the Gulf Coast of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. Thousands of relief workers from utility companies, aid agencies, insurance companies, and volunteer agencies were pre-positioned to move into the disaster area. Local, state and National assets were staged to react quickly to emergent conditions.

Once again FL-3 was called to duty and responded with a full team compliment. At the same time, a special FL-3 logistics unit was poised to move our cache to support DMAT operations wherever needed. The team was first moved to Denton, Texas, just outside Dallas. The next move was to Tyler, Texas which placed the team closer to the coast and about 80 miles from Shreveport, Louisiana to await the storms passing. This time people heeded the call to move away from the coastal areas and moved inland. With thousands of evacuees moving away from the nearby Texas and Louisiana coast, there was a pressing need to provide shelter and medical care for the newly displaced population . . . many of them with special medical problems and needs. So, FL-3, in conjunction with NY-2 (DMAT), took charge of a Federal Medical Station (FMS) and transformed a large gymnasium into a working hospital shelter, complete with acute care, intermediate care and modest care beds. So, even before Gustave actually hit, FL-3 and NY-2 were working 12-hour shifts treating displaced citizens and patients. And the work went on as the storm passed.

After the serious threats of Gustave diminished and the displaced started to return to their homes, FL-3 and NY-2 worked closely with DHHS uniformed personnel to cycle the Field Medical Stations operation down. All the work was done in an exemplary fashion, typical of the FL-3 response. The team received high praise from local, state and Federal authorities.

With the mission completed, the team returned home to Tampa Bay to prepare for the next challenging medical assignment.

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