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#299833 - 08/28/21 10:45 PM Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3760
Loc: TX
Well, things are going to get interesting. I'm a Red Cross shelter manager and will be stationed at the Red Cross shelter at the Orange County Convention & Expo center near the TX/LA border. My first shift will be Sunday night, 8pm-8am, working the registration desk.

If possible, I'll give you reports on what I'm seeing.
-Blast
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

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#299835 - 08/28/21 11:22 PM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Blast]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7690
Loc: southern Cal

good for you! hope all goes well....
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#299837 - 08/29/21 01:59 AM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Blast]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 3046
Loc: Big Sky Country
Good luck and be safe!
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#299842 - 08/29/21 01:32 PM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Blast]
sgt253 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/26/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
She's expected to be a real serious one. Best of luck to you and all in her path!

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#299849 - 08/29/21 11:13 PM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Blast]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1679
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
shelter kit.... folding chaise lounge, cooler with ice and cold cuts/drinks, battery fan... LED area light...battery radio... noise cancelling head set to get some sleep....tooth brush/paste, bar soap... if you carry a flashlight, cable tie a split ring so you can attach it to your belt...BTDT

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#299862 - 08/31/21 06:52 PM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: LesSnyder]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3760
Loc: TX
Red Cross shelter rules and space limitations would prevent the chaise lounge and the cooler would have to be left in your car. We give everyone a bag with a towel, wash cloth, bar of soap, razor, feminine hygiene, shampoo, shaving gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. Kids get similar bags but they also include a small toy. Everyone also gets two blankets.

The flashlight, radio (until 10pm quiet time), and cable ties are a good idea.
-Blast
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

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#299865 - 08/31/21 10:25 PM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Blast]
sgt253 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/26/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Blast,
How are the conditions where you are? Were there a lot of folks from the greater New Orleans area able to get to your location? Ida seems to have been pretty serious from the reports were are getting up here.

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#299868 - 09/01/21 02:12 PM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: sgt253]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3760
Loc: TX
Update:

I worked a shelter in Orange, TX from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday morning. This was an overflow shelter, meaning when people arrived at another shelter that was full the people were directed to use. There was no storm damage at my location.

As an overflow shelter, the workers weren't local but most they were flown in from other locations. Orange, TX is two hours from Houston and I was the only TX resident working there. The othe volunteers were from Oregon, Chicago, Arizona, and Washington D.C.

Clients came in with nothing. Most came from areas where their entire neighborhood was flattened. Most were from the Houma area. We give everyone a toiletries bag (soap, shampoo, kleenix, deodorant, feminine protection, razor, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss), a towel (one towel for entire stay), two blankets, and a cot.

The shelter was just off I-10, the main interstate between Houston and New Orleans. The gas station there was out of fuel by about 10pm Sunday evening.

Insurance companies book up entire hotels in the region to house their customers who lost their houses. Remaining rooms are taken by repair crews. If you needed a hotel room it was probably going to be 200 miles away from the impacted zone. Red Cross volunteers either slept in our vehicles or on cots with the rest of the clients.

Cell phone access was impacted even in Orange, TX which is a little over 100 miles west of where the damage started.

People are people, even more so in an extreme situation.

The Red Cross's goal is no one stays in a shelter more than two days. We'll work with you to find alternative lodging with a friend, family, or even a hotel somewhere. The shelters are absolutely bare bones and most people want to get out ASAP. However, there are some people that for whatever reason don't have the ability to go anywhere else. These end up making the largest percentage of clients over time.

I'll post more as things come to me and answer any questions you'll have.
-Blast
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

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#299869 - 09/01/21 03:07 PM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Blast]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3691
Loc: USA
My one time helping to operate a shelter (hastily contrived by my local CERT, no Red Cross involvement) we had less to give to clients and more austere conditions than you describe. Most notably there were no cots, just folding tables for people to sleep on. And yet, once the emergency had passed there was a group that didn't want to leave.

When interviewed by shelter staff it turned out that none of them claimed to be homeless or far from home, and only a few needed a ride to go anywhere.

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#299870 - 09/02/21 01:29 AM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Blast]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3077
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Nasty storm. Hope everyone is staying safe.

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#299872 - 09/02/21 10:29 AM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: dougwalkabout]
adam2 Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 463
Loc: Somerset UK
UK media are reporting "at least nine lives lost" in exceptionally severe flooding in and near New York city.

Shocking scenes of water flooding into underground Metro stations.

State of emergency declared.

news report, youtube.

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#299876 - 09/03/21 08:16 AM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Blast]
Chisel Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1478
If possible Blast, can you describe the hardest part of managing a shelter, in addition to being awake 8 pm - 8 am.

Also, do you have medical staff or medically trained volunteers ?

Thanks

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#299877 - 09/03/21 08:57 AM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Blast]
paulr Offline
Addict

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 495
This sounds horrific. Please keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. In particular, keep the area as well ventilated as possible (run fans 24/7 if you can) since this many people in one place sounds like a Covid super spreader, besides having the hurricane to deal with. Ouch. Wear an N95 respirator (not one of those crappy surgical masks) and eye protection (normal glasses are fine) whenever you're around victims, and if you can get a medic to give you a 3rd vaccine shot (assuming you've had your original two more than a few months ago), I'd do that.


Edited by paulr (09/03/21 08:58 AM)

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#299901 - 09/04/21 08:30 AM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: paulr]
Chisel Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1478
Great suggestions.
People helping others should not forget themselves. Although Blast is far more knowledgeable than I am in prepping, there is no harm in reminding him and others to take supplements (multivitamins ..etc.) to boost his immune system.

I remember the days we were caring for our elderly dad, my older brother started showing signs of poor health and I emphasized to him to take enough rest, multivitamin tablets and be extra careful with cleaning dad's bed-related blisters.

Your job , serving survivors in these conditions, requires that you take extra care of yourself.

God bless.

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#299930 - 09/06/21 02:28 AM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Chisel]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3760
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: Chisel
If possible Blast, can you describe the hardest part of managing a shelter, in addition to being awake 8 pm - 8 am.
Also, do you have medical staff or medically trained volunteers ?


The shelter I normally serve at (3 activations so far) has approximately 100 trained volunteers and can serve 150 clients at any given moment. Daytime shifts have 12-14 people and the overnight shifts usually have 7-10 volunteers. Roles include registration, dormitory, kitchen, animal handlers, and public relations. People may be trained to do these different roles but only do one per shift. We have a troop of Boy Scouts to set up the cots and take initial inventory...getting everything ready to go within four hours. There are three hot meals each day, two snack tables set up for clients and volunteers, and endless amounts of coffee, cokes, and other drinks. We have a RN 24 hours a day and usually a MD during the daylight hours. Also, two police officers at all times.

I arrived at the shelter in Orange, TX on Sunday afternoon. There was only one other volunteer there. She had arrived on Saturday afternoon and started setting cots and taking inventory of supplies. When I got there she was practically in tears because she was overwhelmed. I spent the next five hours setting up cots while she counted all the supplies. The Red Cross wants a twice-daily update one what the shelters have. A 3rd volunteer arrived around 8pm and we worked through the night getting things ready. Clients began arriving the following morning. We didn't have any breakfast available so we bought a bunch of snack cakes from the nearby Dollar General. I ended up being the "trained medic" and we never had more than five volunteers present. Two law enforcement officers would come through every 4-6 hours. We had no coffee, coffee maker, or even a microwave to reheat food. frown

So, before the Orange, TX shelter experience I would say the hardest part is dealing with people suffering emotional breakdowns from the disaster or have gone off their psych-drugs. The second hardest is dealing with people who want to bring their animals into the shelter, against Red Cross rules. The third is the constant cleaning of bathrooms and showers because a lot of people are filthy pigs. The fourth is telling local do-gooders that we can't accept their bags of used clothing because we don't have the space or people available to do anything with it. Fifth is the endless counting of inventoried goods.

After being stationed at the Orange shelter I would say the hardest part is trying do the work of five people non-stop without coffee...while dealing with all the stuff I already mentioned. I had assumed Red Cross shelters were like McDonalds...identical across the nation. It was eye-opening to see this isn't the case.

The Red Cross is mostly just an organization that organizes stuff. They supply cots, toiletry kits, and blankets. Everything else is supplied by grocery stores, restaurants, clinics, etc that the Red Cross contracts with to supply the shelters. The Orange, TX location was a secondary shelter, only activated when other shelters are getting overrun. No contracts with supporting companies were in place. A person at the Washington D.C. was calling restaurants around the area to try and get us food but in the three days I was there the only hot food we got was some pasta bowls from Domino's pizza for supper one evening.

None of the other volunteers I was working with were from Texas or Louisiana. They were all retires that spend their days being sent from shelter to shelter, dealing with disasters all around the USA.

-Blast


Edited by Blast (09/06/21 02:37 AM)
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

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#299931 - 09/06/21 02:35 AM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Chisel]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3760
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: Chisel
Great suggestions.
People helping others should not forget themselves. Although Blast is far more knowledgeable than I am in prepping, there is no harm in reminding him and others to take supplements (multivitamins ..etc.) to boost his immune system.


Not only do I take supplements, I started my own line, Medicine Man Plant Co., back in January of 2020! grin
The Immune Pill and The Brain Pill got me through the adventure. We were also required to be N95-masked at all times, hand sanitizer was everywhere, and I was constantly wiping everything down with beach. Everyone coming in had their temperature taken and we had a special area set up for potential Covid patients.
-Blast


Edited by Blast (09/06/21 02:41 AM)
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

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#299966 - 09/08/21 05:54 PM Re: Hurricane Ida - Aug. 2021 [Re: Blast]
Chisel Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1478
Truly humbling, Blast !

Respect.

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