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Providing Aid to Those Affected by Irma

FloridaEmergencyReponse200pxAn Emergency Response team from
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and its community hospitals in Needham, Milton and Plymouth is headed to Florida to help provide aid to those affected by Hurricane Irma. The team, including eight caregivers and BIDMC Director of Emergency Management, Meg Femino, will likely be there for two weeks.

“I have a great group of nurses here,” said Femino. “Many of them are from emergency departments, some of them are from an ICU.”

The team, which will work alongside members of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Massachusetts National Guard, flew on Sept. 11 to New Orleans, where they will then drive 5½ hours to a state emergency operations center in Tallahassee, FL. From there, they will be directed by Florida state officials to provide aid where it’s needed most.

Femino is a veteran of disaster-relief efforts and has previous experience traveling with medical teams to Haiti an earthquake in 2010 and to Nepal after a 2015 earthquake. In addition, many of the care providers on Femino’s team trained at the Center for Emergency Preparedness in Alabama this past March, spending a week planning for and responding to emergency situations.

As for those affected by Irma, the team is ready to get started. “We expect that there will be a lot of people with chronic health issues,” said Femino. “You worry about people who might need dialysis in a few days — things like that — so we’re geared up for whatever they need.”

Learn more about Hurricane Irma relief efforts and how you can get involved at American Red Cross, Salvation Army or the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.