Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ike Update

This is mainly for those of you outside the Houston area. The rest of us are on news overload with constant radio and television broadcasts. We are now at one week since Ike hit the Texas coast. Galveston was ground zero and it along with the Bolivar Peninsula is devastated. People are not allowed back on the island yet. The west side of the Houston area was hit the worst. But the effects are far reaching. About one million people are still without power and may not get it for several more weeks. Even though the power companies have about 8,000 people from all over the country and Canada working on it. Between floods, storm surges and wind, depending on the location, people either have minimal damage to complete devastation. Most in the Houston area have minimal damage--water in home, roof problems, power out, but houses and businesses still livable. If you can't reach someone you love, it may take awhile but I am confident they are physically okay with few exceptions. Our friends, Drake and Michele live in the Kemah area. Michele is a nurse and massage therapist that many of you will remember has been on medical missions with me. They had water in the house but are okay. My friend, Steve in Sugar Land, had part of his roof blown off and has wall, ceiling and sheet rock damage. Both houses are livable unlike most people in the Galveston area with total destruction. Ninety-percent of my patients are still without power but everyone is okay. This all will take months to years to repair and normalize depending on the area and severity of damage. Many people still have no phone or Internet. So try not to worry about friends and family.

You can check our local stations like _ for updates. PODS (points of distribution) have been set up throughout damaged areas. I've heard as many as fifty. These are manned by volunteers-military, TSA employees, etc. Ice, water and mre's (meals ready to eat) are distributed from these sites. Tuesday morning, I volunteered at one that Mary saw on the news. This particular POD was severely understaffed. I spent four hours schlepping ice from refrigerated trucks. Then treated patients at the office until 5:30 p.m. at which time I raced over to the blood bank and donated blood for a patient who is scheduled for a surgery. It was a busy day to say the least.

Right now all of us have to chip in and help one another. Lend support wherever and however we can to the best of our abilities. Prayers and money are needed for the most devastated. Contact the Red Cross if you can help.

No comments: