A San Diego-based medical response team and American Red Cross volunteers traveled to Texas Friday as Hurricane Harvey bears down on the state.
The 48-member Disaster Medical Assistance Team CA-4 includes doctors, nurses, pharmacy personnel, paramedics and specialists in security, communication and logistics.
“Many of the issues that may result from Hurricane Harvey can already be anticipated — massive flooding will require medical care for thousands of evacuees, and hospitals may be in the flood zone and might require evacuation,” said Dr. Jake Jacoby, the team leader. “We are honored to be selected to stage for this serious situation, especially if the hurricane stalls when it is over both land and water.”
DMAT CA-4 is part of the federally coordinated healthcare system under the National Disaster Medical System. They will meet with other federal resources to be ready for assignments in patient care, evacuations, and medical services, they said.
Outer bands of Hurricane Harvey lashed the Texas coast near Corpus Christi during the day, with landfall imminent.
The storm strengthened to a Category 4 on a scale of 1-5 and was expected to linger in the region for a couple of days, possibly bringing torrential rains to the region into the middle of next week.
The San Diego and Imperial counties chapter of the American Red Cross said three volunteers have deployed to Texas, and more deployments are possible in the coming days.
Red Cross volunteers assist with relief efforts including feeding and sheltering storm victims, damage assessment, casework and recovery assistance.
A response team that includes the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department personnel has not been called up, according to a spokeswoman. Two Chula Vista firefighters are being deployed, however, according to the city.
From Coast Guard Sector San Diego, a helicopter and two crews were sent to aid in rescue missions.