First responders ready if called
EASTON — Following a morning conference call with Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) on Monday, Aug. 28, Mid-Shore emergency services directors said they were ready to help in Texas if they got the call.
Hurricane Harvey’s landfall on the southeast coast of Texas has caused “catastrophic flooding,” according to the National Weather Ser vice.
State emergency management leaders learned “there are no unmet needs in Texas so far,” Brian LeCates said. He’s the division chief of Talbot County Emergency Ser vices.
Calls for help from other states to Maryland funnel through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to MEMA who then “pushes it out to the counties,” said Jim Alfree, assistant chief of communications for Queen Anne’s County Emergency Services.
“We’ll evaluate the request if it comes in and determine if we have the resources and manpower,” Alfree said. “We’ll definitely do our best if we’re called.”
Alfree said that Queen Anne’s County EMS sent a group to New Jersey after superstorm Sandy hit that state in October 2012.
So far, MEMA has sent a group to Texas that includes an incident management team and a swift water rescue team, LeCates said.
Both LeCates and Alfree said they will participate in daily MEMA conference calls as the week progresses.
Emergency response teams from Texas’s neighboring states will be called to help first.
“But they don’t want to burn out their local rescue teams,” Alfree said. “I don’t even think we’ve seen the worst of it yet.”
“If we get an urgent request, it doesn’t take days; we can push out within hours, but there is travel time involved,” Alfree said.
Local organizations are helping people affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The Greater Chesapeake Region of the Red Cross currently is sending 41 volunteers, and more are scheduling to deploy to areas that may be affected by Harvey.
“The Red Cross and the community is thankful for the generosity of the dedicated volunteers and donors that give of their time, talent and support to help those that have been devastated by this catastrophic hurricane and the tropical storm that is following,” spokesman Jason Marshall said. He is executive director of the Red Cross’s Southern Maryland chapter.
The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. You can help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS.
When sending a check, write the specific disaster name in the memo line. Also recommended is completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check.
The Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) is asking Mid-Shore residents to help it meet an “urgent request for over 2,000 units of blood from our fellow blood banks in Texas and across the Gulf coast to deal with tragedy from Hurricane Harvey,” the organization stated in an Aug. 28 press release.
“Hurricane Harvey has impacted blood collection in Texas but patients still need blood and blood products to survive,” spokeswoman Karesa Fleary said.
BBD is seeking donors with O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative blood types to make a blood donation this week. Platelet donors are needed as well.
“The people of Texas will be counting on us over the next couple of weeks to support them during their time of critical need so please help,” Flear y said.
For more information, donors can call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit donate.bbd.org/ to book an appointment.
On Sunday, Sept. 3, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington which encompasses all of the Catholic churches in the Mid-Shore area, will collect a special offering for Catholic Charities USA and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston’s disaster relief fund.
Click on the following links to donate to the official donation pages of the following organizations providing Hurricane Harvey disaster relief: Catholic Charities USA, Samaritan’s Purse, Save the Children, Heart to Heart International, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief or United Methodist Committee on Relief.