Brittany Costello KOB News
September 09, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – While people from all over the country are sending donations and resources to Florida to prepare for Hurricane Irma, a Santa Fe-based organization called Global Outreach Doctors already has a team on the ground.
For one Santa Fe firefighter and nurse, this is Round Two. He’s spent the last week in Houston also helping victims of Harvey. Millions are evacuating, thousands more seeking shelter and refuge from the impending storm.
“I stopped at a gas station and people are just waiting forever, and when one opens up cars are just whipping into them,” said Tylerr Jones, a registered nurse on the Global Outreach Doctors team. “Two guys actually got in a shoving match because they both kind of whipped into it. People get a little frantic.”
Some NM health providers already in Florida as Irma nears
The path of potential destruction has been a bit unclear, leaving volunteers like Jones and his team in the eye of the storm.
“We’re now directly in the path,” Jones said. “So I have to manage how we can help the resources without becoming somebody that needs help or rescue as well; that delicate balance of staying close and being able to get to people quickly.
Jones is part of a larger specialty response team. In Orlando, they have a drone team to find people that are stranded, a search dog and handler, a doctor, and two nurses.
“I’m preparing for kind of a lot of people that can’t evacuate that are low-income people, people that can’t afford the gas, can’t afford hotels, can’t afford to leave their homes,” he said. “I’m trying to locate those pockets and communities so that we can respond.”
Jones said he’s coordinating with larger organizations on what type of resources will be needed, preparing for whatever Hurricane Irma may bring.
“We have to base it on what the storm does and what the needs are,” Jones said. “If they just need people to help move supplies, if they need people to help in a food kitchen. That’s what people have to understand when they volunteer.”
Anyone interested in donating or volunteering with Global Outreach Doctors can find out more information here.