Our disaster relief efforts on the ground in Texas and Louisiana are nothing short of amazing. On behalf of our entire membership and the IAFF Executive Board, I want to thank our members in the disaster zone for their commitment to serving their communities despite dealing with their own personal losses. Literally thousands of our brothers and sisters have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
The unbelievable destruction wrought by this storm will have a life-changing effect on our members for months to come. The assistance our teams on the ground are providing is just beginning. As of the last briefing, we have processed 147 disaster relief applications – and that number will continue to rise significantly in the coming weeks.
On Friday, our teams made it to Port Arthur, Orange, Nederland, Port Neches and Beaumont. In Louisiana, 14th District Vice President Danny Todd and his team are up and running in the Lake Charles/Sulphur operation center. We have also deployed two teams from our 11th District operation to Beaumont to assist the 14th District with relief efforts, including food, water, clothing and financial assistance.
In the meantime, with the high levels of E. coli following a flood, we have purchased 4,000 Hepatitis-A and 2,000 Tetanus vaccines for our members who have been exposed to toxic waters from the storm, and these will be administered at several regional sites by a physician’s clinic group that provides healthcare to local fire departments. In addition, we have distributed the NFORS exposure app for all members in the affected area.
I am so incredibly proud of our leadership and membership who have stepped up to help their brothers and sisters in need as they remain on the frontlines helping others. I couldn't be more impressed by the work of the TSAFF, Houston Local 341, 14th District Vice President Todd and his team at the Lake Charles/Sulphur operations Center, our senior staff on the ground and our Peer Support squad during this very difficult time.
As a reminder, I ask that you please DO NOT self deploy. The best way you can help on a personal level is by giving to the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund to ensure our members get the help they need now and as they start to rebuild and recover. Thank you in advance for your support and generosity.
We will continue to provide more updates in the coming days and weeks.