Hurricane Sandy Deployment- Day 4

I am actually now on Day 7 or 8, I think, so trying to remember back, and it’s all a big blur. If I didn’t date my photos, I think all the events would run together. Eternal Groundhog Day…

Ah! I just looked in my Picasa, and now I remember. This was the day I got “rented out.” I fell asleep around midnight the night before, and must have finally caught up on sleep, because I was awakened at 10:30 by my female cot neighbor. That is how considerate our commander is. He didn’t want me woken by a male. Perhaps he has been hit before doing that!?

In any case, I sat up, rubbed my eyes, and listened as he asked: 1) was I awake enough to answer his question; 2) was I willing to go to Long Beach to replace their pharmacist for the day; and 3) how quickly could I get ready.

I nodded sleepily, told him 20 minutes and shuffled off to the bathroom for a 5-minute body shower. When I arrived, I was welcomed with smiles and instant banter. You gotta test the new person out right away. Luckily, I had downed 2 large cups of coffee and was wide awake.


We were on a soccer field, taking care of people who would have gone to the ER, except that the hospital was still not functional. Those green bags are the water supply. The water was possibly contaminated, so they took extra precautions


Hand hygiene is super important! Sewage had backed up in the area, and Norwalk Virus is running rampant in the whole area. We can’t take chances. I was told to brush my teeth with bottled water.

Unlike our spacious set up here at South Nassau Communities Hospital, the pharmacy was combined with the Command Center, so I was in on everything going on. The place was hopping all the time. The whole team was Florida-5, so there was a sense of family and a great flow. Add to that the fact that the treatment tents were attached, and you had a super busy, active environment. If the people weren’t so good at what they do, it could have been a virtual circus. Everyone was really appreciative, asked lots of questions, and made me feel at home.



To the left is the pharmacy (mostly in totes), the woman handles payroll and the like, the one in the back is the unit commander, and the guy to the right is the Logistics Chief. All great people!

They know how to spoil their own, too. They ate well (catered dinner), and each team member bought an air mattress to put on their cot(s). A few deployments and you realize the value of some of the basic creature comforts. The mattresses often get donated afterward.



These people have big hearts. Turns out there was a donation center next door in the ice rink, so someone had brought over a huge bag of stuffed animals. The psych team added little notes to them, and they were given out to the pediatric patients, or any patient who was having a really hard time emotionally.






One of the team members has been on DMAT for 17 years and met her current husband on deployment. He is deployed here with her. She had gotten her quilting group together to make blankets for patients and families she was going to send north, and then she was deployed! She brought 2 suitcases full of beautiful, handmade quilts to give away to the patients. When your whole life has been flooded and thrown out, something made with so much love must be quite an emotional boost.


I kept busy for the 7 or so hours I was there, and then they brought me back, as their pharmacist was feeling better. I asked to make a pitstop to get a camera on the way back, and they obliged me. I got a killer camera finally! Life is good…..