As Florida prepares for Hurricane Irma, which is expected to make landfall early Sunday, Gov. Rick Scott is calling for 1,000 nurses to help. “CALLING ALL NURSES: FL needs 1,000 volunteer nurses to help at our special needs shelters,” he tweeted. “Please email BPRCHDPreparedness@flhealth.gov.”
“Special needs shelters have been set up across the state for anyone who needs reliable electricity or may be concerned about needing medical assistance,” Fox 13 reported.
Nurse.org reported that medical staff is preparing for “the worst case scenario.” “Hospitals in the Florida mainland will not be evacuated but, they are preparing for the worst case scenario,” the website stated. “During times of natural disaster, hospital staff are expected to remain at the facility and work throughout the storm – usually in shifts. Most hospitals deploy an alpha and bravo shift. The alpha team works throughout the storm and the bravo team relieves them once the storm passes.”
The Florida Nurses Association provided the following instructions for those who may be able to help:
The State Emergency Operations Center is seeking health care professionals willing to serve in disaster response roles for Hurricane Irma. We have an immediate need for medical personnel including nurses, physicians, emergency medical technicians, paramedics and pharmacists to work in medical needs shelters.
Please send an email to the Florida Department of Health at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (850) 245-4829 and indicate the following:
Your telephone number
Yes, I am available and willing to help.
No, I am already responding to Hurricane Irma in a health care role.
No, I am not available.
Every effort will be made to place caregivers in shelters close to their homes.
Please note, Governor Scott’s September 4th Executive Order declares a state of emergency and grants authority for health service and treatment in Florida by any person who holds a valid and unrestricted and unencumbered license in another state, territory and/or district.
Thank you for your dedication and assistance to Floridians during this critical time.
Those who are in need of a shelter can click here for locations and more information.