Hurricane Ian – Here’s How Nurses Can Help
Hurricane Ian made landfall on the southwestern coast of Florida Wednesday, September 28, 2022, as a category 4 hurricane. The aftermath of destruction is one for the record books!
Nurses all over the United States are always willing to step up and help during disasters such as these. One nurse was on her way to work when she became trapped in flood waters! A local news reporter, Tony Hawkins, rescued her - and the Nurse STILL WENT INTO WORK!!
Are you a nurse, wondering how you can help in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian? Read on.
The Current Situation In Florida
At the time of this writing, there are 58 confirmed deaths in Florida alone, due to Hurricane Ian. Seven additional fatalities are reported in Cuba and North Carolina.
According to the official website of the Florida Governor, approximately 8,500 patients were evacuated from 200 healthcare facilities who were in the path of Hurricane Ian.
Lee County, one of the hardest hit areas, which includes Fort Myers, evacuated at least 10 hospitals.
Approximately 35 nursing homes in the area where the storm made landfall have also been evacuated. This has resulted in the displacement of approximately 3,000 nursing home residents.
Florida State Surgeon General has signed Emergency Order 22-004. This authorizes licensed health care professionals in good standing from out of state to practice in Florida for the duration of the EO including RNs, LPNs and CNAs.
Crisis Pay Positions
An additional 400 nurses deployed to Florida prior to the storm making landfall.
Favorite Healthcare Staffing posted a deployment on their Facebook page prior to the storm making landfall. They were requesting 400 RNs report to Fort Myers, FL, with an expected pay of $100/hr. Those positions have been filled according to their updated post.
Krucial Rapid Response is also anticipating possible deployments. However, nothing has been posted on their Facebook page since the storm made landfall. You may want to sign up as a reservist with Krucial. This will fast track your hiring process and give you access to live job updates.
There are a number of travel agencies who continue to offer travel assignments to the state of Florida. However, if you’re looking for those high paying $100++/hr positions, there do not seem to be any in sight at the moment. You might want to continue to check Krucial and Favorites on Facebook daily to see if any positions become available in the future.
Volunteering And Donating
There are several other ways to offer assistance to Floridians through volunteering and donating.
FLORIDA DISASTER FUND
Florida Department of Health (DOH) has partnered with Volunteer Florida to develop a private fund to assist communities throughout the recovery period. Through this site, you can donate to the Florida Disaster Fund or volunteer your services.
Currently, there is a need for healthcare associates, i.e., RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and even nursing students at one of the disaster shelters.
To volunteer your services through Volunteer Florida click here.
AMERICAN RED CROSS
To make a monetary donation online to the American Red Cross click here.
Red cross is also urging people in unaffected areas to give blood to ensure there is not a shortage of blood available to those in the affected areas.
To make a monetary donation to the Salvation Army click here.
To donate essential items to the Salvation Army click here.
Beware Of Scams When Donating!
As we all know, during times of disaster there will always be scammers lurking to prey on the kindness of others. Do your research and make sure your organization is legitimate and report any known scammers to the Federal Trade Commission.
Many family members have turned to social media to try to find family members in the affected areas.
Hannah Foltz reached out to a group called #HurricaneStrong on Facebook. She was trying to find out about her grandparents who were in Naples, FL.
According to her post, within an hour of making the post, tons of people were offering to help. One gentleman went out in the alligator infested water and checked on her grandparents at 1:30 am. Her grandparents were okay!
This story had a happy ending for all involved. However, it is not recommended to enter flood waters to attempt a wellness check but rather alert the proper authorities.
Officials suggest going to missing.fl.gov to report someone missing or in need of a safety check. They also ask, if you have reported someone missing and they have been found, to please visit safe.fl.gov and report they are no longer missing.
Become a Crisis Nurse
If you have a yearning to work crisis response, you might consider becoming a crisis nurse. These positions are generally temporary and require you to quickly report for duty anywhere the disaster occurs. Flexibility is a must!
Obtaining certifications can make you much more marketable during a time of crisis. If you start preparing now, you will be ready to apply and deploy the next time there is a need.
If you’re interested in becoming a crisis nurse, you can find out more information in our Crisis Nurse career guide here.
Being part of a crisis response team can be an extremely rewarding opportunity!