As aftermath effects of Hurricane Harvey continue to unfold in Texas, AAST wishes to help members with resources that best help them prepare for these circumstances and recover from the impact.
Marilyn Swick, RPSGT, owns Houston Sleep & Neurology with her husband Todd J. Swick, MD, DABSM. She is working tirelessly to help in the recovery and assistance efforts, but took a moment to share her observations of the situation and suggestions on how the sleep technology community can rally together to help those in need.
What are your overall observations and reactions? How is the local sleep technology community impacted?
Swick: The observations are multi-dimensional and nearly overwhelming.
- Unprecedented flooding with impaired access to everything including hospitals and clinics
- Power outages are scattered throughout Houston and Harris County impacting the use of any medical devices that are not battery powered
- Many drug stores and pharmacies are closed or are not accessible
- Local sleep centers are closed
- Local Physician Offices are closed
- DME companies are closed or are operating under limited hours
- Mail and package deliveries are impacted so resupplying CPAP/BIPAP flow generators are delayed or not forthcoming
- Repair/Replacement services are going to be very delayed in serving their patients
Where can people go for assistance?
Swick: The Red Cross is the go to agency for all things in terms of rescue/recovery in Harris County and the greater Houston area; http://www.redcross.org/local/texas/gulf-coast
I have also started a Red Cross Donation page for the area, https://www.facebook.com/donate/102022937203193/102022947203192/
How can the local sleep technology community play a positive role in helping people?
Swick: As of today, we have over 12,000 people in area shelters that have lost everything in their homes. If anyone has surplus CPAP machines/hoses, masks, etc. donating through the Red Cross is suggested or even dropping off or shipping to our office, which is located at 7500 San Felipe, Suite 525, Houston, Texas 77063.
We can then take to our local Red Cross over the next month.
Local sleep personnel should volunteer signing up their area shelters or for the Red Cross. They can also set up a face book page or some other social media account to get the word out!