August 31, 2005

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SPECIAL ALERT: MEMA Seeks Volunteers for Katrina Response!
Through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), Louisiana has asked participating states for assistance in responding to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, including healthcare volunteers.

Louisana is requesting the following medical personnel to assist in mass care facilities in the field setting.  They need at least 25 physicians (emergency physicians, pediatricians, and surgeons), 50 nurses (RN or LPN Certified), and 10 Respiratory Therapists.  Conditions will be challenging, working near water to set up field hospitals.  The weather is expected to continue to be hot and humid.  Field experience is preferred.

Emergency management personnel have established the following guidelines:

  • All volunteers will be expected to volunteer for a period of no less than 7 days with an average of a 14-day assignment.
  • All volunteers will be expected to bring provisions allowing them to be self sufficient for a minimum of 48 hours, including water, food, personal medications, etc.
  • Survival conditions in the disaster area are extraordinarily poor.  The flood waters are heavily contaminated with chemicals and human waste.  Much of the work involves recovery of bodies as well as care of survivors.  It is essential that all volunteers clearly understand the devastating conditions under which they will be working.
  • It is important that the Maine healthcare system is not stripped of its capacity to respond to a disaster at home.  Therefore, it is important that healthcare facilities carefully evaluate their ability to maintain an adequate surge capacity in their local area should a large scale event occur in Maine. 
  • Volunteer healthcare providers who normally work as a team will afford one another comfort and confidence as they work side-by-side under these horrific conditions.

For more information, please contact Rayna Leibowitz or Olan Johnston at the Maine Emergency Management Agency at 207-624-4400 or 1-800-452-8735 or by e-mail at or

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