The OTHER side of the coin…

Got this one from Family in Louisiana… This is from an RN who wrote to the local paper concerning her volunteer time in an evac shelter…

How far over backward are we supposed to bend to cater to the evacuees??? At what point does the local law enforcement need to stop being nice and start taking proper steps?

I know what MY answer would be…

I am a nurse who has just completed volunteer working approximately 120 hours as the clinic director in a Hurricane Gustav evacuation shelter in Shreveport, Louisiana over the last 7 days. I would love to see someone look at the evacuee situation from a new perspective.

Local and national news channels have covered the evacuation and ‘horrible’ conditions the evacuees had to endure during Hurricane Gustav. True – some things were not optimal for the evacuation and the shelters need some modification. At any point, does anyone address the responsibility (or irresponsibility) of the evacuees?

Does it seem wrong that one would remember their cell phone, charger, cigarettes and lighter but forget their child’s insulin? Is something amiss when an evacuee gets off the bus, walks immediately to the medical area, and requests immediate free refills on all medicines for which they cannot provide a prescription or current bottle (most of which are narcotics)? Isn’t the system flawed when an evacuee says they cannot afford a $3 copay for a refill that will be delivered to them in the shelter yet they can take a city-provided bus to Wal-mart, buy 5 bottles of Vodka, and return to consume them secretly in the shelter?

Is it fair to stop performing luggage checks on incoming evacuees so as not to delay the registration process but endanger the volunteer staff and other persons with the very realistic truth of drugs, alcohol and weapons being brought into the shelter?

Am I less than compassionate when it frustrates me to scrub emesis from the floor near a nauseated child while his mother lies nearby, watching me work 26 hours straight, not even raising her head from the pillow to comfort her own son? Why does it incense me to hear a man say ‘I ain’t goin’ home ’til I get my FEMA check’ when I would love to just go home and see my daughters who I have only seen 3 times this week? Is the system flawed when the privately insured patient must find a way to get to the pharmacy, fill his prescription and pay his copay while the FEMA declaration allows the uninsured person to acquire free medications under the disaster rules? Does it seem odd that the nurse volunteering at the shelter is paying for childcare while the evacuee sits on a cot during the day as the shelter provides a ‘daycare’? Have government entitlements created this mentality and am I facilitating it with my work?

Will I be a bad person, merciless nurse or poor Christian if I hesitate to work at the next shelter because I have worked for 7 days being called every curse word imaginable, feeling threatened and fearing for my personal safety in the shelter?

Exhausted and battered.

My cousin owns a couple of franchised mini-mart gas stations around Shreveport, he was run out of gas two days before the hurricane hit by all the evacuees, and wasn’t able to get more, due to gas distribution being interrupted; he had to close the stores to keep his employees safe, and pay off duty cops to keep people from destroying the stores because they didn’t have gas… pretty sad state of affairs.


The OTHER side of the coin… — 5 Comments

  1. It’s beyond a pretty sad state of affairs NFO.

    The country’s sense of entitlement without acting responsibly blows my mind.

    I swear if I was having to stay in a shelter due to any conditions, I would be working my ass off to help out and wouldn’t be able to lay on a cot because my conscience would get the best of me.

    It’s just plain sickening to think that folks would destroy a store because it had no gas. Our stations have been out for several days now- I’m not happy, but I know it’s not their fault and I sure as hell haven’t had a single thought of destroying their stores. That logic is so warped it’s…

    Never mind, I’m shutting up now.

  2. People need to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and take care of themselves. Sure as Hell the government won’t do it.

  3. ditto snigglefrits’ comment:
    It’s beyond a pretty sad state of affairs NFO.

    The country’s sense of entitlement without acting responsibly blows my mind.

    unfortunately it isn’t limited to the US … we see the same attitudes and behaviours here …

    (oh, and btw in response to your response to my comment the other day … let us know if you’re heading to this part of the world again – would love to shout you a beer).

  4. Snigs- Good points!

    Wyatt- True, but when the Govvies are “always” there, why should you?
    If you never have, you never will…

    Jigsaw- I heard that from a few locals. I’ll definintely let you know 🙂 I’ll even drink VB 🙂

    Fuzzy- Dead on, but that doesn’t fit “their” mentality…