Responding to the needs of Veterans affected by Hurricane Harvey


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HURRICANE HARVEY UPDATE: For more information about the impact on VA facilities and services, click here.

As Hurricane Harvey moves through the Gulf Coast, VA remains ready to deploy its resources to assist Veterans as soon as they are able. The VA Integrated Operations Center was activated to coordinate efforts from VA’s central office in Washington. Local and regional assets in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana are also mobilized to respond and assist those VA facilities most impacted by the storm.

Staff at the Houston VA Medical Center’s emergency operations center.

In Houston, the Michael E. DeBakey VAMC in Houston, Texas, is currently open and operational. We’ve already begun to see VA offices in the region respond with assistance, including Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System who is taking calls from Veterans throughout southeastern Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Oklahoma who need to reschedule appointments. A Mobile Vet Center will be providing counseling services to Veterans in Corpus Christi, and 8 additional Mobile Vet Centers currently within a 12-hour drive to the Texas coast are on standby for deployment to the region.

The D.C.-based operations center is working to meet the food supply and resource demands for the Houston medical center, making sure there are enough personnel in the event a federal coordinating center is activated. They are also in constant communication with federal counterparts including Federal Emergency Management Agency, Health and Human Services and the Department of Transportation.

Within the areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the resulting tropical storms are:

  • 510,015 Veterans
  • 175, 127 VA enrollees
  • 5,576 VA staff
  • 115 VHA clinics
  • 19 VBA offices
  • 19 cemeteries

For updates for the following VA facilities visit the websites below:

For more on the federal government’s response, visit https://www.usa.gov/hurricane-harvey.

Author

Melissa Heintz

– Melissa Heintz joined the VA’s Digital Media Engagement team as a public affairs specialist in October 2015. She grew up on an Army base in Japan before her family relocated to Hawaii. She holds a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications and Spanish from Seattle University. Melissa has served as a public affairs specialist with Navy Region Hawaii Fleet and Family Readiness and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In December 2015, Melissa commissioned in the Rhode Island Air National Guard where she serves as a public affairs officer with the 143rd Airlift Wing.

Comments

  1. Debra Tullos    

    SInce all of deep E.Texas will have no mail service and Y’all can’t mail prescriptions out, how are we going to get our medicines refilled? Do we try and contact our local clinic and pick it up there? Also, we need an easier way to cancel apts at the Houston VA hospital. I have an appointment next week that I can not get to due to circumstances between here and Houston. Thank you!

    1. David Tierney    

      Ms. Tullos,

      Did you see the post here: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/hurricane-harvey/?

      “VA activated the Pharmacy Disaster Relief Plan in the impacted areas. Eligible veterans with a VA ID Card needing an emergency supply of medications will be able to go to any CVS or HEB pharmacy with a written prescription or active VA prescription bottle to receive a 14-day supply. Veterans in the impacted area needing assistance can also call the Heritage Health Solutions Veterans Help line at 1-866 265-0124 to speak to a representative.”

      Hope this helps.

  2. Barry Litchfield    

    What is a “VA Enrollee”? 175,127 VA Enrollees, and 510,015 Veterans. Are the enrollees the veterans that ARE using the VA healthcare system? If that’s the case, it’s good that MOST if the Veterans are NOT using the VA. The VA can’t handle the Veterans they have now!

  3. Al Cochran    

    Good job VA we appreciate what you do for us.

  4. Eugene    

    Good job My VA
    Barry they dont need any undue criticism from dumb asses like you…
    Go bury your head where it must have been..or you would have been aware
    Of what’s going on////

Comments are closed.