When Disaster Strikes…
Last month, Hurricane Laura hit the Gulf Coast region of Texas with merciless ferocity. With wind speeds reaching 150 mph, Laura ranked in the top ten strongest hurricanes to make landfall in the US since 1851!
In Texas, Gulf Coast residents were still digging out of the damage (both physical and economic) caused by Hurricane Harvey almost exactly three years prior. This time, Texans from Houston to Beaumont evacuated inland, traveling privately or by bus to Dallas and Fort Worth for sanctuary.
At the time, Endeavors was already operating several homeless shelters for the City of Dallas at Wyndham hotels. When disaster struck, and evacuees arrived en masse, the city needed help. So, they turned to the one team they knew could help manage the crisis: Endeavors.
…We’re Ready To Help
Without hesitation, our team at the homeless shelter adapted their existing shelter operations to accommodate the incoming evacuees and meet the city’s needs. Additionally, we called in a team of twenty Emergency Response Reservists to help.
Endeavors’ Emergency Response Reservists are on-call specialists trained to respond to emergencies and disasters. Within 24 hours, we had a fully operational team ready to go, with some of our reservists even responding on just an hour’s notice! Thanks to their timely responsiveness, we were able to set up a shelter intake process in time to welcome the influx of evacuees.
When the City of Dallas needed help, we were there. While the Dallas Fire-Rescue provided screening and EMT services, the Dallas Police on Security, Dallas Animal Service sheltered evacuated pets, and Parkland Health and Hospital System provided on-site medical care, Endeavors established an effective and efficient intake system to check-in evacuees and assess which services or attention they needed. And within a single day, we processed an enormous amount of people seeking refuge — eight busloads carrying 179 evacuees, 59 of whom were minors. We filled 93 additional hotel rooms that day. Ninety-three roofs over the heads of displaced hurricane survivors.
It was a masterfully executed example of divide-and-conquer.
Providing emergency assistance to evacuees while simultaneously maintaining the homeless shelter operations (in the middle of a pandemic, no less!) was a challenge. Still, it was one we were ready for. This is what we train for- it’s what we do. It is our goal to make sure that when disaster strikes, no one is left stranded. Between the additional help of our reservists and our years of experience operating multiple disaster responses, we were able to fully assist the City of Dallas.
Partners In Disaster Response
Operating a shelter involves many moving parts and requires the collaboration of multiple specialized teams. Neither the City of Dallas nor Endeavors could have mitigated the hurricane or helped as many people as they did without their tremendous ability to work together.
With nearly a decade of experience deploying Emergency Services for natural disasters, we know that when crisis strikes, seconds count. Disasters like Hurricane Laura are exactly why we maintain a staff of over 1,600 reservists throughout the country… always ready to go, always ready to help. No matter the situation, we can deploy a vital workforce and equipment within 72 — domestically or internationally.
In this case, Endeavors operated three hotel shelters for Hurricane Laura evacuees. Since then, we have formally partnered with the Dallas Office of Emergency Management to mobilize three new shelters operating specifically for Hurricane Laura evacuees who suffered extensive damage and/or total home and property loss. Our ultimate goal is that evacuees will be able to return to their homes soon. Until then, we are here to help those affected by the hurricane any way we can.
What Are Emergency Services?
Natural disasters come in all shapes and sizes. At Endeavors, we provide emergency support through Natural Disaster Emergency Response (like Evacuee Support), Crisis Emergency Response (such as providing emergency care for unaccompanied minors), and Pandemic Emergency Response (operating Covid-19 Emergency Shelters, for example).
We’ve been in the business of helping people for a long time, and we’ve been responding to natural disasters for nearly a decade. Our capacity for help is enormous, and every staff reservist we deploy is equipped and cleared through a Federal Criminal background check.
Additionally, every Endeavors Emergency Response Reservist maintains certifications and high proficiency in the skills necessary to assist with high-stakes crises:
- Crisis Intervention
- Behavioral Management
- Trauma Response
- Shelter Operations
- Respecting People’s Boundaries
- Prison Rape Elimination (PREA)
- National Incident Management System
- Bilingual Skills (Spanish, Hindi, Quechua)
- First Aid & CPR
Endeavors is a longstanding national non-profit that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, Veterans, natural disaster victims, and those struggling with mental illness and other disabilities. Endeavors serves vulnerable people in crisis through innovative personalized services and Emergency Services/Disaster Response. In Texas, Endeavors has been serving Hurricane Harvey survivors through comprehensive Disaster Case Management since the storm made landfall in 2017. For more information, please visit www.endeavors.org.