On Sunday August 28, 2005, the National Weather Service advised that a category 5 hurricane (Katrina) would make landfall on the United States gulf coast centered at the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama shorelines. That morning, the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) placed key locales on disaster status, and preemptively began transferring patients to inland medical facilities. These, and the receiving institutions, mobilized resources and organized operations to prepare for both local effects of the storm and care of patients no longer able to receive medical care at centers likely to be affected by damaging winds and flooding. The need, in fact, would be much greater than anticipated as the Gulfport Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), and the military medical center at Keesler Air Force Base were obliterated by the storm and the New Orleans VAMC rendered inoperable by the levee breach. More than 100,000 veteran patients were displaced from the gulf coast areas.
KEY INDEXING TERMS
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Accepted: May 14, 2008
Received: April 28, 2008
© 2008 Southern Society for Clinical Investigation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.