VA Hospital Operational Following Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico has been fighting in American
wars since World War I. Doctor Antonio Sanchez is the director of the VA hospital in Puerto
Rico. Immediately we started prior to the hit of
the storm we started our contingency plan. Our emergency management preparation. We lost power and we changed to the generator
that works with diesel and since then we have been in diesel until last night that we were
back to general power. Power was on but water reserves were low. We started to work with FEMA and other intergovernmental
agencies to provide water in truck for our main reserve here. The VA maintains the warrior ethos “no vet will
be left behind.” If they don’t answer by phone we have a crew
of people in official cars searching their houses to assure and we check on them on a
daily basis. We are isolated and some of the resources
from the mainland may take days. So our biggest challenge is to maintain a
daily>and be proactive
to coordinate with FEMA and other agencies that are here to help us and to be able to
continue serving our veterans and maintain an operational level of our instituion. The VA in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico
serves 65,000 veterans with one million outpatient visits each year. For FEMA Public Affairs in Puerto Rico, I’m
Paul McKellips.

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