When a natural disaster happens the Coastal Bend Regional Advisory Council is one of the first organizations to help with the recovery.
Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, its main focus is the movement of medical supplies
“We work on this all year long. We work on preparedness for all hazards, that includes infectious disease, and high consequence disease, natural disaster, biological, radiological, nuclear, and so on,” said CBRAC Executive Director Hilary Watt.
“We have plans for pandemics, we have practiced, done exercises, but we have not actually responded to a pandemic in 50-70 years. So it is different from our normal responses,” said Regional Coordinator-Texas Emergency Medical Task Force 11 John Phillip.
During this pandemic the CBRAC is working closely with hospitals, healthcare agencies, and city and county officials.
“Sharing information every day on hospital bed availability, ICU beds, ventilators, and monitoring those numbers just so we are prepared when the time comes when we do see our peak in this region,” said Watt.
The biggest challenge for the Coastal Bend Regional Advisory Council is getting personal protective equipment to the right agencies.
“We get supplies everyday in varying amounts from 1 pallet to 10 pallets to 15 pallets; it just depends on the day and the ability for our state partners to source. Our needs still exceed the supply just like everybody else in the state, but we are doing our best to get some resources to as many partners as possible,” said Phillips.
The goal for the Coastal Bend Regional Advisory Council is to make sure everybody, not only the hospitals and EMS, who are a top priority, but also the nursing homes, the skilled nurse facilities, home care agencies, hospice, and even dentists get the supplies they need.