I sat at the ACEP headquarters attending an EMS board review course as the Texas Emergency Medical Taskforce (EMTF) was springing into action to respond to what would become one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. I am the medical director of EMTF 1, which encompasses the Texas Panhandle, including Amarillo and Lubbock, where I am the EMS medical director, and I call Amarillo home. It wasn’t much of a surprise when the text and email requesting my deployment to the Texas coast came through.
By then, Hurricane Harvey had hit, and the damage was done. I knew only what I could gather from the news as I made arrangements for shift coverage, canceled a Las Vegas trip for me and my wife, and gathered a backpack full of stuff to live for five days in who knows where (see Figure 1).