DEMPS deployed during Hurricane Isaac
Hurricane Isaac caused an internal emergency and external support was needed.
The purpose of DEMPS (Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel system) is “to provide a system whereby active or retired [VA] personnel can register, in advance, for deployment in support of internal emergencies affecting the Department of Veterans Affairs, or external support as might be requested under various federal plans and authorities such as the National Response Framework.As part of the selection process to become a certified DEMPS volunteer, I had previously completed an application and physical examination, obtained approval from my supervisor and the medical facility director, completed all online DEMPS training courses (through the VA and Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] online learning systems) and reviewed the DEMPS Deployment Handbook.

Besides myself, as the sole occupational therapist, there were several physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, one neurophysiologist, social workers, two respiratory therapists, and one physical therapist (a wound specialist) involved in client care.
  • Solidarity staffing (eg deployments to/from other jurisdictions)
  • Military Health Workers
  • Nurse Practitioners*
  • Nurses - Licensed Practical
  • Nurses - Registered
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Pharmacy Workers
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physicians - Emergency
  • Physicians - Intensive Care
  • Physicians - Primary/Family
  • Physicians - Specialists
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Volunteers
On August 28 2012, Hurricane Isaac collided with the northern Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida.
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Urban/Suburban
  • Rural
  • Remote
Informal Strategy
Speicher, S. (2013). Disaster Response After-Action Report: Occupational Therapy in the Wake of Hurricane Isaac. OT Practice, 18(3), 13
Sarah Speicher
United States
Published Literature

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