Hurricane Wilma  A Social Work/ACS Perspective Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico October 2005 Don Kilburg <ul><li>Front-loaded Con...
Trajectory <ul><li>Emerged in </li></ul><ul><li>Caribbean  </li></ul><ul><li>Landfall at  </li></ul><ul><li>Cozumel, </li>...
Size <ul><li>Category: 4 (131-155mph) </li></ul><ul><li>200 Miles in Diameter </li></ul><ul><li>Went from  </li></ul><ul><...
Conditions & Impacts <ul><li>150 MPH Winds  </li></ul><ul><li>Waves 15-24 Feet High Hit the Coastline </li></ul><ul><li>Ra...
Primary Tasks Faced by  US Mission Mexico 12,300  Incoming Calls 25,000 Americans to Evacuate 180 Medical Cases
Primary Sources of Tension Before Hurricane : Tourists, Hotels, Airlines, and Embassies didn’t want to cancel. After Hurri...
Immediate Challenges Faced <ul><ul><li>Who will tell us to go?  Who will go?  When can we go? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(...
Damage all Around Power Lines Down Foliage Off and Down Building Facades and Roofs Caved In Cars and objects displaced
More Damage Beds etc. blown out of hotel rooms Windows shattered Flooding Sand washed away, high water
Command Ctr., Lodging, Eating Command Center: Mex Red Cross Map Board, etc. Laptop, dial-up modem Hotel, no power, no cust...
What we mainly did <ul><li>Staffed  Call Center  in Mexico City (2-6 peo.) </li></ul><ul><li>Staffed  Command Center  in C...
Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda <ul><li>More advance  preparation  on who would go, when they would go, </li></ul><ul><li>how they...
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2007 Hurricane Wilma Social Work ACS

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Hurricane Wilma. An unofficial, Social Work/ACS perspective. PPT given to ACS Officers for training purposes. Given in 2007 on hurricane of 2005. I include this here because I used a social work perspective from psychology in approaching an American Citizen Services issue.

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2007 Hurricane Wilma Social Work ACS

  1. 1. Hurricane Wilma A Social Work/ACS Perspective Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico October 2005 Don Kilburg <ul><li>Front-loaded Conclusions – Things that were remarkable: </li></ul><ul><li>The power of the hurricane and the scope of the damage </li></ul><ul><li>How quickly some AmCits got angry, whiney, & “clever” </li></ul><ul><li>How “improvised” our response was (for better & worse) </li></ul>
  2. 2. Trajectory <ul><li>Emerged in </li></ul><ul><li>Caribbean </li></ul><ul><li>Landfall at </li></ul><ul><li>Cozumel, </li></ul><ul><li>Playa Del Carmen, </li></ul><ul><li>and Cancun </li></ul><ul><li>Across Florida, </li></ul><ul><li>up the Atlantic </li></ul>
  3. 3. Size <ul><li>Category: 4 (131-155mph) </li></ul><ul><li>200 Miles in Diameter </li></ul><ul><li>Went from </li></ul><ul><li>“ Tropical Depression” </li></ul><ul><li>to “Tropical Storm” </li></ul><ul><li>to “Hurricane” in 4 Days </li></ul><ul><li>(10/15-10/18) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Conditions & Impacts <ul><li>150 MPH Winds </li></ul><ul><li>Waves 15-24 Feet High Hit the Coastline </li></ul><ul><li>Rainfall Exceeded 23 inches </li></ul><ul><li>$28 Billion USD in Damage Overall </li></ul><ul><li>63 Total Deaths </li></ul><ul><li>(In Mexico: 8 Mexicans, </li></ul><ul><li>no Americans) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Primary Tasks Faced by US Mission Mexico 12,300 Incoming Calls 25,000 Americans to Evacuate 180 Medical Cases
  6. 6. Primary Sources of Tension Before Hurricane : Tourists, Hotels, Airlines, and Embassies didn’t want to cancel. After Hurricane : Everyone wanted tourists home, but airlines didn’t want to return . Embassies had to intervene—to push the airlines to come back, to push the hotels to let tourists stay as long as necessary, and to enable tourists to get on flights.
  7. 7. Immediate Challenges Faced <ul><ul><li>Who will tell us to go? Who will go? When can we go? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>( Spinning Wheels at Embassy) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where will we go? Where will we set up? Where will we stay? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Consular Agency unusable, no power , no phones , no hotel res.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will we get there? How many people per team? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>( No flights , roads flooded/blocked , too few people for big area) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When will we know what to do when? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Making a plan, dividing up tasks/zones, assigning teams) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will we get around? How will we communicate? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Mission cars, rental cars? Internet, Sat phones, landlines, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What will we tell tourists? How will we communicate updates to them or address their problems? Where will we have them go? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Liaise with: Tourists, Family in US, Hotels, Airlines, Hospitals, etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Damage all Around Power Lines Down Foliage Off and Down Building Facades and Roofs Caved In Cars and objects displaced
  9. 9. More Damage Beds etc. blown out of hotel rooms Windows shattered Flooding Sand washed away, high water
  10. 10. Command Ctr., Lodging, Eating Command Center: Mex Red Cross Map Board, etc. Laptop, dial-up modem Hotel, no power, no cust.serv. Chinese food make-shift chow-line
  11. 11. What we mainly did <ul><li>Staffed Call Center in Mexico City (2-6 peo.) </li></ul><ul><li>Staffed Command Center in Cancun (1-3 peo.) </li></ul><ul><li>Swept zones in 2-person teams in rental cars </li></ul><ul><li>Had 2-person teams at hospital, airport, central hotel, college </li></ul><ul><li>Assisted in evacuation, urgent care, and some traditional ACS work </li></ul><ul><li>Communicated between Cancun, Mexico City, Washington, and directly with tourists and their relatives in the US </li></ul>Total time spent on ground after hurricane: 6 days (10/24 to 10/30) Total Mission Staff on the ground: from 2 to 16 people
  12. 12. Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda <ul><li>More advance preparation on who would go, when they would go, </li></ul><ul><li>how they would go, where they would stay, and what they would do </li></ul><ul><li>Better communication tech , better transportation setup, better </li></ul><ul><li>direction from leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Better communication with tourists earlier and more often </li></ul><ul><li>Advance agreements with/about airlines, cruise lines, hotels, rental cars, </li></ul><ul><li>charters, tour groups, airport </li></ul><ul><li>More Mission staff, sooner </li></ul><ul><li>OVERALL: A “ Qualified Success” </li></ul>

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