A "Day-2-Day" from the Field

October 18, 2019

Wondering what the day-to-day life of a HFI Reservist looks like when they are on the field? Check out these excerpts from Reservist, Sheila Hallam, as she gives us a sneak peak into her deployment to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian wrecked havoc.

Day 1:

We were what’s called “Mucking Out” a home. This involves removing trim, cutting and removing sheetrock and moving things (like kitchens) to get at the sheetrock. Totally awesome team from all over the country. We are on an island so do not have the luxury of our trailer with every tool known to man. We are operating out of two island vehicles.

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Day 2:

73141830 10219720370789503 7482269617352605696 nToday we helped a lovely lady who did not want to be seen on by photo. We again were “mucking out”. There is such stress to the home owner as you have to get out all the wet sheet rock and open up anywhere mold can be. This means walls have to be cut. Where the pain becomes hard is when we must tear apart kitchens and bathrooms. We laughed and cried with our new friend today. Her pain is just not knowing how she can mend her home.

 

Day 3: (AM)

A sneak peak at the logistics of running a disaster relief operation. As resources are running out, the exit plan is beginning. Today we emptied a storage container and packed up all equipment apart from what is needed for a small team for a few days. Hope Force will return to the island, as their 50x80 tent is serving as customs immigration and storage of shipped relief supplies at the destroyed airport, and 4 other tents are at the hospital to protect supplies that were recovered.

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Day 3: (PM)

In the afternoon we helped a lovely preschool teacher who’s home was destroyed by 2 feet of water. She was so wonderful and helped us every step of the way. The problem is huge and we have not seen any other relief agencies where we are working.

If you can support Hope Force International #HopeForce financially or in person it will extend the time they can operate when they come back. Maybe you can't come yourself but can sponsor someone to come who is willing but does not have the resources to get to a "hard-to-get-to" island.

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Day 4: 

Today we served a region where 5-6 feet came into the houses, so they were pretty much destroyed. Hard for any family to face. The sheet rock had to come out all the way to the ceiling, and all appliances gone. Bye bye kitchen and bathroom.

The wet is now out and mold remediation can begin. The home [structure] is saved.

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Day 5:

We are in the same neighborhood as yesterday that had 6-7 feet of water. The lady who lived here fled to her mothers home which got 2 feet of water and they are living there!

The lady next door was lucky to survive. A friend came and they both climbed into the attic. They pulled up a door to sit on and food. There they stayed until the water went down.

There are dead cars everywhere because of the salt water. Getting vehicles to use was not easy and very costly. They are island cars. One has to be hot wired. The other we have to disconnect the battery when we stop. 

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