BATON ROUGE, La. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) is demobilizing after delivering quality medical care to the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
NDMS has more than 8,000 personnel nationwide who were all used following both hurricanes. NDMS has medical, veterinarian, and mortuary assistance teams located around the country. Their mission is to maintain a national capability to deliver quality medical care to victims and responders of a domestic disaster.
The Oklahoma (1) DMAT team began treating patients with special needs at the Pete Maravich Center on Louisiana State University 's campus before Hurricane Katrina made landfall. They have supported six hospitals, three special needs shelters, and eight additional sites throughout the state. NDMS Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) provided care in nine parishes overall. Eight DMAT teams worked around the clock at the Louis Armstrong International Airport during the peak of patient movement operations.
During the course of this disaster NDMS treated 49,000 patients; gave 65,000 immunizations; provided 5,800 individuals with crisis counseling; and treated 9,500 animals.
NDMS' DMAT teams are still supporting three sites in Cameron, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes with 40 personnel and 30 support staff on board.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program.