Insights

When Disaster Strikes

August 24, 2018

LMI Staff

When Hurricane Katrina hit the coast in 2005, the Category 5 storm had catastrophic impact on coastal and central states. As the project lead supporting the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during Hurricane Katrina, Danny Addison, a senior health consultant at LMI, was asked to step in to help. He and another LMIer were on the next flight to Atlanta, Georgia, to assist the disaster response team in preventing more damage and loss of life.

Danny, a retired Air Force officer, registered nurse, and military medical planner, joined LMI in 2004 when he was tasked to create the concept of operations for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Federal Medical Station. His work included support planning, sustainment, logistics, and operational guidelines for deployment and coordination at the local, state, and federal levels. Danny guided the prototype test and evaluation, wrote and analyzed test criteria, and prepared an extensive report on the findings and recommendations. This newly developed concept and the resultant prototype formed the basis for the HHS medical response during hurricane relief operations, such as Katrina. 

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Hurrican Katrina Rescue Center

The plan guided the deployment of Federal Medical Station (FMS) sets, portable medical platforms deployed for catastrophic response tactics, and served as the basis for multilevel coordination during contingency operations. Danny drew from his experience as a former Air Force medical planner to assist in the development, deployment, and prototyping of these FMS sets by using his knowledge of military packages. In addition, he assisted with day-to-day tasks of the recovery process, such as setting up a dining facility and pharmacy, coordinating equipment and procedure flows and processes, and even starting a newspaper.

— Danny Addison, a senior health consultant at LMI

Throughout his career as a health and disaster response consultant, Danny has participated in deployments with the FMS in various configurations: a 1,000-bed FMS set up in an aircraft hangar at the Meridian Air National Guard Complex in Mississippi; a vacant supermarket in San Antonio, Texas, for Hurricane Dean; a university gym in Bismarck for the North Dakota flooding; and a gymnasium on the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge for Hurricane Gustav.

Upon his return to LMI, Danny used his lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina to assist other local, state, and federal agencies in the development of catastrophic response plans. His hands-on experience enabled him to offer input on how to provide shelter, medical supplies, and logistics for a population of 800,000 should a disaster, such as a super storm, occur. He also assisted HHS in its operational support cell for those individuals still deployed to support recovery operations for Hurricane Katrina. 

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LMI staff on the ground after Katrina

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