During September 2017, two major Category 5 hurricanes impacted the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than one year later, the scope, scale, and magnitude of Hurricanes Irma and Maria are still being felt. The three islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands – St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John – suffered prolonged critical infrastructure shortages and failures in the aftermath of the storms. A lack of reliable access to electricity and water compounded challenges as the islands sought to recover from a hurricane season that caused an estimated $282.27 billion in damage and claimed over 3,300 lives.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, many buildings were damaged, destroyed, or later condemned. This included the hospitals serving St. Thomas and St. Croix and several of the Department of Health’s buildings, clinics, and offices. After a year has passed, the residents are adjusting to the new normal and are working with the resources that have been provided.
DomPrep Advisor Andrew Roszak, who has been supporting recovery efforts in the Caribbean through the Institute for Childhood Preparedness, recently sat down to conduct a podcast with Chance Lindner of the U.S. Virgin Islands Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to learn more about the state of recovery and how EMS is seeking to deploy a community paramedicine model to better serve the needs of the Islands. Listen to the podcast today.
Andrew Roszak, JD, MPA, EMT-P, serves as the senior director for emergency preparedness at Child Care Aware® of America. He is a recognized expert in emergency preparedness, public health, and environmental health. His professional service includes work as the senior preparedness director of environmental health, pandemic preparedness, and catastrophic response at the National Association of County and City Health Officials; at the MESH Coalition and the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana, as the senior preparedness advisor supporting Super Bowl 46 and the Indianapolis 500; as a senior advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; on the Budget and HELP Committees of the United States Senate; and at the Illinois Department of Public Health. Before becoming an attorney, he spent eight years as a firefighter, paramedic, and hazardous materials technician in the Chicago-land area. He has an AS in Paramedic Supervision, a BS in Fire Science Management, a Master of Public Administration, and a Juris Doctorate degree. He is admitted to the Illinois and District of Columbia Bars and is admitted to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. Twitter: @AndyRoszak