Things have gotten very hectic the past couple of weeks. My team and I were pulled from our project and send to work in Joplin MO to help FEMA with case management. We are going through the master call list of everyone that has registered with FEMA and calling them to see if they are interested in meeting to start a case. My team has been split into pairs and each pair goes out into Joplin and does interviews with survivors while I stay behind and make phone calls and oversee the master schedule. Due to the nature of our work and the tight deadline to finish, we are working 10 hours a day with one day off a week. I haven’t had a day off since July 23rd, but i’m loving being on this project.
I was very hesitant at first, but now I am thankful to be having this experience. I am able to work with four other people in my position and their teams. I’m getting to know them better and also getting to know other members in the program outside of my team. We’ve all been doing PTs together and there always seems to be people playing basketball or relaxing after a long day in the pool.
Seeing Joplin has been unreal. I couldn’t imagine what some of the survivors have faced. Their are survivors that have lost families, their homes, and their jobs. I couldn’t imagine going to bed and then waking up the next day to have everything you’ve worked for your whole life gone. Completely wiped out. Their are families who lost children in the tornado, but to make it even worse, they have lost every photo of that child, every art project from school, any special items they saved from their child growing up. It’s now gone. Or imagine being a child who goes to bed with two parents and wakes up the next morning with no parents and no home. It’s pretty gut wrenching what some of the survivors have gone through.
Even with the long hours, and the stress, and being tired it’s still worth it to me.