Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Dec 08th
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Home Our Missions Mission of Medicine Hurricane Katrina in United States

Hurricane Katrina in United States

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When New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the American capital of modern Jazz was the site of destruction and great sorrows. “Di Ai Medical Mobile” responded to the Katrina catastrophe with emergency aid to alleviate the pain and the suffering. After a two-day journey from Los Angeles, volunteers set a Tzu Chi record for its longest rescue operation on wheels.

On August 29th 2005, hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi area, along the Southern coast of the United States. In the city of New Orleans, levees burst, leaving 80 percent of the city submerged in water. Gas leaks resulted in fires. Fresh water became unavailable, and all electricity service was discontinued. Bridges and roads were either damaged or blocked. Thousands upon thousands residents were forced to evacuate the city.

Tzu Chi USA volunteers arrived at an emergency shelter in Texas to distribute emergency aid to the victims of Katrina in the city of New Orleans, and to provide free clinical services along with sincere blessings and empathy. At the same time, the

Tzu Chi Foundation initiated a global fund raising campaign entitled, “Gathering worldwide Tzu Chi love to help New Orleans.”

Tzu Chi Medical Mobile Team departed from Los Angeles, traveled two thousand kilometers, and arrived in Houston, Texas in forty hours. The team, with two separate drivers, had only rested seven hours during its two-day journey. It had broken the

Tzu Chi’s Mobile record by traveling the longest distance ever.

According to State law, medical professionals must be licensed in a state in order to perform treatment or services. Dentist Shun-mai Chen and four other doctors, who flew in from Los Angeles, were busy assisting local licensed medical volunteers in using the Dai Ai Medical Mobile and its equipment.

“While the American Dental Association was calling on its members to donate dental service and preparing the necessary details, we had already set up everything in the Dai Ai Medical Mobile,” Dr. Shun-mai Chen triumphantly claimed.

Identified with Their Pain
Dentists treated their patients with patience and care, reminding them of the need for follow-up dental after care after the emergency treatment. Many patients embraced the volunteers; some shook hands with doctors to show their appreciation and thankfulness. Volunteers also handed out mouthwash, toothbrushes, and tooth paste as helpful gifts.

On September 9th, China Airlines sponsored the air transportation costs and delivered ten thousand eight hundred and eighteen family-sizes, First-

Aid kits to the Los Angeles Tzu Chi head office where they were repackaged with medicines based upon local requirements. Each family-size medical kit comes with forty-eight items in eighteen different categories. The kits include thermometers, scissors, spatulas, nail clippers, Tylenol, Loperamide, antimosquito ointment, cut and wound antiseptics, cleansing wipes, dressings, and ice-packs. The supplies could last a family of four for about a month.

Medical and Psychiatry Counseling Service
On March 5th 2007, a Tzu Chi Psychiatry Counseling Center was established in New Orleans. Psychiatrists and social workers were contracted to provide free counseling service for the victims displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

On April 23rd 2007, the first Tzu Chi medical health fair was held at East Jefferson Center and lasted for a week. TIMA professionals from all over the United States came to support the first free medical event in New Orleans. They included professionals in internal medicine, family medicine, and dentistry. After the local TV Channel 6 station broke the news about the event, the center was swamped with patients lining up for services. Dr. Ming-Chang Hsu, from Los Angeles, appeared on a local TV station to answer questions from call-in viewers about the event.


The Beauty of the Jing Si Abode


Are you prepared to put your kindness into actions and join Tzu Chi in promoting the goodness and beauty of mankind?
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" The journey of a thousand miles begins with one first step. Even the saint was once an ordinary human being. "
Jing-Si Aphorism