INCIDENT: Hurricanes Irma and Maria
LOCATION: U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico
SERVICE: Emergency Evacuation, Medical, Security, and Communications Support
SITUATION: Global Guardian clients affected by hurricanes were without shelter, power, water, and food, requiring immediate evacuation.
RESPONSE: Within 24-hours of Hurricane Irma (Category 4) passing over the U.S. Virgin Islands, Global Guardian deployed a team of ten operators – including two medics and one pilot – to Puerto Rico to support clients on St. Thomas and St. John. The team coordinated with boat, helicopter, and fixed-wing assets to provide affected clients with satellite communications and medical & sustenance aid. By mission end, Global Guardian evacuated over 1,500 individuals to safety in Puerto Rico and flew them to mainland United States.
Global Guardian’s presence in Puerto Rico proved invaluable as Hurricane Maria (Category 5) bared down on Puerto Rico just one week later. The team again moved quickly to provide satellite communications to clients as over 95% of the island’s communications were decimated. Again, Global Guardian secured and conducted a damage assessment of major industrial sites after they suffered a direct hit (from the eye of Maria) and were abandoned by all staff. Due to Global Guardian’s unique positioning model, the team was quickly requisitioned to perform damage assessments of more than 100 other sites throughout Puerto Rico.
The medical team treated a range of patient symptoms, including bone fractures, dehydration, illness, lacerations, and moderate scrapes and bruises. A second team secured a major resort in on an outlying island and continued aerial and overwater resupply to support missions throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands until governmental organizations could finally access affected areas.
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