Arkansas group travels to east coast to help hurricane victims

Published: Sep. 14, 2018 at 10:50 PM CDT
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Troy Burleson brought together the group Men in Black Disaster Response Solutions years ago in northern Arkansas.

"They've got a heart for this. And they take off work. They take their vacations from their work. Most are active police officers. So they take their work vacations and they come and they help out. And it just takes a special group of people to do that," Burleson said.

The Men in Black Disaster Response Team is heading into the eye of the storm to help the east coast as Hurricane Florence rips through the area.

They coordinate with Fresenius Kidney Care and their main goal is to make sure people can get access to dialysis.

"They had to do their last dialysis to prepare for the storm a couple days ago, and if this storm lingers for a period of time, then those patients who didn't receive their dialysis can be critical. So we're going to make sure the dialysis are up and running as quickly as possible," Burleson said.

The team has been responding to disasters since Hurricane Katrina back in 2005.

"Back when you see the old westerns, when people needed help they'd say, 'The cavalry is coming.' That's how people look at us and they feel much better, much more secure, when they know we're on the scene. Because over the period of the last 15 years they've grown to trust us a lot. Especially in times that are very trying," Burleson said.

And they're expecting to see a lot of flooding and people who may lose their homes to flooding, but they're ready to help as much as possible.

"For the folks back home, continue to send us prayers. That's what keeps us going. Knowing people are back there with us. People praying for us. Right there with us. We really appreciate that," Burleson said.

The team members will be swapped out about every week, and more than 150 Fresenius Medical clinics could be hit by the hurricane.