Mobile Hospitals Roll Out

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The Brazos Valley has seen its share of natural and manmade emergencies over the years. But the area has a new tool to help save lives in the event of a major tragedy.

From tornadoes to flooding, no one knows when a major disaster may hit. But now officials hope that you breathe a little easier.

A brand new mobile emergency unit is just one of five here in the Brazos Valley, and can be deployed at a moment's notice.

The idea came from the major flash flooding in Hearne in 2004. Now, in just 30 minutes, the mobile hospital can be set up and accepting patients. Equipped with air conditioning, generators and beds, the unit can also serve as an emergency room should the hospitals fill up.

Brenda Putz works with the Regional Advisory Council, and as a nurse, she knows the need for extra help.

"With my sick parent or my sick child, I want to know there is a physician a nurse and a stretcher available to take care of those family members, and that's what is important," Putz said.

The units aren't cheap; $30,000 is the price tag and with five here in the valley. It is a large investment by the federal government in your safety and care.

"The community expects the facilities, the hospitals here to be able to take care of any of their health and medical needs, so we needed to ensure there was a resource to move to should we need to move to an alternate care site," Putz said.

These mobile medical units can be set up for almost any emergency situation, as in the case of Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita where shelters might be needed.

Since these set-ups are owned by the federal government, they can be deployed outside of the Brazos Valley as emergencies require.

They are located in Centerville, Hearne, Bryan, College Station and Brenham.