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Sacramento nurse who volunteered at Camp Fire now on the front lines of Hurricane Dorian

Last October, she was actively preserving the lives of Hurricane Michael victims in Florida. A month later, she was part of the Camp Fire disaster-relief efforts in California.

Following Hurricane Dorian, Sacramento registered nurse Mary-Jane Perry was selected again this fall to participate in a Registered Nurse Response Network team in Florida and possibly the Bahamas — where communities have been decimated and scarred by the life-threatening storm surge.

By Friday morning, Hurricane Dorian had reached Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. The hurricane is expected to travel along the South Carolina coast, southeastern Virginia, and southern Chesapeake Bay throughout the day. It has already killed at least 30 people in the Bahamas and caused injuries and indirect deaths in Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The past week, Perry’s team cared for some of the 9,000 people evacuated from their homes in 25 counties in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina — working with the International Medical Corps and alongside the Red Cross, according to a news release.

As the storm moved away from Florida, half of the team flew into Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas, to begin assisting in local shelters. Spokeswoman Martha Wallner said the team may receive new additions to help bring relief in the Grand Bahamas, which bore the brunt of the storm.

At the moment, Perry is one of 10 nurses in the response team, seven of which were deployed from California, according to Wallner.

Like many of her teammates, Perry has been an emergency-room registered nurse for over a decade, working for St. Joseph Medical Center in Stockton for nearly four years and for Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento the past eight years.

Wallner said Perry is highly experienced, and has proved her abilities multiple times while on two national disaster missions with the network in little more than a year.

Last fall, Perry traveled to Florida to provide medical assistance to the over 500,000 evacuees threatened by Hurricane Michael, the strongest storm to hit the state in 100 years. And when she came back to California that Thanksgiving, she joined the local Camp Fire team in Butte County working around the clock to provide critical care to the victims of Paradise.

“These are like my brothers and sisters and I wanted to help out,” Perry told National Nurses United last year. “What I love seeing is how people are experiencing this crisis and coming together as a family, everyone is looking out for each other.”

Perry is currently involved in this mission and was not available for comment.

If you are a registered nurse interested in volunteering or making a donation to the Registered Nurse Response Network’s relief efforts, visit their website at: https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/rnrn-disaster-relief-fund.

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Caroline Ghisolfi, from Stanford University, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee, focusing on breaking news and health care. She grew up in Milan, Italy.
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