An exclusive look inside Broward’s coronavirus emergency warehouse

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Seven days a week, sometimes more than 10 hours a day, the crew is hard at work at this warehouse vital to Broward County’s battle with the coronavirus pandemic.

Local 10 News got an exclusive look at Broward’s emergency distribution center, which is supplying the county with much-needed personal protective equipment.

The warehouse is typically used to house equipment used in hurricanes. It has been transformed to take in and then quickly distribute resources that serve all the county’s municipalities — including first responders, hospital systems, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

“It’s nonstop because the team works extremely hard to break it down and redistribute fairly and get it out to the people who need it most,” says Tracy Jackson, Broward County’s emergency manager. “We are really pushing out as much as given to us in terms of PPE across the entire county.”

Logistics coordinator Anthony Allen is on the floor working with his team. He says they get a list of requests and fill the order as best as possible.

The custom orders include masks and surgical gowns. All of the personal protective equipment is boxed up, sorted and then shipped. Supplies that arrived Wednesday are already out the door Thursday morning.

“People need this stuff, so we try to get it in as fast and out as fast as possible,” Allen says.

However, on average, Jackson says Broward is only receiving 10 percent of the supplies the county is ordering because they are in such high demand globally.

“What we are getting is a trickle of what’s actually ordered,” he says. “The entire state is feeling that crunch.”

The challenge here — and across the world — is the lifespan of some of the equipment.

“They get so little, they go through it quickly and they get close to being out of it again,” Jackson says.

Exclusive look inside the Broward County Emergency Distribution Center. Personal protective equipment being sent from here to hospitals, ALFs, first responders etc.

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