Kennedy Franklin

Kennedy Franklin, 2020 - Helping Midland County One Day At a Time

Name: Kennedy Franklin 

Major: Physiology 

Minor: Bioethics 

Hometown: Freeland, MI 

From your perspective, what has happened in Midland? How has it affected families? Do you know people who are struggling at this time? 

Midland, along with other communities in mid-Michigan such as Sanford, Edenville, Wixom Lake, Freeland, and many others, was hit with lots of flooding and damage after two dams broke and others breached, releasing billions of gallons of water. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes during a time where people are being told to stay home, leaving people feeling confused and hopeless. So many people have lost belongings and had their homes destroyed. So many businesses have lost everything they have in a time where businesses are already struggling. It’s heartbreaking. I do know many people that have been affected and are currently struggling, but the overwhelming amount of support is making this a little easier for everyone. I have never seen communities come together for a common goal and to support one another like those that have been affected and those surrounding them. There’s even support from people all over the state and country, which has helped relieve some of the stress that a lot of people are dealing with right now.

You work in the Emergency Department in Midland— how has the flooding affected the number of patients? 

Flooding hasn’t necessarily increased the number of patients that we’re seeing in the emergency department, but it has definitely influenced the types of complaints that we’re seeing. We were so lucky to have no serious injuries or casualties during the evacuations that happened during the flood, but since then, we’ve seen more patients come in with issues secondary to stress and anxiety. We’ve also seen more injuries from cleaning out debris and trying to handle the damage done by the flooding. Lots of lacerations, nail puncture wounds, and injuries from physical stress and heavy lifting. We’re also seeing some dehydration and heat exhaustion/heat stroke as it starts to get warmer here. So if you’re working to clean up or help families in need, just remember to stay hydrated, take breaks if necessary, and be careful, as you don’t know what could have washed up from floodwaters. 

What can people do from home to help?

There are lots of ways to help from home. First and foremost, spreading the word so that more people know about it is a great way to find support for those that need it most. There are also groups coming together to help families in need, such as Michigan Students for Midland Relief and many others, that are looking for donations or help with remote volunteer work. If you are in the area, there are lots of groups getting together to help clean, distribute needed supplies and food, and collect donations. You can also contact local businesses and see if they’re collecting supplies or monetary donations.  Most importantly, just being there for family and friends affected by the floods is a super-easy way to help support people from home. Just a text or a call to just chat or ask if they could use any help would really mean a lot to the many people affected.