This week, USF CERT volunteers assisted the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services in the development of their training materials. The team volunteered over the course of two days, playing roles in an Incident Command Team training video, which included parts on the Safety Officer and Operations Chief positions.
Day one started with 6 USF CERT volunteers arriving at the Disaster Services State Warehouse in Lutz, and involved the team being filmed in a mission briefing and setting up a Canteen food distribution vehicle, which included the do's and don'ts of food safety. The team also manned a Point of Distribution (POD) for distributing food, water, and supplies to survivors of disasters.
On the second day, volunteers arrived at the Salvation Army's Community Center on Sligh Avenue. 5 CERT volunteers played parts as both Salvation Army Disaster Workers and disaster survivors in scenes involving setting up both mobile and permanent food distribution centers. Registration, case work, and emotional support for both survivors and Salvation Army personnel were large parts of the day's filming.
Working with one of the largest Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) in disaster response was a great opportunity to visit the organization's Florida headquarters and connect with the team of volunteers, professionals, equipment, and resources dedicated to the state's disaster response.
The Salvation Army is always looking for dedicated volunteers, and you can sign up here. You may even see some USF CERT members in your training videos!