While many Floridians hunkered down for Hurricane Irma, over 200+ USF CERT members and USF student volunteers stepped up to assist their county in need.
USF CERT leaders Elizabeth Dunn, Jay Rajyaguru, Anthony Woodson, Jordan Snead, and others worked at the Hillsborough County EOC on management of all USF/CERT volunteers as well as shelter management placement for all 46 shelters in the county. These shelters held almost 30,000 evacuees who sought protection from the dangerous conditions outside.
While most of our leadership team served in the EOC, CERT Leader Chris Smyth, assisted with setting up a number of our shelters across Hillsborough County and then managed the second largest shelter in at Sgt Smith Middle School throughout the duration of the storm.
Our USF CERT Leaders are proud of the hard work and dedication of all volunteers and agencies involved in Hurricane Irma response and recovery. Without them, none of this would have been possible.
USF CERT had volunteers that:
- Filled sandbags
- Assisted Hillsborough / Tampa EOC
- Assisted ESF's with any tasks needing completion
- Managed & assigned shelter managers & volunteers
- Worked in SNS Shelters (Sundome/Strawberry Crest)
- Helped run and set up general public shelters
- Delivered water & food to areas in need
- Answered calls at the ABC Action News Call Center
- Distributed essential materials at POD locations
- Assessed damages and needs for social services in neighborhoods along the Alafia River area with Code Enforcement
With all volunteer hours combined from response and recovery to Hurricane Irma, USF CERT donated over 4,000 hours of their time! Way to go Bulls!!
Even after all the work USF CERT has helped with these past few weeks, there is still more to be done.
The Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Office of Emergency Management is requesting volunteers to assist the Hillsborough County School Board on Saturday, November 4th. Volunteers are needed to assist the Hillsborough County School Board with tasks needed to resume normal functions after using schools as shelters during Hurricane Irma. You will be helping School Board employees work with materials that are used to transform schools into evacuation shelters. This is a great opportunity to see behind the scenes of our public school system's role in emergencies. Recommended attire: Wear comfortable, closed toed shoes. Casual clothing such as jeans, shorts, and t-shirts are acceptable. Address: 3210 S. 78th Street, Tampa FL 33619 Time: Nov. 4th 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Please contact Jay Rajyaguru at RaiyaguruJ@hillsboroughcounty.org with any additional questions.