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2019 Summer of Preparedness

August 11, 2019

Our 2019 Summer of Preparedness outreach events have been ongoing over the past three months with a focus on reaching some of our most vulnerable and at risk populations in Hillsborough County. Through these outreach efforts, USF College of Public Health (COPH) students and faculty, CERT members, and community partners have been able to reach 234 residents in Hillsborough County and volunteers have been able to provide 505.5 hours of service this summer thus far. 


Here is a little more information about some of our

targeted outreach here in the community...



Friday, June 14th: Hurricane Hanna Table-Top Exercise for University Area Residents

Our first Community Hurricane Table-top Exercise was hosted over the course of a 3-hour session in partnership with CERT members and students from the University Area Community Development Center (UACDC). Experts from Hillsborough County Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Social Services contributed to the success of the event.


The session was well received with 40 residents from the University Area community in attendance eager to learn about how they can develop a disaster plan. The session was interactive, residents identified their social networks in their community, developed a family plan to help them prepare for Hurricane season, and then tested their plan to help identify anything they may have missed.


Residents were able to learn about hazards in their community and reflect on experiences that they had during Hurricane Irma that would help their fellow neighbors think about what they could do to help protect their homes, family members and fellow neighbors. 


Friday, July 12th: Outreach in Wimauma and Ruskin


Outreach held Friday, July 12th in southern Hillsborough County focused on visiting residents in both the Wimauma and Ruskin area followed by an evening workshop with residents in a agricultural housing complex in Ruskin. The information we talked about with these residents seemed to be very helpful and informative for them as they asked a lot of questions and were thankful for us coming out. Many felt incredibly vulnerable and unprepared if another hurricane comes. Furthermore, we took some photos to share from our day out in the community as well. 


 "In all, we were able to connect with 53 residents in Wimamua and Ruskin with 28 volunteers from either my class, the community or our USF CERT to assist throughout the day," shared USF Faculty member and CERT Director, Elizabeth Dunn.  


Just to give you an overview of the day, volunteers teamed up with Wholesome Community Ministries where Pastor Carlos connected us with two of their members that are active in the community and we