County ramping up for upcoming hurricane season
SARASOTA – Sarasota County Health and Human Services is recruiting a team of volunteers to manage and run Volunteer Reception Centers (VRCs) during a time of disaster. The VRCs are community locations where people who step forward to help during a time of disaster register and get their volunteer duty assignments. This is part of Sarasota County’s effort to ramp up for the upcoming hurricane season which begins on June 1 and continues through the end of November.
Those interested in volunteering can attend a VRC Recruitment and Training Workshop on Monday, May 23 from 10 a.m. to noon at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota. A similar workshop will take place on Friday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Morgan Family Community Center, 6207 W. Price Boulevard in North Port. The workshops will provide hands-on practice in setting up and running a Volunteer Reception Center.
Officials say it is a challenge to register everyone who volunteers following a disaster. Sarasota County has adopted VRCs as a best-practice model to help ensure volunteers work in meaningful and constructive roles during the disaster response and recovery process.
“We look forward to strengthening our community’s capabilities in placing volunteers during a time of disaster,” said William Freitas, Human Services Strategic Planner. “This training workshop provides disaster volunteers an opportunity to practice the process while training new volunteers who will serve on the Volunteer Reception Center Team.”
“The VRC would open at the direction of officials after the ‘all clear’ notice has been given,” says Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane. “Volunteers not already connected to an agency or organization would perform duties such as water and ice distribution, tree and limb removal, responding to an information hotline, delivering meals and more.”
Reserve your space at the workshop: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VRC-Training or call
941-313-5821 for more information.
Those who are unable to attend these training sessions can register to become a HS-Disaster Recovery Team member through www.scgov.net/Volunteer/Pages/ or visit the Welcome Center at Sarasota County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota, to continue to receive information about being a Human Services Disaster Recovery Team member.
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