Every year, the University of Florida is tasked with providing pre- and post-disaster assistance to shelters across the state. UF coordinates with state and national organizations even before the disaster hits to start assessing needs and coordinating assistance.
Hurricanes and other disasters are unpredictable, so we need to prepare. One critical piece is moving animals out of the shelter and harm's way in order to make room for post-disaster victims. The UF team has been essential in coordinating these transport efforts during Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and most recently Hurricane Michael in 2018.
To be effective, we need to have an emergency contact at every shelter before a threat is looming. What we need is your shelter's point of contact, a direct line for that contact, a cell phone number, and a social media/messenger connection. Why a cell phone number and a messenger connection? Trying to call a main shelter line during a hurricane when there are often power outages and shelter closings does not get you the resources and assistance you need. Even cell phone service can be interrupted, but social media seems to stay on line more consistently. There's no need to worry, we aren't going to call just to catch up . . . hurricanes are serious business. You contact information will be help strictly confidential