Hats off to the multiple agency effort for Hurricane Irma

Gaylord, Laurie

I want to take this opportunity to commend our Martin County School District staff for providing comfort and safety to our greater community during Hurricane Irma. A number of schools in the MCSD are utilized as the only shelters in our county and our staff worked tirelessly to ensure that our buildings were prepared to provide a safe haven from the storm.

I feel I speak for many people when I say this hurricane was a very stressful event. It was the unknown track for days on end and the plethora of decisions that had to be made with unpredictable Mother Nature. The multiple agency effort that goes into providing shelter and support for our residents in times of crisis is truly remarkable. For the School District, this included making sure all of the school locations, much like our homes, were prepared securing everything from technology, boarding windows, purchasing non-perishable foods and ensuring all generators were functional. In addition, the District disbursed the entire bus fleet and meals to multiple locations across the district while making difficult decisions regarding timing of closing and reopening of schools. Simultaneously, preparations were being made for select school shelters to receive evacuees. A tremendous effort was made by MCSD Administration, Principals, Assistant Principals and staff members in the departments of Educational Technology, Extended Day, Facilities, Finance, Food and Nutrition Services, Human Resources, Instructional Services, Maintenance, Operations, Payroll, Public Information, Purchasing, Risk and Benefits and Transportation in preparation of our facilities and shelters. During the storm’s peak, twenty one hundred (2,100) evacuees sought refuge at one of our shelter sites.

In the days prior, during, and following the storm, our remarkable county came together through a multi-agency effort. Martin County opened the Emergency Operation Center which was filled with staff from all of the organizations that are needed to facilitate emergency preparedness and disaster management. These agencies include:, the MCSD, Martin County Board of County Commissioners, County Administrator, Martin County Sheriff’s Office, Martin County Fire Rescue, City of Stuart, Stuart Police Department, Stuart Fire Rescue, Towns of Jupiter Island and Sewall’s Point, Department of Health, American Red Cross and Florida Power and Light working 24 hours a day to ensure our community’s safety and well-being.

I want to thank each of these agencies for their expertise, time and dedication to Martin County and its residents. I especially want to express my utmost gratitude to all of the Martin County School District team members for supporting the community with their time, commitment and effort when our County needed them the most. Our A-rated school district not only educates all students for success, but we also provide comfort and support to our citizens in times of need. We are Martin County STRONG! #MCSDProud #IamMCSD

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