Volunteers sought for county disaster response

Recruitment and training workshop set for Tuesday, July 25, at Twin Lakes Park

A graphic shows hurricane strikes in the United States from 1950 through 2005. Image courtesy Sarasota County Emergency Management

The Sarasota County Health and Human Services Department is recruiting a team of volunteers to run Volunteer Reception Centers (VRCs) during a disaster, the county has announced.

“The VRCs are community locations where people who step forward to help during a time of disaster get their volunteer assignments,” a news release explains. This is part of Sarasota County’s effort to strengthen the volunteer base for the hurricane season, which will continue until the end of November, the release points out.

Those interested in running such a center should attend the VRC Recruitment and Training Workshop on Tuesday, July 25, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 at the Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road in Sarasota, the release points out. “Participants will gain experience to set up and run a Volunteer Reception Center,” the release adds.

“[I]t is a challenge to register everyone who volunteers following a disaster,” county leaders say. “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,” the release explains.

“We look forward to strengthening our community’s capabilities in placing volunteers during a time of disaster,” said Bridget Sims, VRC volunteer coordinator, in the release.

To reserve a place at the workshop, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VolunteerSRQ or call Sims at 861-2562. Anyone with questions also may contact Sims for more information.

Those who are unable to attend the training session still may register to become a Hurricane Season-Disaster Recovery Team member through www.scgov.net/Volunteer/Pages/.