Security Studies Student John Watkins II got to set his CERT preparation to the examination during Hurricane Harvey.
Last semester, graduate pupil John Watkins II was certified equally a Citizen Emergency Response Team Member (CERT) for Walker County equally purpose of his Crisis Management class. He set his preparation to skillful job during Hurricane Harvey.
In his seat equally radio logistics coordinator, Watkins worked ii 12-hour shifts keeping rail of volunteers in addition to personnel at the Emergency Operations Center, coordinating efforts to learn supplies to emergency shelters, in addition to uniting people amongst pets left during the disaster inwards Walker County. Before the storm, he likewise spent vii hours equally a runner getting needed supplies, such equally cots in addition to food, to the shelter to assist evacuees from the storm.
“People were truly willing to help,” said Watkins. “There were people of all races helping because the people inwards the shelter didn’t bring a home, in addition to nosotros wanted them to endure comfortable. We were going to brand this their dwelling identify piece they were here.”
As a pupil inwards a crisis management course, Watkins became purpose of the volunteer corps inwards Walker County trained to answer to disasters, such equally tornados, floods, wildfire, hurricanes or a terrorist attack. The CERT course of teaching teaches basic disaster preparedness skills inwards burn downwardly safety, search in addition to rescue, squad arrangement in addition to medical operations.
Watkins used those skills in addition to to a greater extent than during his fourth dimension at the Walker County Emergency Operations Office. Under the management of Butch Davis, Watkins logged inwards volunteers in addition to employees coming to or leaving from the shelter in addition to helped coordinate the needs of 200 evacuees.
“They would cry for cots in addition to ane time nosotros had to learn a infirmary bed,” said Watkins. “We needed cleaning supplies in addition to Raid®. They likewise needed diapers, babe wipes, laundry detergent, in addition to lav paper. We fifty-fifty had requests for adult coloring mass in addition to crayons.”
Watkins was likewise inwards accuse of reuniting pets in addition to their owners. Although the shelter did non allow pets, a local veterinary agreed to temporarily identify those brought to the shelter. In addition, beast command rescued animals abandoned inwards the storm. Watkins’ chore was to brand certain the correct pet went dorsum to the correct owner.
Throughout his experience, Watkins said he was awed past times the might of everyone to operate together.
“We had people from high school, only about were my historic current in addition to others were older,” said Watkins. “People stopping what they were doing to assist others.”