Goodwill workers train for hurricane evacuation
A group of Texas Goodwill employees has teamed up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to teach them how to survive a catastrophic storm, and they’re calling it a “game changer.”
Goodwill Workers for the Forecast, a group of workers who volunteer their time to make the organization’s emergency preparedness program better, has been working on the project since last summer.
“We’ve got some of the biggest disaster-relief organizations in the country working together,” said Goodwill director of community outreach and engagement, Jody Kroll.
“So that really opened our eyes to how much people care about this.”
Kroll says that while some of them have been working for the organization for years, this is the first time they’ve been working with a federal agency.
The group of about 35 employees are using Google Earth to document the steps they take to survive on a limited budget.
Kroll said the group’s first step is deciding what they want to do with their time during the storm.
“Our focus is on how to do it right so we don’t have to do that,” Kroll said.
“When it’s a big storm, you don’t want to just be sitting in a hotel and not thinking about the next meal.
You need to be prepared.”
The group has worked with FEMA to provide training and resources, including training on how best to use mobile devices to track their whereabouts and what to do if they’re lost.
They’ve also provided a mobile shelter to a woman who lost her home in the storm that left her with nowhere to go.
In a video posted on the group, a man describes what it’s like to survive the storm in Houston, where he lives.
He describes how he and his friends are still searching for a place to stay.
They’ve been trained by a man who calls himself the Master of Disaster Preparedness, which is part of a series of seminars that teach people how to deal with natural disasters.
Kroops says they’re currently working on a mobile-friendly shelter to be installed on a community center near Houston.
“The mobile shelter will be a temporary shelter and we’ll be adding more and more mobile shelters throughout the city,” Krol said.