This month New Hanover County practiced shelter drills in five elementary schools in the Wilmington area. These drills allowed staff and volunteers in our community to practice and prepare the shelters for a disaster. Volunteers helped to train the workers by acting as shelter inhabitants and rehearsed the necessary functions of the shelter such as registration, food distribution, and setting up sleeping areas. These drills allowed the shelter drill staff to train and identify what areas of the shelter needed work and clarification and which aspects were running smoothly. Our team acted as community members seeking shelter and needed to go through the registration process. The staff was efficient, kind, and made sure the participants received the care they needed. Our community is better prepared for the next disaster through the preparation and training provided by the shelter drills at our local elementary schools.
Jared Morgan is the public administration intern focusing on grants, schools, and government. Jared grew up in Wilmington and graduated from Laney High School. He received a full academic scholarship to the University of Alabama where he completed his undergraduate degree in political science and he is now completing his masters of public administration. At the Cape Fear Volunteer Center, Jared is kept very busy and works to write and complete grants to provide the CFVC with the resources needed to help the disaster relief work. He also works with our government representatives to spread our mission and enable them with the information to help and understand the recovery efforts present in Wilmington. Jared works with schools to recruit volunteers as well as aid in preparing schools to act as shelters in the event of another disaster. Jared expresses that his internship “showed me the importance of community…there’s a lot of non-profits on the ground doing the work needed to recover from disasters and help the less fortunate and vulnerable in our community.” Jared’s value of our community and how people come together for the good of everybody, has enabled him to achieve change and awareness with the CFVC and promote volunteerism in Wilmington.
Lee Pridgen is one of our project managers at the Cape Fear Volunteer Center and he’s always on the move. Lee is dedicated, adaptive, and committed to the recovery and success of Wilmington. He’s a Wilmington native and has studied emergency and disaster management. Reflecting on his time with the CFVC, Lee stated the most important thing he’s learned is to be flexible and that his busy role has provided him a more productive perspective. Lee’s days consist of organizing and executing projects with a variety of organizations and volunteer groups. He rotates between projects to provide instruction and assistance, along with encouragement to our volunteers and other project managers. Lee experienced the transition the CFVC encountered post Hurricane Florence and has adapted to the shift in programs and allocation of volunteer efforts, he’s committed to help everyone and get jobs done. A core value of the CFVC and in Lee’s work is the importance of community in Wilmington, Lee described community as “a group that comes together to assist one another in a time of need regardless of race, sex, religion, beliefs…someone who will help you even if they don’t know your name or what you do, they see you in need and they will help you out.”