Ladies and Gentlemen,
Navarre High School NJROTC received a request for assistance at 7:45AM on Monday directly from Bay County Emergency Management out of their Emergency Operations Center (EOC). They had an urgent need for volunteers to move evacuees out of the Bozeman School Shelter in Panama City on Tuesday. Bay County was consolidating all 800+ displaced individuals from several shelters around their county to one mega-shelter at Arnold High School. Thanks to a coordinated effort from the district, the community, this school and Gulf Breeze High School, we were able to provide 45 cadets (41 NJROTC at 4 AFJROTC) and four adults to assist within 24 hours of the call from Bay County. You’d be hard pressed to find a military unit on Prepare to Deploy Orders with that kind of response time for that size of a group!
Our team was only assigned the Bozeman Shelter for loading the personal belongings of 150 evacuees, and then helping the evacuees on busses for transfer via police escort to the Arnold Shelter. All the EOC members, Red Cross, National Guard, Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps were amazed at what YOUR students accomplished in only ONE hour. They were allotted five hours to accomplish that task. The cadets finished so fast that Red Cross and EOC immediately asked if they were available to assist with the evacuees’ reception at the Arnold Shelter. We were given the green light and moved 35 minutes down the road to help unload and distribute the personal belongings back to the evacuees as they checked into the Arnold Shelter. Again, your students excelled and finished the job in record time. The Red Cross director Arnold Shelter then asked if the cadets could assist with set up a new reception center in the media center of the school – they all acted quickly and professionally without batting an eye.
The gratitude expressed by all involved was immense.
Have a Fine Navy and Marine Corps Day!