Here on St. John, the summer months are heralded with a sense of anticipation and anxiety. Hurricanes and other climate-related weather events are impacting communities like ours more frequently and more aggressively, and at Love City Strong we believe that community preparedness must accelerate in kind.
One of the pillars of our work in disaster response is the development of human resources. Year round, we focus on training and capacity building for our employees and our partners. Participation in training like CPR, First Aid, Stop the Bleed, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), HAM radio, and more ensures that we are effective as first responders.
Our emphasis on human resources also includes leveraging the skills and talents of our community. Each hurricane season, we onboard a group of on-call employees who undertake a wide range of training in preparation for deployment alongside our full time team in the event of a major disaster impact. The group is modeled after our core team; it consists of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, age groups, and locations across the island to better reflect the diversity of the St. John community.
This focus on local skill building serves three main purposes. First, it ensures that recovery and mitigation funds are spent on local businesses and residents. Second, it establishes a bench of on-island talent to mitigate the need for outside recovery workers. The third and most important purpose is providing a recognizable, trustworthy face for disaster survivors. Since our core employees and our on-call team are all St. John residents, they’re better equipped to understand what their friends and neighbors are going through when a disaster strikes. They can connect with survivors on a deeper level, and provide the assistance and resources that are right for them.
Your donations make our unique approach to preparedness and recovery possible, and the programs that you support are created and executed by our skilled and experienced team. Human resources are just as important as physical assets when it comes to an efficient and comprehensive response, if not moreso. We thank you for your continued generosity!