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Saturday, May 27, 2023

Volunteers help Marion County’s Emergency Operations Center prepare for hurricane season

Volunteers recently stopped by the Marion County Emergency Operations Center to ensure that the facility is prepared for hurricane season.

On Thursday, Marion Emergency Radio Team (MERT) volunteers donated their time to rewire and refurbish the radio tower at the operations center.

Marion Emergency Radio Team MERT volunteers rewiring and refurbishing radio tower at Marion Emergency Operations Center March 23 2023
Marion Emergency Radio Team (MERT) volunteers making sure that the Emergency Operations Center’s radio tower is ready for hurricane season (Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our Marion Emergency Radio Team (MERT) volunteers,” stated the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in a social media post. The sheriff’s office added that the volunteers “generously donate countless hours of their time to ensure communication pathways remain open in the event of any natural disaster.”

Marion County Emergency Management has two volunteer programs that consist of residents who are trained to help Emergency Management in times of disasters. Those volunteer programs include:

  • The Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) – Volunteers receive training on how to prepare and take care of themselves during times of disasters. This program teaches volunteers several topics including fire safety, disaster medical operations, disaster psychology, disaster preparedness, search and rescue, and more.
  • The Marion Emergency Radio Team (MERT) – This program is designed to provide communications support to areas such as shelters, healthcare facilities, point of distributions, and more during times of disasters. Volunteers assist with moving valuable communications between agencies and locations about storm information, resource needs, and requests.

Marion County residents who are interested in becoming a CERT or MERT volunteer can click here to fill out an application. For more information, contact Marion County Emergency Management at 352-369-8100.