October 17, 2018
NICEVILLE, FL-Days after Hurricane Michael ravished parts of the Gulf Coast, Northwest Florida State College continues to provide support for our neighbors throughout the Florida Panhandle. Over the past week, NWF State College has worked tirelessly with local emergency operations officials to help ease the burdens brought on by Hurricane Michael.
Beginning on Tuesday, October 9, Raider Arena at NWF State College began sheltering over 150 evacuees from Okaloosa and Walton Counties who were seeking refuge from the storm. Most of those evacuees left after the storm, and on Wednesday, October 10, Raider Arena also served as an overnight shelter for more than 150 first responders who were traveling from Mississippi and Louisiana to aid in storm relief. NWF continued to serve as an evacuation center for refugees from Bay, Holmes and Jackson Counties until Tuesday, October 16. While here, evacuees were provided hot showers, toiletries, cots, blankets, pillows, food and computer access.
“The partnerships between NWF, the Red Cross, Volunteer Florida and our state and local emergency management officials have been integral to our ability to help so many in the wake of Hurricane Michael,” said Dr. Devin Stephenson, President. “We remain ready and willing to serve our community in any way possible.”
NWF State College also continues to serve as a collection point for donations. With massive amounts of donations pouring in from across Okaloosa and Walton Counties, NWF State College is sorting, packaging and delivering donations to official supply distribution points within the heavily affected areas. Donations may be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Building 630, Receiving at the Niceville campus.
“Okaloosa County is fortunate to have such a professional team of public servants working at NWF, said Graham Fountain, Okaloosa County Commission Chairman. “Pulling out all the stops to provide a comfortable place to house victims of Hurricane Michael shows just how committed the College is in being a vital part of our community and a blessing to our counties to the east. President Stephenson and his team are to be commended for being a big player in our state and local emergency management system.”
Additionally, groups from within the College are doing their part in relief efforts. NWF’s Facilities and Physical Plant teams will be going to Chipola College in Marianna to assist, the Chautauqua Center in DeFuniak Springs is serving as the accommodation and staging center for the Florida Forest Service, NWF student-athletes are on standby to assist and the NWF Student Nurses Association is continuing to collect donations.