Hurricane Michael Disaster Recovery

!0/14/18 – West Panama City

14 October – For 30 miles or more, nearly every building is damaged and many are destroyed. Most trees are broken off and power poles are everywhere. It’s hard to believe the extent of the devastation.

There is still no power anywhere and 70-80% of cell towers are inoperable. There is no water and no air conditioning (even at the shelter) and it is hot! The shelter has portable showers, but no water to feed them. The team is extremely lucky to be able to sleep in the MOVE truck (which has AC). Power crews are everywhere, but there are no estimates on when power will be restored.

Tomorrow, the team will need MOVE truck to a fuel depot in town to get fuel. Will return to the shelter and provide internet and phone services to the Red Cross.

12 October (PM update) – Today the IEEE-USA MOVE team moved from the emergency operations center to a shelter with about 450 people. Tim Forrest arranged a police escort from the Florida Highway Patrol for the trip about 5 miles across town because of heavy traffic. The MOVE truck is set up at the shelter and is supplying critical communication support.

Meals Ready To Eat (MREs)

The team is tied to the truck and the closest restaurant is 30 miles away. Therefore, MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) are on the menu tonight. These are packets where you just add water and the packets heat up.  Tonight’s selections: sweet and sour chicken with rice and spaghetti. The team has MRE’s on the MOVE truck just for occasions like this. Early in big disasters they frequently do not have access to regular meals. So this is what keeps them going.

12 October (AM update) – Devastation: In Panama City, FL almost every building is damaged and many are destroyed. There is no power or cell phone service anywhere although some temporary cell service is coming online. Most side streets are blocked with downed trees and the main roads are littered with debris and downed power lines. Yesterday was hot (in the 90s) and most residents are unable to travel because of blocked roads. Air conditioning, food, and water are lacking. Today, the team is assisting the Red Cross with local operations.

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11 October, 9:15 PM EDT Update – IEEE-USA’s MOVE team is currently at the Panama City Emergency Operations Center. There is no cell service. However, they were able to get a text out to say they were fine.  Unfortunately, there are no suitable buildings for them to stay in, so they (Grayson Randall and Tim Forrest) are sleeping on cots in the truck tonight.  Stay tuned for updates.

“The damage is terrible here (Panama City, FL).”

11 October – Yesterday, the MOVE team drove to Mobile, Alabama. They were on the west side of the hurricane which is the weak side of the storm and only experienced medium to heavy rain (but no real wind to speak of)
They are on route now to Panama City, FL to begin relief efforts.


You can help – MOVE is funded by donations like yours. Your support is greatly appreciated. Please consider helping the MOVE Community Outreach program by donating to the cause.

Interested in volunteering? Please visit our volunteer information page.


10 October – IEEE-USA’s MOVE team got on the road yesterday and spent the night in  Anderson SC. Currently, they are planning on relocating to Mobile, AL today where they will standby until it is safe to access the impacted area by interstate I-10.

They are closely monitoring Hurricane Michael (now a category 4 storm) and will adjust plans as required. The team has access to national weather service and national hurricane center charts and data. In addition, IEEE-USA’s MOVE truck is well-equipped (weather alert radios, satellite TV, and public safety scanners) to monitor the situation in real time.


9 October – In one day…out the next. In less than a day of finishing its Hurricane Florence deployment, MOVE headed out to assist with Hurricane Michael relief efforts.

At this time,  Hurricane Michael has intensified to a Category 3 major hurricane and is expected to strike the Florida Panhandle Gulf coast Wednesday with life-threatening storm surge flooding, and destructive winds. Michael will also spread heavy rain and strong winds to other parts of the southeastern United States after it moves inland. Over one million people are expected to lose power.

If you are in the path of this major hurricane, please take the appropriate steps to stay safe:

Follow us on Facebook for the latest updates: https://www.facebook.com/ieeeusamove.


You Can Help

MOVE is funded by donations like yours. Your support is greatly appreciated. Please consider helping the MOVE Community Outreach program by donating to the cause.

Interested in volunteering? Please visit our volunteer information page.


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