Wednesday, November 22, 2017

UVI Aides VI in the Recovery Efforts

Select areas of the University of the Virgin Islands’ St. Thomas Campus are being used to help the territory recover from the Hurricanes Irma and Maria. President David Hall spoke of the role that University Virgin Islands has been playing in an effort to regain normalcy in the Virgin Islands at a Board of Trustees board meeting in October 2017.

The Sports and Fitness Center on the St. Thomas Campus has been repurposed as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Command Center, which will provide leadership and support in the Territory’s restoration efforts.

The Reichhold Center for the Arts having suffered severe damage to its property is not operational from its grounds. As a result, the parking lot currently houses 400 parking spaces for FEMA and additional electrical utility vehicles and equipment that are on island assisting to restore electricity.
Utility trucks on Reichold's premises

The Soccer Field on the St. Thomas Campus was occupied by the U.S. Military, which provided ground military and other recovery and restorative support for the Territory.

Military tents on UVI soccer field

President Hall proudly spoke of UVI’s partnership with retired National Basketball Association (NBA) player and local hero Tim Duncan for the St. Thomas Campus to serve as one of the sites for distribution of food and supplies as part of his relief aid and efforts. Dr. Hall, University students and employees assisted with distribution of food and supplies.

President Hall assisting with distribution

The University is working with the V.I. Department of Human Services to serve as one of the registration sites in St. Thomas for the weeklong Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) which gives food assistance to approved individuals, not currently on the SNAP program, who have experienced food loss or damage as a result of the hurricanes. The SNAP program began on Monday, Nov. 6 and will conclude on Thursday, Nov. 9. The program will resume operations from Nov. 13 to 15.
Individuals lined up to apply for DSNAP
Individuals lined up to apply for DSNAP

“Our Cooperative Extension Service has been disseminating information to local farmers on relief benefits available through Florida Organic Growers and other farm organizations,” said President Hall of UVI’s collaboration with the V.I. Department of Agriculture.

The University after closing its doors in preparation for hurricane Irma on Tuesday, Sept. 5, was able to reopen its doors one month after on Monday, 9th October.

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