Mobile Citizen Spotlight: Aiding Florida’s Disaster Relief During Hurricane Irma

November 15, 2017

Nonprofit organizations are used to helping communities in need. It is what they do best. In times of disaster, however, that need evolves and expands, as was the case in Florida when Hurricane Irma blew across the entire state leaving more than 1.9 million customers without power. For many, that also meant losing internet access. Fortunately, Mobile Citizen enabled several organizations to help reconnect the disconnected.

Sweetwater Organic Community Farm works to make fresh, organic produce accessible to everyone, so a large part of its work focuses on food accessibility and education. When disaster struck as it did last month, Mobile Citizen hotspots helped employees, most of whom were in a mandatory evacuation zone and were forced to scatter to shelters and nearby family or friends, to stay updated and connected.

For Hope Children’s Home, which houses and educates abandoned, abused, neglected or orphaned children, it wasn’t just the access to the internet that proved to be useful during the storm, it was the mobility. The majority of the home’s children and staff evacuated so they were able to maintain an internet connection even while displaced.

The Florida Institute for Community Studies (FICS) partners with communities to help them achieve their goals through research, education training, services and the arts. Following Irma, FICS had internet access, enabling staff and constituents to communicate with loved ones even when so many of its neighbors were without power, cable and internet.

Florida Autism Center for Education (FACE) offers successful educational programs for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. During the storm, employees with hotspots and no service at home could stay in contact with the school, as well as stay updated on important announcements regarding school closings and openings. After the storm passed, the school continued to experience connection issues with its primary provider, so the hotspots helped staff keep things running smoothly.

To learn more about these organizations and how Mobile Citizen helped their relief efforts read the full case study.

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