A Team of Vincentians deployed to Fort Meyers, Florida for the first two weeks in October to support the Parish Recovery Assistance Center Operations that were manned in at six Parishes in a 250 square mile radius. The deployed Vincentians worked in tandum with the local council and their members as well as with the local Catholic Charities to manage the recovery efforts. P-RACs are a holistic community based approach to helping families immediately after a disaster hits. Catholic organizations work together in a collaborative effort to deliver critical information and referral services and immediate relief to the survivors of Hurricane Irma.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has worked with Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, TEEX to develop a “Just in Time” training program for the P-RACs. TEEX is a internationally recognized leader in the delivery of emergency response and workforce training. The P-RACs are led by trained Rapid Response Teams around the United States. The Rapid Response Teams train other parish based groups to provide information on FEMA, SBA, ONA, State and local disaster programs, and provide hygiene kits, bottled water, light food pantry needs, spiritual and emotional care, and other forms of help as required. PRACs do not replace other VOAD and FEMA Recovery operations, but rather compliment those services by being the initial face to face interaction of the survivors with their community in the road to recovery. P-RACs consist of multiple parish communities working together to respond to a disaster event. They also provide support to the local Council Vincentians through training and introducing them to their local FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison, American Red Cross Partners, and to their local state based Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster leadership.