While Irma set her sites on the state of Florida, the University of Florida worked proactively to set in place measure to ensure that county extension offices, like the one in Holmes County, would have the assistance they needed, following Irma’s impact to recover and serve the needs of their county residents.
In the uncertain week prior to the storm, the faculty and staff of the Holmes County Extension office develop the UF/IFAS I.R.M.A. (Impact & Recovery Management Alliance) System. This system pairs impacted counties with a county extension office that was not impacted, allowing them to offer diverse support before, during, and after the storm. With a team of agents and directors across Panhandle of Florida reached out to high impact counties in south Florida prior to the storm, and then maintained their outreach following the storm.
District Extension Director from the South Central District Brenda Rodgers stated: ” It was so comforting and helpful to know that we had someone who was there for us, before, after and during the storm.”
This system, that was developed in Holmes County, is currently being used across the state of Florida in response to Hurricane Irma’s impact as a key point of coordination for the University’s efforts following the storm.