Why do we volunteer? I would say we give our time to help others because today it’s them and tomorrow it might be us.
About two years ago, I attended the BOAT Annual Conference in Sugar Land. While there, I attended training on disaster response. After two days of sessions and an exam by the International Code Council, I was certified.
In August of last year, I got the call from BOAT to assist in relief efforts in Aransas Pass in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Our charge as volunteers was to assess the damage of structures. It was two-and-a-half days of nonstop inspecting of commercial and residential structures. We checked the integrity of structures and assessed the severity of the damage caused by the hurricane.
While in Aransas Pass, we walked the streets conducting our inspections and got to meet some of the property owners. We let them know why we were there – performing damage assessments and placing placards on structures for the safety and welfare of citizens. Each placard let people know there might be structural issues with the building and to use caution when entering. As part of the assessments, we completed inspection reports for the City that detailed building damages and the value of the dollars lost by the disaster.
When you have an opportunity, please volunteer. You never know when it going to be your community that is faced with a small or major disaster.
Virgil Gonzalez, Assistant Planning Director, City of Mission
BOAT Director at Large