Are You Hurricane Ready?

matthewHaiti is currently being impacted by Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm. Floridians should expect to see the effects of Hurricane Matthew by Thursday, October 6th. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a Hurricane Watch has been issued from the City of Deerfield Beach north to the Brevard/Volusia County line. South of Deerfield Beach to the Florida Keys is under a Tropical Storm Watch. A Hurricane Watch is typically issued when a storm is predicted to approach within 48 hours. A more severe Hurricane Warning will be issued when a storm is considered probable, and is coming within 36 hours.

In advance of a pending storm, HandsOn Broward wants to make sure you are prepared.  Please review our Preparedness Guide and Kit Checklist below!


  •  Plan in Advance If you live in an evacuation zone and an evacuation is ordered, you are required by law to evacuate. Public shelters are a refuge of last resort. Remember, shelters are not designed for comfort, and only one shelter accepts pets, although service animals for the disabled are accepted at all shelters.
  • Identify a Safe Room – If you plan to stay at home, identify the safest room in your home. This is generally an interior room with no windows, such as a bathroom or closet. Make plans to take shelter in this room in the event of a direct hit.
  • Request Assistance if Needed – If you require special assistance in evacuating, or need to stay at a Special Needs shelter, call Broward County Human Services Department at 954-357-6385 (TTY 954-357-5608). If a member of your family is elderly, frail or disabled and may become vulnerable in the aftermath of a storm, register them with Broward County’s Vulnerable Population Registry. Visit and select RESIDENTS AT RISK, or call 311 or 954-831-4000.
  • Stock Your Hurricane Kit – View back for list of supplies including food and water that will sustain your family for three to five days, and a two-week supply of medicines.
  • If Evacuating Out of the Area, Leave Early Plan to leave as early as 48 hours in advance, and no later than the issuance of a Hurricane Watch. Keep in mind that a hurricane’s path is uncertain and you could inadvertently evacuate to an area where the storm may eventually strike. Take along your hurricane kit.
  • Document Assets Make a visual or written record of your assets for insurance purposes. Also, photograph the exterior of your home including landscaping or structures that may not be insurable but impact the value of your property. Take these records with you if you evacuate.
  • Protect Important Papers Photocopy important papers such as insurance policies and store them with a friend or in a safe deposit box outside of the hurricane area. Or, protect important family and financial documents inside a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag. If you evacuate, take these documents with you.
  • Secure Your Home – Shutter windows and glass doors, and anchor loose yard objects or bring them inside.
  • Prepare a Water Supply Know who your water service provider is so you will know if a “boil water” order applies to your home. Check your water bill if you are unsure. As the storm approaches, fill pre-sanitized sinks and tubs with clean water for bathing and flushing toilets.
  • Set Appliances Turn refrigerators and freezers to highest settings in anticipation of a power outage.
  • Get Cash Banks and ATMs do not operate without electricity.
  • Get Gas Gas pumps do not work without electricity.
  • Charge Phones Charge your cell phone and wireless phone batteries.
  • Check on Neighbors Check on your neighbors — especially the elderly and those with special needs.
  • Notify Others of Your Plans Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all family members have a single point of contact. Notify this contact and other family members and friends of your plans.
  • Plan For Your Pet Specialized pet shelters, pet-friendly hotels, veterinary clinics and friends and relatives out of harm’s way are ALL potential refuges for your pet during a disaster. For a list of pet-friendly hotels and boarding kennels, visit org/Animal. If you plan to go with your pet to a pet-friendly shelter, space is limited to those living in mobile homes and evacuation areas, and advance, in-person, preregistration is required. Call the Broward County Humane Society at 954-989-3977.



  •  Drinking Water: At least one gallon per person per day for three to five days, preferably two weeks. Extra water is needed for food preparation and personal hygiene. To store drinking water, use food-grade containers. You can use clean, airtight containers such as two-liter soda jugs, but no milk containers. If you re-use disposable plastic bottles, do not keep them for more than a month.
  • Food: At least enough for three to five days, including non-perishable packaged or canned food, canned or shelf milk, cereal, etc.; and snack foods
  • A three- to five-day supply of special items for babies such as formula, food, wipes, diapers; special foods for the elderly; toiletries and extra toilet paper
  • Manual can opener/bottle opener
  • Paper goods such as plates, bowls, napkins, towels, and plastic eating utensils
  • Unscented household bleach and medicine dropper
  • Extra bedding such as blankets, pillows, sleeping bag, etc. in case you must evacuate
  • Clothing, including rain gear and sturdy shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Medicines/prescription drugs: A two-week supply
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated or hand-crank radio
  • Disposable batteries, car charger or solar charger for your cell phone
  • Hardline telephone with jack (not cordless)
  • Books and games or toys
  • Pet food, cat litter and other pet care items
  • Tool kit including cord, rope, hammer, wood nails, saw, hatchet or axe, crowbar, chain saw blades, tarp, duct tape, and heavy work gloves
  • Plastic trash bags and ties
  • Extra resealable plastic storage bags, heavy-duty aluminum foil and disposable aluminum pans
  • Extra charcoal or propane gas for outdoor cooking. Sterno can also be used. Never cook with any of these items inside your house. The smoke and fumes are deadly.
  • Fire extinguisher (ABC type)
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Mosquito repellent with DEET, and sunscreen
  • Any special equipment or items you may need

AFTER THE STORM The county contacts HandsOn Broward for all the communities’ volunteer needs, through our Volunteer Reception Center.

Have Questions? Contact HandsOn Broward at 954-233-1300

August Volunteer Spotlight



Meet Makelly Scott, one of HandsOn Broward’s passionate and driven volunteers. Makelly began volunteering through HandsOn Broward almost 10 years ago, since then, her dedication and passion to serving the community has grown tremendously. There are several reasons Makelly began volunteering, but she says, most importantly, “The need for assistance in many area of our society is great. The non-profit organizations, whose mission is to attend to some of the societal issues that are inadequately addressed by for profits businesses and government, are often not sufficiently staffed to meet the challenges.  Whether it’s helping in an animal or homeless shelter, soup kitchens to cleaning beaches and parks for a cleaner environment, the more people who are willing to contribute their time to a cause, brings those agencies closer to accomplishing their mission, resolving issues and making a real difference.”

Makelly has really been devoted to her word, and began volunteering at The Jubilee Center of South Broward County in September of 2015. The Jubilee Center helps distribute emergency groceries, hygiene products, and clothing and offers referral services to other agencies for the homeless and needy. While volunteering at Jubilee, Makelly, formed a bond with now Executive Director of Jubilee, LeAnna Vazquez. At the time, LeAnna, also a volunteer, stated, “I was immediately impressed by her work ethic and even more so by her passion for all that we do at Jubilee.” Makelly became a known face at The Jubilee Center and once LeAnna became Executive Director, a part-time office assistant position opened up and she knew Makelly would be the perfect fit for the Jubilee Family.  Even after becoming staff with Jubilee, Makelly still spends her spare hours and days serving meals and volunteering at Jubilee through HandsOn Broward. “It is a testament to her dedication to helping those in need,” said LeAnna.

When asked whether she had any advice to new volunteers, Makelly stated, “Knowing that I’m blessed and can be a blessing to others is what motivated me to start volunteering. Volunteers should address a cause that’s dear to them, with an open heart and no judgment.” You’ve definitely exemplified that advice.  Thank you, Makelly, for all that you do to make a difference in our community.

HandsOn Broward Partners with Comcast for Company’s Annual Day of Service

1 (15)HandsOn Broward is excited to announce that we are teaming up with Comcast for the 15th annual Comcast Cares Day, the company’s signature day of service and the largest single-day corporate volunteer effort.

On Saturday, April 30, we’ll be joined by Comcast employees and their family and friends at the Ann Storck Center and work together to give the center and its grounds a facelift. Volunteers will paint murals, do landscaping, plant a sensory garden, build wooden benches, read and play music for some of the center’s disabled residents and more. There will also be special age appropriate tasks set aside for volunteers who are 10 years old and younger. The Ann Storck Center is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities.

We hope you, your family and friends will join us as well to “make change happen” in our community To sign up, go to, search for projects in Fort Lauderdale and select the “Broward – Ann Storck Center” project.

Onsite registration will be available, but we encourage you to sign up beforehand to ensure you get a t-shirt. Project materials, breakfast, lunch and refreshments will also be provided for all volunteers.


February Project Leader Spotlight

Jonathan Howard

Our February Project Leader Spotlight belongs to long-time HandsOn Broward volunteer and project leader, Jonathan Howard. Jonathan has been volunteering through HandsOn Broward for many years now. When asked how he first got involved, Jonathan said, “My middle school encouraged community service, so my mom started researching places both my younger sister and I could volunteer. While researching on the web, she found local places to volunteer but they didn’t make it easy. You had to call each one individually and see what times & days were available to serve. This made it time consuming. Many of the service hours they offered were during school hours and many places rejected us because of our ages (10 & 13 at the time). As she continued to search, she first found HandsOn Miami and eventually found HandsOn Broward. Their calendar view with age requirements, descriptions and variety of service types made it easy and possible to start serving the community at an early age.”

Since getting involved with HandsOn Broward, Jonathan has volunteered in numerous projects, such as National Days of Service like HandsOn Broward’s MLK Signature Day of Service, Family Volunteer Day and Children’s Services Council Back to School Extravaganza. “My volunteering started selfishly with my school offering three levels of awards each semester for doing service hours. I wanted the highest award level and so I began. I’ve since moved on to high school, ended up falling in love with volunteering and I am still going strong.” Jonathan is the perfect example of how passion can be driven through community service.

Jonathan didn’t stop at just volunteering; he began to lead as well and became one of HandsOn Broward’s amazing Project Leaders. In 2012, Jonathan became the youngest project leader at the age of 14 and began to lead the monthly project, Movies, Muffins & Beyond at Ronald McDonald House of Ft. Lauderdale. Jonathan presently leads a monthly electronic recycling program at ARC Broward.

“Volunteering has taught me how to work with different types of people, made me value what I have, made me compassionate to others’ struggles, and I’ve learned how to be a leader. I’m filled with pride when I drive by a past project and see the positive impact I’ve left behind. Through volunteering, I found my passion and will be heading off to college next school year to major in Marine Biology,” said Jonathan.

In 2013, Jonathan and his family were honored by the Points of Light Institute with the Daily Point of Light Award. He comes from a family that is passionate in helping the community and shows it through their commitment, drive and leadership.

One of Jonathan’s favorites quotes by President Barack Obama, states, “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” Jonathan truly exemplifies that ideal. Thank you, Jonathan, for all the work you do to make a difference in our community.


HandsOn Broward Talks Service on Beasely Broadcasting’s Forum for Nonprofits Radio Show

HOB-at-BeaselyOn Tuesday, December 29th, Spirit of Giving’s Cara Zimmerman sat down with ‪HandsOn Broward’s Director of Marketing & Development, Kristina DaSilva and the Howard Family – one of HOB’s busiest volunteering families – to talk about service and the impact it has on local communities.

Tune in to Beasely Broadcasting’s Forum for Nonprofits radio show on January 10th. The segment will air on WSBR 740 AM at 6:20 a.m. and WWNN 1470 AM at 7:30 a.m.

Can’t tune in on January 10th?  CLICK HERE to download the interview and listen at your convenience!


December Volunteer Spotlight


Scott Kinzel

This month’s Volunteer Spotlight belongs to the awesome Scott Kinzel. Scott has been a driven citizen in the community since as long as he can remember. “For forty years I was blessed with a rewarding business career in South Florida and have committed myself to serving the community which has made my success possible,” said Scott.

Scott has been involved with HandsOn Broward for over a couple of years now and is a constant Top 10 Volunteer. According to Scott, “my primary motivation for service stems from my desire to fulfill the Great Commandment, that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Interestingly, I have found that the more we strive to love our neighbors, the more we learn to love ourselves.”

His drive for community serviced has stemmed from personal experiences and from outside the area of Broward county as well. For the last 13 years Scott has participated with an annual short-term medical mission team providing essential services to an impoverished area in Jamaica. “This experience has sharpened my awareness of the value of serving others and created a desire to serve those in need in our own community of South Florida,” said Scott.  Scott looked for all opportunities to give back to Broward County. “My early retirement in 2012 provided me with the opportunity to serve those who are less fortunate in our community on a weekly basis. A search of volunteer opportunities on the internet led me to HandsOn Broward, which in turn led me to The Jubilee Center of South Broward,” said Scott.

Scott is always found at The Jubilee Center and is always the first signed up at HandsOn Broward’s Feeding he Hungry at Jubilee opportunity. “We also provide clothing and personal hygiene items to those in need.  In addition, we provide pro bono legal services, basic health screening, work and shelter referrals and assistance with Food Stamps, Veterans Benefits and Medicaid applications through our Office of Social Concerns,” said Scott.

Scott’s dedication to service is proven day by day through his commitment of service at The Jubilee Center. “The personal benefits derived from providing hope and compassion to those less fortunate among us are immeasurable. A warm, caring camaraderie exists between the staff, volunteers and clients of The Jubilee Center. We genuinely enjoy serving each other and have fun doing so,” said Scott.

When asked if he has any advice for any other volunteers, Scott stated, “I am forever grateful to Hands on Broward for connecting me with The Jubilee Center. Serving others has changed my life and it can change yours too.”

November Volunteer Spotlight

lauraThis month’s Project Leader Spotlight belongs to the lovely Laura McRell. Laura has been involved with HandsOn Broward since 2010, or as she likes to say, “It’s been so long I don’t remember!”

Right from the beginning Laura knew where her interests and passions fell. “Serving the community has always been a passion of mine. After completing two terms of Americorps service, getting involved in an organization like HandsOn Broward was a natural fit,” said Laura.

Her drive for serving the community is noticed through all of Laura’s time dedicated to National Days of Service. From attending her first Martin Luther King Weekend Project Leader Training back in 2011 to leading the 911 Day of Service in 2014, Laura never misses a chance to give back to her community, especially on these nationally recognized days. She has been found leading the project, Feeding the Residents at the Broward Outreach Center, more than a handful of times. Talk about a love for volunteering!

One huge piece of advice that Laura stresses is “Find projects you are passionate about and have fun!” Whether it’s projects like the Ronald McDonald House Movies & Muffins, Broward Outreach Center or Keystone Halls, Laura can be seen with up and about and with a smile on her face.  Her next big project includes the Thanksgiving Basket Brigade at Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center.

After so many years of volunteering and leading projects, Laura decided to take it to the next step and recently led her first Project Leader Training session. “I recently facilitated Project Leader Training for the first time, and it aligns with my personal and professional goal to develop and empower others. I hope to continue in this role while I purse my Master’s Degree in Adult Education and Human Resource Development starting in January,” she stated. Laura finds the idea of volunteers empowering each other extremely important. “I realized that I could help more people by motivating and leading other volunteers,” she said.

Making a difference in the Broward County community is a goal to Laura, and she strives to accomplish that in several ways. “A Project leader makes such an impact in the community. Volunteers are responsible for an agency project from start to finish, which allows them to create change in the community one project at a time,” she said.

Laura’s favorite quote by John Quincy Adams states, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Laura has definitely outdone herself and is truly a fantastic leader!  Laura, you are the change!