Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew

This time last week we were preparing for the potential of a category 4 storm just off our coast. We are fortunate and thankful for every wobble and turn the storm made, leaving us with a much weaker and less direct hit to our area, however one that left a lot of destruction in our community.

Maggy Dartiguenave, our student ombudsman, put together an overview report of FSCJ students who reside in the most affected zip codes throughout our area. This is not an all-inclusive list of all FSCJ students or all areas affected by the storm, but it does represent a large portion of how many of our students were drastically affected by Hurricane Matthew. If you know of students in need of assistance, please reach out to Maggy at and she will provide as much assistance as possible.

The Department of Education has provided a website for institutions, students and parents to use as a resource for information regarding the effects of the natural disaster on student aid and assistance, We encourage you to share this information with your students as it may provide helpful information regarding their financial aid assistance.

We know a lot of you, like our students, are still recovering from the effects of the storm and working to pick up the pieces, literally and figuratively, but we are grateful that the damage and loss seems minimal in comparison to other areas.

We would like to acknowledge the support, coordination and efforts of everyone at FSCJ as we prepared for the worst in the face of Hurricane Matthew. We were honored to have many of our campuses serve as community staging areas for city, business and government institutions. As you see in the picture below, our Downtown Campus served as a command center for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, plus our Nassau Center provided accommodations for all of Florida Power & Light and Deerwood Center served as the back-up TV station for First Coast News.

JSO Downtown Campus Auditorium-Hurricane Matthew

Image: Taken by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office 

When facing something so severe and catastrophic it takes everyone joining together to ensure the College, its employees, students and buildings were prepared. Thanks to all of our campus leadership, administrative services, security teams, faculty, student services and facilities teams for working feverishly to make sure FSCJ was ready and informed, and for helping the College get back to normal operating conditions as quickly as possible. Along with a few other areas, our Downtown Campus team worked diligently to quickly remove and clean up this giant tree destroyed during the storm.

As the entire community continues to clean up the remnants of the storm, we encourage you to lend a hand when and if you are capable. You can find information on ways you can help by visiting HandsOn Jacksonville, the United Way of Northeast Florida and the American Red Cross are collaborating together on volunteer opportunities to help Jacksonville’s community and businesses recover from the storm. Every little bit you do makes a difference.

We would love to hear how the FSCJ community is helping in the wake of the storm. Please share your volunteer efforts with us! If you are organizing or participating in hurricane relief efforts, please email Mary Rose, director of service learning and civic engagement, by Monday, October 17, with your contact information and a brief description of what you are doing and how others can be involved. We will compile the information received and share the list next week.