You may have heard about the Citizens of Gulf County Recovery Team (CGCRT), and wondered what they do, who they are and what impact the Team has on you and our community. Or maybe this is the first you’ve heard of this all volunteer organization. Conceived shortly after Hurricane Michael hit the Gulf Coast with unprecedented force, a group of committed volunteers came together, modeling their group after Long Term Recovery Team (LTRO) efforts in other areas affected by natural disasters. While Gulf County administrators are responsible for the recovery of our roads, bridges, schools and other infrastructure projects, the Gulf County Long Term Recovery Team’s purpose is to help individuals and families in need.

How does that happen? What is the focus of the CGCRT? To answer these and other questions, the Recovery Team will report weekly in The Star. Every week we will cover a different topic - Who we are; what we are working on and planning for, and how can you get involved. Today’s article covers the question: WHY.

Why do LTROs and the CGCRT, specifically, exist? As we’ve all seen firsthand, not every person or family affected by a natural disaster has the resources or ability to recover from the devastation. Perhaps they are elderly or disabled; perhaps they are a single parent or living on a fixed income. Some may not have had adequate insurance, or were ineligible for FEMA assistance. Our community is stronger when we work together to offer assistance to these vulnerable populations. This is why the CGCRT can be such an important part of the recovery process. While there are countless organizations that have come to our aid as a community, the CGCRT’s role is to provide a coordinated community-wide approach to the rebuilding process, taking into consideration the unmet needs of the most vulnerable of our citizens. To do that, we will seek grants and other outside funding for materials and professional services to continue the long term process of to rebuilding and recovery. In addition, the Team seeks to build strong partnerships and volunteer networks that will serve our community in the event of any future disasters.


Next week we will explore the mechanisms, structure and process of HOW this gets done through our team and how we operate as an organization.

Want to join our team? Contact us at


Wish to donate to the recovery?


United Way of Northwest Florida is acting as the CGCRT’s fiduciary agent while the team pursues IRS designation as a non profit 501(c)3 organization. United Way does this at no cost or overhead, meaning 100% of funds donated will be received by the Citizens of Gulf County Recovery team to support rebuilding and repair.

There are several ways to donate:


1) (choose the option: Designate My Pledge) a. Type Gulf County LTRO

2) Send a check to United Way of Northwest Florida Address: PO Box 586

Panama City, FL 32402

Put Gulf LTRO in the memo

3) Text 'recovergulf' to 41444