Blue Shirts Learn The Ins and Outs of Disaster Preparedness

Are you prepared for a disaster?

On May 27th, Marlins Ayudan Blue Shirts received a one-on-one lesson in disaster preparedness from Misty Lupinacci, an AmeriCorps volunteer and emergency management support specialist from HandsOn Broward.123

Misty gave a total of eight 20-minute presentations at Marlins Park to all staff. She began her presentation explaining the most common disastrous situations for Floridians. Those include fire, floods, and hurricanes. I learned that floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S. and that electricity can be carried through water, so when officials say stay out of the water, listen!

I also learned that it takes less than two minutes to get out of your house in the case of a fire and that the number one cause of household fires is overloaded electrical sockets. Misty also warned us not to keep cleaning products under our kitchen sinks because most fires start in the kitchen and those chemicals are extremely flammable. I went home that same day and moved all of my cleaning products from the kitchen to the laundry room!

Last was hurricane preparedness. Hurricane season is from June 1st through November 30th. The last hurricane to hit Florida was Wilma in 2005. A lot has changed in ten years, including new residents to the area. Some people who live in Florida now may have never experienced a hurricane. For those who have, it doesn’t hurt to know the facts, make a plan, and prepare a kit.


Misty explains, “It’s important to be prepared because first responders will not always be able to help you immediately after a disaster. Preparation reduces the risk of death, injury, and property damage during a disaster. Every $1 spent on preparation saves $4 in recovery.”

One important thing to remember when preparing your property for a hurricane is to go tapeless; don’t tape windows because it causes glass to break in large shards, which causes more damage. Invest in shutters. Trim trees and bushes that have dead or already broken branches.

The next important step is to make a communication plan. Misty asks, “How will you get in touch with each other if you’re separated and your phones don’t work? What if your neighborhood is being evacuated?” The solution is to create a list of numbers including work, parents’ cell, neighbors, schools and one out-of-town contact. The out-of-town contact serves as the middle man in case separated family members have service at different times.  Choose a meeting spot outside your neighborhood, like a library or shelter, where your family can reconnect if separated, and role-play what you would do during a disaster.

Last, but not least, is preparing a kit. Having a kit could be the difference between life and death. Essential items to have in your kit include:

  • Non-perishable food
  • First aid kit
  • Water (2 gallons of water per person, per day)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Prescriptions
  • Manual can opener
  • Batteries
  • Whistle
  • Baby supplies
  • Pet Supplies

Misty’s presentation was 20 minutes well spent. I didn’t have a kit or a plan before she came to Marlins Park. I feel better prepared now that I have the facts.

HandsOn Broward/Miami has a Disaster Response Team and a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) to help the community in times of disaster. To learn about how to get involved visit,

Marlins Recognize Top Blue Shirts of the Year

June 5th marked the end of the 2014-2015 Marlins Ayudan competitive year. 15 Ayudan teams competed for first place from June 2014 to June 2015. Prizes included an engraved trophy, a paid day off, bragging rights, and most importantly, recognition for being the most dedicated team or individual to community service.


For the second year in a row, team The Voice claimed first place as Team of the Year. They blazed past the competition from the start. The team’s captain, Claude Delorme, Executive Vice President of Operations and Services, takes community service to the heart and makes sure his team remains active in the community every month of the year. They sometimes even managed to have two events in one month, which is pretty incredible given baseball’s demanding schedule. What’s even more incredible is that they have 90%-100% participation at each of their events. This is a task in itself for it’s difficult to get 15 team members with different schedules from dozens of different departments on the same page at the same time.

The Voice visits Miami Rescue Mission once a month to serve meals, work at the Bargain Barn, and assist wherever help is needed. Mr. Delorme thinks no person should have to live on the streets. Seeing how many homeless people there are in Miami triggered his desire to help. Miami Rescue Mission aids men, women and children with meals, safe shelter and life-changing residential programs resulting in transformed lives. The Voice also has a special interest in animal services. They’ve volunteered for Miami-Dade animal service and even partnered with the group to host Adopt-O-Mania at Marlins Park. This year, a record 140 animals were adopted!


The Voice surpassed second place by more than 11,000 points! Honorable mentions include Fishing for Potential captained by Alfredo Mesa, Vice President and Executive Director of the Marlins Foundation, in second place and team Pulse captained by Sean Flynn, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Event Booking, in third place.

Lisa Milk of team The Voice took first place for the most dedicated individual to community service. Lisa has a passion for animals and has spent nearly every weekend of the year volunteering for No Paws Left behind transporting dogs, working at adoption events and performing home checks to assure potential adopters are suited to be pet owners. Honorable mentions include Angela Smith, Senior Director of Community Outreach in second place and Alex Buznego, Director of Business and Digital Innovation in third place.


The 2015-2016 Ayudan competitive year has officially begun! To stay up to date on all Marlins Ayudan activities, visit



Miami Elementary Schools Get the Visit of a Lifetime from the Marlins: Part 2

For day three of Marlins Think Tank visits, Adrian Mora, manager of Marlins Ayudan, and I visited Citrus Grove Elementary with Bryan and Chelsey Morris. I can’t even begin to explain what a great experience I had! I was completely blown away by the school’s creativity and hospitality. As soon as we entered the computer lab where the classes were waiting, the students began singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and even had actual peanuts and Crackerjacks in their hands. It was obvious that Ms. Ruiz and Ms. Coates’ classes put a lot of effort and thought into the skits they performed for the student presentation portion of the visit. They were informative and humorous.

The first skit was based off of a Marlins Think Tank social studies lesson: primary and secondary sources. The students reenacted a baseball game. Ms. Coates would ask a question related to the lesson, the batter answered, and the pitcher pitched until each student had a chance to bat and run the bases.

Ms. Ruiz’s class performed a similar skit. Equipped with sound effects and props, the students reenacted a baseball experience. A student announcer opened the game, introducing each team while baseball organ music played in the background. There were team huddles, and the game began. The lesson being demonstrated was science- muscle groups. As the game went on, the announcer explained the plays and which muscles were being used, “Skeletal muscles were used by the batter to hit the ball and run. Skeletal muscles can be controlled and are attached to our bones.”

My cheeks hurt from how much I smiled and laughed during both presentations! The students and teachers thanked the Marlins again and again, but we were just as thankful for such a great experience. I felt proud of all of the students for their hard work, and boy does hard work pay off! It might just earn you a visit from a Miami Marlins player!


To access lessons and to view official rules for Marlins Think Tank, visit

Miami Elementary Schools Get the Visit of a Lifetime from the Marlins: Part 1

Monday, May 18th was the start of Think Tank Week, a week when Miami Marlins players and coaches visit winning classrooms of the Marlins Think Tank Week Sweepstakes.

Think Tank is open to all teachers and classrooms, grades 4-6, in South Florida. To enter the contest, classrooms had to complete and submit a Marlins Think Tank lesson to the Miami Marlins. Lessons are available in the following curriculum: writing, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and health and fitness.


I had the privilege of visiting Kensington Park Elementary with Giancarlo Stanton and AJ Ramos on Tuesday and Citrus Grove Elementary with Bryan Morris on Wednesday. Both elementary schools are MASPP (Marlins Ayudan School Partnership Program) schools.

I arrived early to Kensington Park Elementary on Tuesday morning to make sure the classrooms were set up and that teachers and students were prepared. When I opened the door to Ms. Colunga’s classroom, I could hear squeals of excitement and gasps of anticipation. False alarm everyone, it’s just me! Classrooms didn’t know which players were coming to visit them. They only knew that the players would be there for 45 minutes: 15 minutes for a student presentation, 15 minutes for question (Q) and answer (A), and 15 minutes for an autograph signing.


Stanton and Ramos arrived early. When they entered the classroom, Ms. Colunga and Ms. Veiga’s students welcomed them with cheers and applause. The student presentation started quickly after. Stanton and Ramos received a lesson in math- addition and subtraction of multi-digit whole numbers. Students demonstrated what they learned on a white board as the players watched tentatively.

The best part was the Q&A. The players headed to the front of the classroom to address the group. Stanton grabbed the teacher’s bar stool and Ramos was left with a student chair. As Ramos sat down, the class erupted into laughter. Stanton towered over Ramos, which he also found quite humorous. This time was playful, and it gave the students a chance to get to know the players on a personal level.


Ichiro Suzuki also visited Kensington Park Elementary. He was in Ms. Reinoso’s class with the Marlins community outreach senior director, Angela Smith.




To access lessons and to view official rules for Marlins Think Tank, visit


Marlins Fan Donates The Gift That Will Keep On Giving

The following is a Guest Blog Post from Amber Schaeffer, Loyalty Program Intern for the Marlins.

Long-time Marlins fan, Rainer Perez, knows the value of a thoughtful gift. Rainer has been coming to Marlins games alongside his family and grandfather, Eduardo Fuentes, for as long as he can remember.

Eduardo Fuentes was a die-hard Fish fan. His love for baseball went all the way back to when he played baseball in Cuba with Marlins Spanish Broadcaster, Felo Ramirez.


Going to Marlins games became a little more difficult as Fuentes got older and needed a wheelchair to get around. As with most baseball stadiums, guests are offered wheelchair access to get to and from their seats, but the wheelchairs must be returned before leaving the stadium. This can create a challenge to get to and from parking lots. Even so, Fuentes still came to games like the awesome fan that he was.


Noticing the issue at hand, Rainier decided to give his grandfather the ultimate gift. He got a wheelchair for his grandfather and tricked it out – Marlins style. Customization and painting are in Rainier’s wheelhouse, so he saw this as an opportunity to show off his creativity and allow his grandfather to express his Marlins pride.


After the recent loss of his grandfather, Rainer decided he would love to donate the wheelchair to the team that gave him and his grandfather so many great memories. What was his wish for use of the wheelchair? He wanted the Marlins to use it to escort guests to their seats so that the memory of his grandfather lives on. Talk about an awesome fan!



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