The Elmore County EMA hosted another meeting with the Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) Group yesterday afternoon to review the programs in place for assisting our residents during emergency and disaster situations. This is one of many groups that the EMA coordinates with on a recurring basis to ensure that all local agencies are operating on the same plan. It’s crucial that we have a coordinated approach to the response and recovery activities during major emergencies and disaster situations. Response and recovery activities are much more efficient and effective when all agencies are on the same coordinated plan. The opportunity for inefficient response and recovery operations (such as resources being sent to the wrong location, too many resources being sent to one location while another location has no resources at all and a total duplication of effort from those coordinating the activities) in these situations is limited by having a well thought out plan and coordinated effort. Major emergencies and disaster situations will always have an uncomfortable and chaotic feel to them and will overwhelm individuals, agencies, organizations and jurisdictions. That’s why they are disasters! The planning effort is critical in bringing calmness to the situation, and we have so many dedicated professionals that do this very well in Elmore County. This meeting was to ensure everyone is on the same page to bring calmness to whatever the situation may be.
VOAD is made up of volunteer, non-profit and faith-based organizations that provide a tremendous resource to our communities through their unwavering service. There are a myriad of activities they provide such as disaster chain saw crews, management of the assistance to individuals, volunteer coordination, disaster needs assessments, shelter operations, management of donated goods, etc. These men and women are there ready to assist in the worst situations that may play out for our citizens. It’s not simply enough to have a plan. We have to review the plans. It’s also critical to review plans with new personnel; especially with leaders of organizations that have such crucial roles in disaster response and recovery.
We’d like to thank all who assist Elmore County in being better prepared for emergency and disaster situations. If your organization is not plugged into the preparedness planning process and would like to be, please give Elmore County EMA at (334) 567-6451. For more information about being better prepared for an emergency situation, check out our website at www.elmorecoema.com
Be Ready, Elmore County!