Information on Shelters, Volunteers Needed, Etc.

We received this email tonight from the St. John Community Foundation:

St. John VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) has contacted over 150 potential volunteers (including 11 churches, 19 nonprofits and several key businesses), we are in constant exchange of info with Sharon/Coral Bay Community Council and her list of 500, and our list is growing. We are in communications with Dept. of Human Services, VITEMA, FEMA and Red Cross, and have reached out to others such as Public Works, Waste Management, Fire & Rescue, etc and requested to be included on their Press Release list so we can pass the information onto you. We are standing ready to support agencies with volunteers and volunteer/community communications as needed.

We are monitoring numerous agency sites, facebook pages and news sites for any and all information regarding the storm, school and port closures, where to get sandbags, and more. Please feel free to ask questions and we will try to respond ASAP. We will be keeping our facebook page updated with the latest information and I will be sending an end of the day update now through the next week as needed with a summary of St. John VOAD preparation, and how we may need your help and participation.

As you may be aware, Department of Human Services is the lead agency for ESF-6 (Emergency Support Function #6); It’s Purpose is to coordinate efforts to provide sheltering, feeding, emergency first aid and supplies, setting up a disaster information system, and other key tasks. Agencies Reporting to the ESF 6 include: Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Health,Department of Housing Parks and Recreation (DHP&R), Department of Tourism, Virgin Islands Finance Housing Authority, Virgin Islands Hotel Association, Virgin Islands Housing Authority, American Red Cross (ARC), Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD).

My role as St. John VOAD lead is to head up the volunteer coordination (part of our VOAD action plan), and assist in the communication of vital information as we get it. Tonight’s update is to simply let you know we are in serious planning mode; Red Cross and FEMA already have territorial reps on island working local leaders on the action plans for each island.

Please respond to this email and let me know if you would be available to come to a Red Cross Shelter/Feeding training tomorrow late afternoon and/or one on Tuesday. We are hoping to Skype into the STT trainers from one location in Coral Bay and one location in Cruz Bay. Details on the exact times and locations to come. Also, let me know if you are specifically interested in any of the following assignments or if you are open to being assigned as needed.

  • Shelter Operations (If you have a current background clearance, let us know)
  • Feeding (If you have health cards please let us know)
  • Emergency First Aid (if you have certifications please let us know)
  • Damage Assessment/Debris removal via TIDA specifics (more details to come)
  • Volunteer/Donations Management (includes administrative, computer work)

Please let us know if you are aware of any disabled residents or elderly neighbors who will need assistance getting to the shelter (s) if you are unable to assist.

Also, if you have extra dog/cat kennels/cages let us know as we make plans for a satellite shelter for animals (they will not be allowed in the people shelters).

Thank you and be safe as you prepare your families, homes, boats, and pets. Please see our facebook page (and numerous others whose posts we will be sharing) and tune into local radio stations such as

Be safe, prepare and take care!
Sincerely, Celia Kalousek
STJ VOAD/STJ Community Foundation
If you can help in any way, please email:

48 comments for “Information on Shelters, Volunteers Needed, Etc.

  1. Russ McGill
    September 3, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Be safe everyone. Our thoughts will be with you as the week progresses. Let’s hope Irma finds open waters to the north!!

  2. Kristen Carmichael-Bowers
    September 3, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    I would like to volunteer and can attend meetings on Mon and/or Tues. my skype name is “carmichaelbowers”.

    I am no longer current on Red Cross first aid or cpr, but have done it before through St. John rescue.

    I can feed people (but no card) and can do admin work, or whatever makes sense!

    Kristen Carmichael-Bowers

  3. Jo Rogers
    September 3, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    My husband and I have a 1 bedroom apartment we stay every other month in St. John we are supposed to be arriving Sept. 20th we would be glad to volunteer.
    We live in Texas please let me know if and what we can do to help.

  4. Sherry from Missouri
    September 4, 2017 at 12:21 am

    I am praying for everyone on the islands that are in the path of Hurricane Irma. I also hope someone can help out the donkeys and deer on your island as they will surely die without assistance. I also wish there was a shelter there that would allow pets (dogs & cats, birds, etc.)to stay with their family (crated) because I wouldn’t go to a shelter and allow my pet to be separated from me in a pet shelter not where I was located. I’d figure something else out and maybe some folks there think the same way. Prayers for all. ‍‍‍

  5. Thalina
    September 4, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Would love to help! My husband and I are in Minnesota but are available for online training and willing to travel if needed. Praying for peace

  6. Donna
    September 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I am willing to help anyway I can. I live in TN but we visit the VI most every year.

  7. Kathy
    September 5, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Can the Elaine Sprauve Library be used as a shelter??

  8. Gina Krasny
    September 5, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    I have had a home on St John in the recent past and hold an inactive RN license
    For the USVI. I would be happy to fly down and help.

  9. Carol Mathias
    September 5, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    What, if any plans are there for your feral cat colonies?

  10. Carol Mathias
    September 5, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    And please stay safe everyone.

  11. Cynthia m
    September 6, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    First, we hope for your safety. Second, we were just on the island a month ago and want to give back however we can. I run an operations team and can be avail remote or can try to accommodate on site. My husband is a general contractor / sheet metal mechanic and we want to help. Please advise on if we can help the island.

  12. Libby Snow
    September 7, 2017 at 8:32 am

    From Ohio but would visit the VI yearly, both US and BVI. If there is any way to get there and volunteering/donations needed, please let me know. My family and I would love to help in any way we can.

  13. Catherine Snow
    September 7, 2017 at 8:33 am

    From Ohio but would visit the VI yearly, both US and BVI. If there is any way to get there and volunteering/donations needed, please let me know. My family and I would love to help in any way we can.

  14. Tod Perkins
    September 7, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I’ve been in love with St. John since 1985, when I spent a few months at VIERS and Cinnamon Bay.

    I’m a Health and Safety professional with years of construction safety experience. I would like to volunteer my time to come down as soon as it’s possible and help with the cleanup/rebuild.

    Someone please let me know how I can help. I’ve already donated money.

  15. Bob Stewart
    September 7, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    My heart goes out to everyone impacted by this storm. I’m retired and would be willing to volunteer in any capacity. I live in New Jersey but willing to travel to my favorite island, St John.

  16. Dominik
    September 7, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    We are from Maryland and could put together a group of 5-10 people willing to come down and help with whatever is needed. Most of us CPR, First Aid certified. Let me know if you could use our help… God bless!

  17. Damian
    September 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    My husband is a carpenter my parents live in st John how can we get list to help rebuild!

  18. Yvonne Brooks
    September 8, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    I have spent many years on St. John it always felt like home.
    Love to volunteer and help my friends and a island that I love. I’m a chef that cooks for large folk festivals. Willing to help in food services in anyway I could.

  19. Beth Clapper
    September 8, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    I visit St John’s regularly. I have years of experience carrying for hundreds of cats and kittens through a rescue agency in Minnesota. My education is in computer networking with a specialization in health-care information technology. If I can help in any way, I’d be happy to travel there (from Minnesota)

  20. gary munce
    September 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    My wife and I are frequent visitors to St. John
    We can travel to help
    Please let us know how best to proceed

  21. Pamela Wells
    September 8, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Crisis intervention, maternal child, critical care RN ready to go.

  22. Edna
    September 9, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I’m from the USVI. I am ready to take some time off to come to assist with the medical care in the USVI. My team will include physician(s), medical professional.

    Please let us know when we should make our way to the USVI to start helping with medical care needs.

    The victims of hurricane Irma are in our prayers and thoughts.

  23. Kurt Van Gelder
    September 9, 2017 at 9:03 am

    I am a general contractor that has banked a ton of great memories of St John. How can I/my team help? We would love to volunteer our services…

    • Nolan Diffendorfer
      September 12, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      Hi Kurt I am an electrician (commercial and residential) with a large general construction background and I am looking to help in the rebuilding efforts as well. Not looking for profit just to help. id love any info on how to get to the island and help

  24. Laura Colletti
    September 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

    My husband and I are yearly visitors to STJ and live in NC. We are so saddened and worried about the people on island. Please let us know how to come there to help. We are both healthcare professionals and will do whatever we can.
    Laura and Tom Colletti

  25. Kellie Anderson
    September 9, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    I would love to help in any way possible. I have nursing background and can fly out to any of the islands to help.

  26. Jake Roometua
    September 9, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    There is a group of us, young college aged kids who have grown up going to the VIs, we are not MDs or RNs, but we are young and willing to help in any way. We can fly down ASAP. Just let me know. Best wishes.

  27. Abbey Camillery
    September 10, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    I am from NY, but my heart is in USVI. Please let me know how I can help with the rebuilding effort.

  28. Tom Gregg
    September 10, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    My fiancé and I were planning to visit in October and get married/honeymoon on St. John. Our hearts go out to everyone on the islands and we would love to come and help… We already have plane tickets (assuming the airport is operational by then) and time off work. Please let us know if we can be of assistance to your organization or refer us to another group. Our travel dates are currently scheduled Oct 5-13. Thank you and take care.

  29. Jennifer Ryan
    September 10, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I am from MA and have enjoyed several vacations on beautiful St. John. We have been watching St. John in the news and feel heartbroken for the people there. My family and I would be available to fly down and help Thanksgiving week.

  30. moses
    September 11, 2017 at 10:40 am

    im ready and able to help. i was born in the usvi, but have lived in maine for the past 20 years. my heart is with all those affected, and id like to help in any way possible

    • Edna
      September 11, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Hi Moses,

      It’s always great to see a very supportive Virgin Islander!

  31. Judy edge
    September 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    If help is needed early January pls advise. I have vacation and can travel. I can nail, paint and clean beaches. Happy to give back to a place that has given me so many smiles.

  32. Fran Wilson
    September 11, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    I am heartbroken for my favorite Island where I have spent many happy times over the last 25 years. I would love to help in any way possible. I am a trained chef but also very handy at DIY. Would also be happy to help with general clean up.

  33. Sarah
    September 12, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    I am a teacher in NYC and wondering if a group of teachers might be needed to come down over one of our holiday breaks, in december or in february or april to help. Wondering if there is perhaps a school we could partner with that needs help.

  34. P. Trumbull
    September 13, 2017 at 12:02 am

    I’m an ER PA, also paramedic, will be in PR Sept 14 to 20. Willing to travel there to assist. Plmk.

  35. Christopher Morton
    September 13, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    St. John is very near and dear to my family and I. (Met my wife there, had our honeymoon and our daughter took some of first steps on the island).

    Able bodied man can travel or help remotely. Extensive IT / Computer & management experience but I’m as good with a with a chainsaw as I am with a keyboard or directing a board meeting.

    Please let us know best way to help.

  36. Garrison Weaver
    September 14, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I visited the island over Christmas last year and fell in love. Willing to take some time in the coming months to pitch in where needed.

  37. Beth Balousek
    September 14, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    I am not in the area, so can’t volunteer – I wish I could! I have a question… My 80 year old father is securing his house by himself – he is capable, but he could use some help. Doors/windows blown off, but nothing major. I there someone/someplace that he could contact to ask for help?

  38. Reuben Snyder
    September 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Interested in helping rebuild St.John, I am a contractor back in the states an have visited the island 3 times, November was to be my forth, looking for info on helping in the rebuilding process!

  39. Kathleen Sullivan
    September 15, 2017 at 12:24 am

    I am former Military Police, live in PR. Would love to come over and help any way I can. Security, feeding those in shelters, I can hammer and clean. What do I need to do to help?

  40. Carol patton
    September 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I am a fully licensed X-ray tech. Have worked in emergency/hospitals for 38 years. Would love to be of use in the AVS. Is there a place for me to volunteer?

  41. Chadwick Walker
    September 18, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I am seeking any information about helping with any clean up on St John. Peace and love!

  42. deb magana
    September 21, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Fell in love with St John the first time I was there when tropical storm Jeanne went through in 2004. It breaks my heart to see the island so devasted. It would do my heart and soul much good if I could in somehow give back and help the island to heal. In April i would be able to volunteer to help in anyway possible. My husband, who is an electrician and very handy in most building areas, would be also volunteering. Please let us know what we need to do, and how we can help. God bless you all, keeiping you in our prayers.

  43. Katy Morris
    September 27, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I have visited St. John many times throughout my life and hold it dear. I am a retired science teacher with a master’s degree in biology and environmental science. I would be willing to do anything to help including cleaning/manual labor, helping with animals, children, cooking, etc.
    Take Care!

  44. Mark Fernald
    October 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    May God’s love and peace be with those of st john! I will be there – aproxamently mid-october through november – to help with the clean up and rebuilding. But, I have not yet found a group to volunteer with; nor have I found housing. I am a retired (but not old) carpenter, equipment oporator and laborer (ok – maybe I am a little too old to labor for long hours and like I did when I was a young man, but I can still adventuly get the job done). Please let me know where I can best be used; in the restoration of st john. Thank you. Mark Fernald at: 253-514-3493, and from washington state. 10/02/207.

    • Pamela Hogan
      October 12, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      I live in Longview and have felt a real calling to help. want to start our own group? I’m very committed to this and tired of waiting for the red cross and fema to activate me. oh, 57yr female about same health as you described, I could still be a big help. my kids are grown and I need to help these folks out now. thanks for listening. 360-562-3619

  45. Jon Hamilton
    October 20, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    I currently live in Arizona and I would like some information on how to help in the US Virgin Islands, thanks.

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