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 http://www.focusvi.com/listen_live_wp.html

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

48 thoughts on “Information on Shelters, Volunteers Needed, Etc.”

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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. ‍‍‍

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

    • 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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?

  27. 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!

  28. 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?

  29. 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?

  30. 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.

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

    • 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

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