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: