Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is a structured way to organize the many individuals and groups on St. John who are willing and able to provide help before, during and following a disaster. St. John VOAD provides training and other tools to efficiently and effectively serve the community in a way that also facilitates streamlined coordination with the many governmental and other organizations (Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc) that provide relief in the event of a disaster.
Membership in St. John VOAD necessitates affiliation with a group and active participation in the training and meetings relevant to that member’s focus area and skill sets.
WHO: St. John VOAD is comprised of organizations that share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle—preparation, response and recovery—to help disaster survivors and the community as a whole. Any organization that wants to play a committed role in the structured, efficient and effective process of serving the community of St. John in this way is welcome to join.
WHAT: From connecting volunteers to certification and training opportunities in areas such as debris removal and mass feeding, to coordinating damage assessments following a disaster, to facilitating necessary communications updates through traditional and social media channels, St. John VOAD coordinates with government agencies and international relief organizations to fill the gaps for resources and aid before, during and after a disaster.
WHERE: St. John’s unique geography and community necessitated the creation of a program specifically for the island of St. John. While still governed by VI VOAD (and, in turn, National VOAD), St. John VOAD members are those organizations with a physical presence on St. John.
WHEN: St. John VOAD is not only active in the event of a disaster. Opportunities for members for field and shelter training are available all year round, whether through organizations like the Red Cross and FEMA, or organized by the St. John VOAD leadership. Island-wide disaster preparedness and education efforts are also ongoing.