BOULDER COUNTY VOAD QUARTERLY MEETING #1
16 JANUARY 2018 / 3:00 PM / BOULDER OEM
Craig Schmidle (Chair), Thalia Foster (Boulder County Care Connect), Mary Eldred (Boulder County), Stephanie Walton (FHUW), Joycelyn Fankhouser (Boulder County), Dennis Whalen (Nederland Food Pantry), Jaclyn Kurle (State of Colorado), Tiernan Doyle (Secretary), Katie Arrington (Boulder County), Garry Sanfacon (Boulder County), Andrew Notbohm (Boulder County), Aaron Titus (Co-Chair), Patrick Van Horne (Team Rubicon), Ron Collins (Red Cross and Longmont CERT), Lisa Widdekin (Boulder County), Jason Bukartek (Boulder County), Philip Foster (Red Cross), Don Parcher (Red Cross), Earl Perry (Boulder Mountain Fire PIO)
Introduction to Officers
- Craig Schmidle (Chair)
- Aaron Titus (Co-Chair)
- Tiernan Doyle (Secretary)
- Stephanie Walton (At-Large)
- Joyce Glazier (At-Large)
VOAD Operations Manual
- A guide to the Boulder County VOAD is on the website and also available in print form. This guide contains a record of past VOAD activity, current emergency response plans, current membership contacts, and can be used as a recruiting tool when discussing the VOAD with potential new members.
- Email Tiernan with any updates or to request at print copy (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Boulder County Office of Resilience and Recovery
Garry Sanfaçon and Katie Arrington from the Commissioner’s Office are establishing an Office of Resilience and Recovery in Boulder County. Katie Arrington will be working with the VOAD to provide a connection to that office. This office will be focused on internal county resilience. BoCo Strong is merging with Foothills United Way and will be focusing on outward facing, community resilience.
VOAD Purpose and Activities
From Craig: During a disaster, VOAD doesn’t have much of a part; it is the individual agencies that take part in actual response activities. Rather, it is the interconnectedness of the members that give a VOAD its strength.
VOAD Committee Updates
1. The VOAD is looking to expand membership to make sure we are covering needs and different communities around the county. Think about the following questions and send your responses along to Tiernan and Craig: Who should be a part of VOAD? Who hasn’t been attending meetings and should be? What connections do you have that would be of use for the Boulder County VOAD?
2. Would anyone be willing to be a VOAD liaison? This position is the front line of contact during an emergency and helps to coordinate communication between VOAD officers and Boulder County HHS. Contact Tiernan if you have even the slightest bit of interest (email@example.com)
3. What volunteer opportunities exist in your organization? What skill sets are you looking for? If there are specific gaps in your volunteer pool or needs that you have then please send that information to Craig. He is working on increasing connections between VOAD members.
4. Don’t forget that the annual CEMA conference and annual COVOAD meeting are coming up. More information can be found here (www.cemacolorado.com)
Key Areas for the VOAD to Move Forward
Trainings: share who is doing what, ideas, opportunities, current volunteer types
Credentialing: ideas, current practices, best practices
Connections and membership: As chair, Craig would like to move forward with meeting individually with member representatives to discuss organizational capacity and activities.
Volunteers: Compare lists of volunteers between organizations in order to identify where people are cross-listed so that they are not over-burdened
Communication Capacity: what capacity do organizations have to communicate, what are the backup plans for internal and external communications.
Bernie reminds us that interconnections are already an important part of the BoCo VOAD. Salvation Army cooperates closely with Southern Baptists and LDS. There is a clear recognition that one organization can’t do everything.
The faith community has a great deal of latent capacity and more could be harnessed in order to respond to disasters. How each church is engaged should be up to the individual church. Even if the church doesn’t want to be a VOAD member then they could take actions to plug into response or to identify opportunities for congregants to participate as volunteers before an event happens.
Don: Communications are vital during and after a disaster. Resources are also important and a resource list should be available after the disaster.
Public Health practices creating a dispensing point to hand out medications, etc. There are many non-clinical roles that could be filled by non-skilled volunteers
Could Public Health do an exercise with the VOAD?
Larimer VOAD has been active with a variety of exercises including podcasts about what resilience means to different community leaders. Aaron would be happy to facilitate some different activities.
Team Rubicon is now working on rebuilding post hurricane, especially in Houston. They are doing a series of projects in Boulder, Lyons, Longmont to look at not only flood recovery but also mitigation. They will keep the network updated on what support they need from other VOAD members.
VOAD Committee Meetings
Foothills United Way has been working on planning for executing their MOU with Boulder County on how to engage and work with spontaneous volunteers and setting up a volunteer reception center. Other representatives from VOAD members met to talk about VOAD capacity for handling volunteers and what best practices could be for managing and directing volunteers to organizations during an event. FHUW is taking the lead on a digital platform for engaging volunteers before an event. It remains an open question how volunteer energy can be harnessed and functionally employed during a disaster.
Behavioral Health/Spiritual and Emotional Care
This committee is working on institutionalizing the Mental Health Voucher Program. Boulder County has identified an intern to work with this committee. The program helps introduce people into therapy or other services so they can find the help they need after a disaster. If there are faith-based organizations interested in being part of this committee to participate in spiritual and emotional care then they are welcomed at this table. Stephanie (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Joycelyn (email@example.com ) are leading these efforts
FUTURE MEETING DATES
Future BoCo VOAD meetings will be held quarterly, on the 3rd Tuesday from 3:00 to 5:00. Please mark your calendars for April 17th, July 17th, and October 16th. Details on agenda and location will be sent out closer to the date of the meeting.
Proposed meeting topics include evacuation (including large animals), sheltering and feeding, and spontaneous volunteers.