Hurricane Response Alert for Georgia's Nonprofits
The Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency has provided the nonprofit community with invaluable guidance to their work in concert with FEMA, including resources, contacts, and helpful links to support your organization's hurricane recovery efforts—in volunteerism, donations, services, and preparation for future disasters. Please take the time to read the following brief from Acting Voluntary Agency Liaison Julia Regeski.
The GCN team
To our partners in community compassion,
As Irma leaves the Southeast, we, like so many others, are cautiously watching to gauge what our communities will need. As responders help those impacted and assess the damage, we remain confident that, no matter the impact, Georgia and its neighbors will be generous in its volunteer and donation numbers.
Currently, I’m working as the Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency’s voluntary agency liaison (VAL) in cooperation with FEMA VAL Eric Nankervis. We’ve been doing our best to reach out to as many organizations, volunteers, and regional partners as possible in an effort to prepare for the influx of needed donations and services. Given this group’s passion for helping others, we thought that sharing what we’re doing in terms of planning might be useful to you all. Your cooperation and wealth of knowledge would certainly be valued by us.
First, I want to introduce you to Georgia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, or Georgia VOAD. This group is made up of diverse organizations that work to exemplify the “4 Cs” of VOAD—Cooperation, Communication, Coordination, and Collaboration. They also practice, through service, the unofficial 5th C—Compassion. I want to extend to all organizations that might play a role following Irma the opportunity to join our calls, in which we share important information and resources. To receive call-in information or learn more, please email the interim president of Georgia VOAD, Stella Kim, at [email protected].
Many of you might have already begun planning to take in or distribute donations. Eric and I have been busy trying to establish an efficient way to collect and distribute these items throughout the state, and are in the process of securing a warehouse where they can be sorted and then transported to recognized distribution centers closest to those in need. Before you begin collecting donations, please consider utilizing the donations form available on the Georgia VOAD website, which will help organizers with a bird’s eye view of Georgia’s needs to determine what’s available and begin coordinating where those items should be.
The volunteer model in response to Hurricane Irma will be somewhat similar to how donations are being managed. Register your organization’s volunteers on the Georgia VOAD website, you’ll to connect with those in need across the state, and allow your organization’s most precious resource a chance to get involved in emergency response in a unique and strategic way.
Additionally, please take time share with your constituents, co-workers, volunteers, and all others you care for how important it is for them to prepare for future disasters. GEMA/HS offers share-able resources year-round on the Ready Georgia website that might be useful in your messaging, and we are constantly updating and sharing official emergency information through ourFacebook and Twitter.
Regardless of whether we are able to work together, I want to thank you wholeheartedly for the great work you’re doing throughout the state. We’re united in our desire to help as many Georgians as possible, so please do not hesitate to get in contact with me should I be able to help you with anything. As we begin to understand the impact that this historic storm has on our state, I’m happy to act as a resource and connect those in need to those who can help.