West Virginia Citizen Corps, a program of Volunteer West Virginia, helped citizens prepare for emergencies in numerous ways in 2011. Below is a sampling of some of the program’s accomplishments in the past year.
In July 2011, West Virginia Citizen Corps, in partnership with FEMA Region III, held two community preparedness workshops in Morgantown, West Virginia: Implementing Youth Preparedness in Your Organization and West Virginia: A Whole Community’s Approach to Preparedness & Resilience. Over 100 people from local, state, and federal government, non-profit and faith-based organizations, as well as school/youth groups were in attendance.
In partnership with Volunteer West Virginia’s Business Volunteer Council, the West Virginia Citizen Corps program launched a business preparedness initiative, which introduced businesses to the Red Cross Ready Rating program – a free on-line business emergency preparedness assessment tool.
For the first time, the West Virginia State Citizen Corps Council and West Virginia Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) held their meetings at the same location. WV VOAD is a group of faith-based and nonprofit organizations that meet to facilitate effective service delivery to residents during disaster response and recovery. Combining their efforts provided a convenient and cost-effective way to network and share information.
In 2011, WV Citizen Corps awarded a record number of grants – 17 in total, seven of which were NEW grantees!! New grantees include: Lincoln County Office of Emergency Management, Mineral County Sheriff’s Deputy Reserve Program, Wood County Emergency Communications/Mid Ohio Valley Health Department, Jackson County Local Emergency Planning Committee, Hardy County Office of Emergency Management, Monongalia Health Department, and West Virginia K9 Search and Rescue. This year marked the highest number of total grantees, as well as new grantees.
In addition, West Virginia Citizen Corps, in coordination with West Virginia Homeland Security and Emergency Management, developed and administered the 2010 Mass Care and Community Preparedness funding request for proposal, application and review process.
Systems Development - In February 2011, WV State Citizen Corps Council’s steering committee approved Citizen Corps and CERT program policies, as well as CERT Training Guidelines. Policies and training guidelines were distributed to local programs.
Disaster Preparedness information via public messages, training, events and drills reached a record number of citizens this year. Over 500 volunteers participated in disaster response and preparedness trainings and drills.
ReadyWV Family Emergency guides were distributed statewide to health departments in all 55 counties, as well as various local, state and non-profit/volunteer organizations, business and faith-based groups.
During National Preparedness Month in September, public outreach and disaster preparedness events were held throughout West Virginia. Personal disaster preparedness messages were e-mailed to over 18,000 state and government employees.