Live United

 

United Way of Inner Wisconsin

 

GIVE
ADVOCATE
VOLUNTEER

 

Disaster Volunteer Reception Center Training Complete

  • On November 13 and 15, 2012 United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Volunteer Center and Wood County Emergency Management collaborated on a Disaster Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) Training.
  • The two-day training took place at Mid-State Technical College.  Participants learned what happens on a local level when there is a disaster, what to expect at a VRC, what motivates people to volunteer during a disaster and basic volunteer liability.  On day two, participants learned the different roles of a VRC (director, receptionist, interviewer, etc.) and why each role is important.  Finally, participants experienced what it’s like to run a VRC through a role-playing exercise. 
  • So far, 10 of the training participants have stepped forward to help form a ready-to-respond VRC should a disaster strike.  In the event of a disaster, these volunteers will be ready to screen and orient volunteers in a location determined by Wood County Emergency Management.
  • The free training was presented by Betsy Wilcox, Grants Administrator of the Volunteer Center of Washington County in West Bend, WI.  Her volunteer center has been activated to respond to several emergencies, including a 2007 tornado, a 2008 flood and H1N1 mass immunization clinics in 2011.  Members of her staff were even deployed to manage post-hurricane volunteer crews in Florida and responded to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
  • “Every after-action report in a Wisconsin disaster since 2007 has noted the absence of emergency volunteer management capability as a key shortcoming,” said Betsy. 
  • In January, 2010, a three year grant was awarded to the Volunteer Center of Washington County.  The grant is funded by the Department of Homeland Security and runs out December 31, 2012.  The grant is used to provide five program elements at the county level to increase county capacity to effectively involve volunteers in emergency response:
    1.  Basic training on volunteer management and emergency volunteer management.
    2. Coalition building with county coalitions.
    3. Managing the WeVolunteer state registry for volunteering.
    4. Resources on volunteer management and emergency volunteer management.
    5. Help during an emergency.
  • We’d like to thank Mid-State Technical College for the use of its facilities; and the following organizations for being dinner sponsors:  Great Expectations, Rocky Rococo, and Tropical Smoothie Café. 
  • More trainings will be planned in the future.  If you are interested in becoming a part of the Disaster VRC team, please contact Angie Loucks at the Volunteer Center at 715-421-0390.
  • If you are interested in volunteering in the event of a disaster, but do not wish to become part of the VRC team, you are encouraged to visit the Volunteer Center’s website at www.volunteerinnerwisc.org and click on “Disaster.”  You can create an account and log your interests/skills in the event of a disaster, such as animal services, counseling support, communications, etc.  Please opt-in to receive emails.  In the event of a disaster, we can search for volunteers with specific skills and email a request for help. 
  • You can also get informed about disaster updates – in addition to weather updates, road construction, special events and breaking news, etc. – by subscribing to Nixle.  Nixle sends out text messages and/or emails to subscribers.  In south Wood County,  Nixle is facilitated by Wood County Dispatch and the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department.  Please visit www.nixle.com to subscribe.

Disaster Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) Trainings at a glance:

  • When: November 13 and 15, 2012 from 5:00pm - 9:00pm.
  • Where: Mid-State Technical College, Rooms L133/134
  • RSVP: by November 9, 2012 by calling 715-421-0390 or send an email by clicking here.
  • Click here to download our flier.
  • Thank you:
    • Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Great Expectations and Rocky Rococo for being dinner sponsors.
    • MSTC for hosting our training.

The Volunteer Center and Emergency Management Partner to Provide Diaster Volunteer Training

  • United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Volunteer Center and Wood County Emergency Management have partnered to provide a free Disaster Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) Training.  The trainings will take place November 13 and 15, 2012 from 5:00pm – 9:00pm at Mid-State Technical College, rooms L133/L134.
  • The trainings are designed to teach participants how to screen and orient spontaneous volunteers when a disaster strikes.  Upon completion, participants will be asked to become part of a Disaster VRC team that will be mobilized after a disaster occurs. 
  • A Disaster VRC will be a designated location where spontaneous volunteers will be directed to after a disaster.  At the VRC, spontaneous volunteers will be asked to fill out an application, and to disclose any special skills they may have (i.e. experience operating a chain saw, etc.).  Background checks will be conducted and volunteers will be provided materials/supplies and matched with a disaster volunteer opportunity (assigned by one of the many organizations that respond during a disaster).
  • We are looking for at least 16 volunteers to form two Disaster VRC teams to work in shifts in the event of a disaster.  Wood County Emergency Management deploys the VRC teams when it is safe, and selects the location.
  • During the two-part training, we will be learning how to staff a Disaster VRC.  Part one will be informational (November 13) and part two will be hands-on (November 15). 
  • The training will be facilitated by Betsy Wilcox, Grants Administrator for the Volunteer Center of Washington County (located in West Bend, Wisconsin).  Her Volunteer Center has been actively involved in many disasters over the past several years, including a tornado in 2007, a flood in 2008 and H1N1 clinics in 2011. 
  • This training is at no cost to the participants thanks to the “Wisconsin Emergency Volunteer Management Project” grant funded by the Department of Homeland Security.  The grant’s purpose is to provide five program elements at the county level to increase county capacity to effectively involve volunteers in emergency response:
    1. Basic training on volunteer management and emergency volunteer management.
    2. Coalition building with county coalitions.
    3. Managing the WeVolunteer state registry for volunteering (located at www.we-partner.org)
    4. Resources on volunteer management and emergency volunteer management.
    5. Help during an emergency.
  • Space for the training is limited to 30 participants.  Dinner will be provided on both nights.  Please RSVP to the Volunteer Center by November 9, 2012.  You can RSVP by calling 715-421-0390 or by sending an email to angie@uwiw.org.  Special thanks goes out to Mid-State Technical College for hosting our training. 
  • If you are interested in volunteering in the event of a disaster, but do not wish to become part of the VRC team, you are encouraged to visit the Volunteer Center’s website at www.volunteerinnerwisc.org and click on “Disaster.”  You can create an account and log your interests/skills in the event of a disaster, such as animal services, counseling support, communications, etc.  Please opt-in to receive emails.  In the event of a disaster, we can search for volunteers with specific skills and email a request to help. 
  • You can also get informed about disaster updates – in addition to weather updates, road construction, special events and breaking news, etc. – by subscribing to Nixle.  Nixle sends out text messages and/or emails to subscribers.  In south Wood County,  Nixle is facilitated by Wood County Dispatch and the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department.  Please visit www.nixle.com to subscribe.