Northwest Iowa — A group of northwest Iowa Emergency managers and other officials are getting together on Tuesday to come up with ways to organize volunteers and donations in an emergency. According to Wayne Jepsen, the Lyon County Emergency Manager, Community Organizations Active in Disaster — or COAD — pronounced “co add” are attempting to establish a strong volunteer base in northwest Iowa, prepared to respond to a community’s devastation in the wake of a disaster — through partnerships with various organizations and the generosity of the public.
The northwest Iowa COAD would cover Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Ida, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sac, and Sioux Counties. Jepsen says at the meeting, they’ll discuss what the volunteers should do.
Resource and volunteer management would be the focus. Jepsen says this isn’t a call for people to do cleanup work or to donate items, but to manage those things.
Jepsen says some of the funding would come through Homeland Security through a Citizen Corps Grant.
He says normally when there’s a disaster in a town, people in that area are busy cleaning up their own property and so forth, so this is when the COAD could help, sending in people who are trained in resource and volunteer management.
He says if you’re interested in volunteering for the COAD, you should contact your county emergency manager soon. The meeting is this coming Tuesday, June 26, in Primghar.