PAVOAD Update

The last meeting of the Pennsylvania State VOAD was November 17, 2016 at the new PEMA headquarters in Harrisburg. There were 30 or so people attending including PEMA folks. Highlights included Director Flinn addressing the group and a tour of the new Commonwealth Response Coordination Center (CRCC).

Items discussed included;
Environmental impacts of various methods of transporting crude oil (i.e. Bakken oil train disaster),
Engaging senior elected officials, what are we (PEMA) doing to help survivors, what can we (VOAD) do to help survivors, the importance of listening to survivors (they want/need to tell there story), Multi Agency Recovery centers, Open/concealed carry laws during declared disaster emergencies, a comprehensive VOAD asset list, fund raising, PEMA and EMA branding, not a planning guide but a play book concept, over communicating with elected officials, private sector engagement.

During the VOAD business meeting the group discussed PAVOAD finances, bylaws changes and meeting schedules. Are the regions too big? What about a possible north/south division for a total of 6 smaller regions? Membership categories, any changes needed? PEMA / PAVOAD conference dates were discussed, but later communications changed the conference until fall. We did dicuss ideas for the PAVOAD track at the PEMA conference.

Our PEMA VAL talked about gathering VOAD materials, IA rule making, pre-disaster activities, servepa and Title 35 changes affecting volunteers.

All in all a great day was had by everyone.