Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hey U-T, don't forget about VSD!

The Union-Tribune recently published an article about California's new plan to use volunteers to aid in disaster relief. Volunteer San Diego was instrumental in the deployment of volunteers to assist those affected by last October's firestorms, but was forgotton for this article. The following is a letter to the Union-Tribune written by VSDs Executive Director Sue Carter:

As the county’s lead agency for coordinating spontaneous volunteers during a disaster, we at Volunteer San Diego were pleased to see yesterday’s article highlighting the contributions and potential of volunteers (Volunteers' fire response is foundation of state plan).

More than 3,000 volunteers were mobilized in the first three weeks through Volunteer San Diego. At the fire’s onset, we connected volunteers to organizations such as 2-1-1 San Diego. Our trained volunteer Disaster Cadre, the first of its kind in the state, coordinated thousands of incoming volunteer calls and emails. More recently, our registered volunteers assisted with sandbagging and erosion control.

Despite the limited disaster funding that Baker noted, Volunteer San Diego continues its commitment to volunteer coordination in disaster, offering basic and advanced trainings on disaster response and preparedness; collaborating with other disaster responders; and working with the state to further develop systems that ensure effective and safe volunteering in disasters.

Equally important are Volunteer San Diego’s diverse volunteer opportunities that build, connect and strengthen our community during ‘peacetime’ and better prepare us to respond in disaster.

Sue Carter

No comments: