During a disaster situation, like the storm that hit West Virginia at the
end of June leaving almost
700,000 businesses and homes in the state without power for several days, people like Jenny Gannaway get really
the state chair for VOAD.
“I really think things went
very well,” Gannaway says.
“We have never been faced with a storm of this
magnitude that has impacted the entire state we have worked with multiple
counties but nothing like this. In all honesty I think it went well, I think
that the orginizations with in WVVOAD done a great job. They were out there from
day one doing what they needed to do to help feed, shelter keep people cool we
had national VOAD partners that was bringing in generators from out of state to
VOAD dose not provide
services but coordinates volunteer agencies in every county in the state, helping
to supply resources, organizing logistics, and finding ways to get information
to and from various agencies working on site.
“West Virginia VOAD is an
organization that is there before during and after all disasters. During the
disaster, some of organization within West Virginia VOAD for instance the Red
Cross, the Salvation Army, the Southern Baptists, they had shelters set up and
feeding people through out the state,” Gannaway says, “along with the united
Methodists and various other organizations.”
“So during the initial disaster
we may have been setting up cooling stations shelters or having a feeding
kitchen that’s making the food and other agencies delivering out to various
locations with in the state.”
“They are the ones actually
doing the work,” she adds. “We are the umbrella that coordinates and bring
Through the state Emergency Operations Center in Charleston, VOAD works closely with
state and county emergency managers.
“Once a county emergency
manager sees a need with in his or her county that would come up through the E-Team
and be given to West
then would look through our resources within these counties and give this request
out to somebody that’s within that region or county that could help them.”
Gannaway says work dealing
with storm relief efforts is ongoing. At
this point they are beginning a long term recovery process to help repair
damage to properties. Gannaway says West Virginia has not received an individual assistance
declaration for help from FEMA.
County food pantries were
also depleted during the June storm.
“We work closely with the
two food banks in the state, Mountaineer Food Bank and the Huntington Food Bank,
which supplies food to the pantries in each county. There was a need for food
in July. We have not got a report of that still occurring, but what we did when
we got the report that we needed food, we reached out to all our VOAD agencies
and a lot of them put together food drives and that food was taken to the
pantries to help out.”
Gannaway says it’s her
understanding that food banks are restored at this point and able to provide
the needs to the pantries.
In addition to these
state-wide relief efforts, VOAD is also currently engaged in addressing other
regional disaster sites. Long-term flood relief efforts are being conducted in
Marion and Logan counties, and tornado relief in Wayne County.