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Monday, April 15, 2024


April 18, 2001 – A new umbrella group called V.I. Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters has scheduled training workshops on St. Thomas May 1 and 2 for member agencies and other voluntary groups involved locally in responding to disasters. The two sessions will cover the same material — how to manage donated goods and volunteer services in a large-scale disaster.
Participants will also learn how to avoid a "second disaster" — of miscommunications — through effective public education and coordinated emergency public information.
The newly activated group is "getting ready for hurricane season and setting the groundwork" for a coordinated response to other potential disasters, public relations chair Paul Dennis said. By getting together before disasters strike, agencies "can be more effective and avoid duplication of services," he said.
Member organizations include Catholic Charities of the V.I., American Red Cross, Interfaith Coalition, The Salvation Army, the Seventh-Day Adventist and V.I. Disciples of Christ churches, United Steelworkers of America, the U.S. Attorney's Office, V.I. Office of Veterans Affairs and the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency.
The workshops will be conducted by Winston Richards, an instructor certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They will be held at the VITEMA headquarters on St. Thomas, in the AQ Building across from Nisky Center. Both sessions begin at 9 a.m. and are free. For more information, contact Gritell Thompson at 777-8518 or Cecelia Tyson-Prince at 774-7579.

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