The VOST Instance Lifecycle

VOST Instance Cycle Graphic

The VOST Instance Cycle

Please review and comment -sr

The VOST Instance Cycle:

Disaster occurs or event selected

-VOST members gather in predesignated meeting place using predetermined methods (Our team uses Skype, twitter DMs (direct messages) or in an emergency, text messages

- in the case of an exercise, this may be known about and planned in advance, or it may be an impromptu exercise (see #SMEMbowl)

Decision to activate, team commitment

- VOST leader and members discuss need for deployment , team availability

- often a VOST deployment is requested, or may be offered if members see need (MOUs would be helpful here)

- decision to activate made

Set tasks, priorities, schedule, tools/platforms

- VOST leader uses modified ICS 204 document template to describe incident and assignment, define tasks

- VOST members fill in vailabilty on collaborative ICS 204 doc, read up on incident, goals and tasks, discuss as needed (backchannel chat – our VOST uses Skype for this currently) to understand assignment

VOST operational; coordinate, perform and log completed tasks

- Active monitoring of social media and internet for pertinent data, responding via all platforms as appropriate, coordinating efforts/tasks via backchannel chat – saving and sharing of data as needed to blog, social media platforms, curation site, crisis maps, archive, etc…

VOST expands/contracts according to ICS principles

- Be prepared to call for assistance from more #SMEM volunteers or other VOSTs as needed so as not to be overwhelmed

Deactivation, discussion, documentation, AAR

- After instance is completed, continue backchanne discussion, discuss what worked & what didn’t, document and report, share with the #SMEM and #VOST community so that others can learn from it.

VOST exercises between activations to stay current on tools and social media platforms.

Special Note: Please PLAN AHEAD FOR RECOVERY: In all planning, data collection, and social platform work, consider not just what the immediate disaster needs are, but what will be needed for the long-term recovery phases of the disaster. Be prepared to coordinate efforts and share info with recovery groups as early as possible so as to improve the quality and speed ofthe recovery 

Special Note: Part 2 of PLAN AHEAD FOR RECOVERY: While spontaneous volunteers can be tremendously helpful, your core VOST team of “trusted agents” needs to be built in advance of the disaster and needs to practice working together. Build you VOST now.

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  1. A good ‘hip pocket’ checklist for VOST participants…nice!

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