I’m currently working with Oregon Office of Emergency Management and some other great Oregon and Washington area emergency managers to build a VOST. I mentioned recently on the VOST Leadership Coalition call that the Oregon VOST group has had a couple of introductory meetings, and then on May 5th we had our first training. We had 20 people in the EOC in Salem for this, and we had another 40 or so on the webinar. Our next training will be on June 17th. (If interested in participating in this training, contact me or Cory Grogan, OR-OEM Public Information Officer.)
Aside from solid VOST interest from people in Oregon, we’re getting lots of interest from Washington state emergency managers. This has made the Oregon OEM PIO and I reconsider our strategy, and we’re now thinking of a possible regional VOST that will train both Oregon and Washington folks at the same time. We’ll be talking this week with representatives from Washington about the possibility of a regional team and how that would work.
I’ve reserved some VOST team names on twitter, facebook, Instagram and WordPress to be ready to use as needed, since we’re now moving relatively quickly towards having a team (or teams?) to use these resources; first for outreach, then for training, then for regular use by the team as needed. Some of the VOST names reserved are ORVOST, WAVOST and CascadiaVOST. It’s important to acquire these accounts on all major platforms so that they are not grabbed and held by others who may not be part of our actual VOST movement (this has happened recently; some VOST account names are being held by unknown parties.). Since these newly forming teams are not yet official and functioning, and the possible team names are not set yet, they are not yet registered with VOSG.us, which for the time being is the place where VOST logos and teams are sharing team info and entering the VOST system.
I look forward to a day in the near future when these tentative VOST resources are official and being used regularly to help emergency managers and the communities they serve, and the disaster survivors that we all want to help. When that day comes, I know that our new VOSTs and VOST Team members will be welcomed in the All Things VOS Skype room where we all discuss VOST-related activities and news, and to the VOST Leadership Coalition. I look forward to registering those new VOST accounts as active, official VOSTs.
We’re getting close to the day when that will happen, and I appreciate the help of all who’ve been so welcoming to our new VOST friends. Thanks to all of you, both forward-thinking emergency managers and the amazing, talented, enthusiastic VOST volunteers who I’ve so enjoyed working with and learning from. I look forward to continuing to work with you all on building the VOST concept out for all who want and need one of these teams of awesome people.You all inspire me. @sct_r