West Virginia Disaster Services

West Virginia Disaster Services program is a state and local initiative created to involve community organizations, individuals and volunteers in building a culture of preparedness. At the state level, the Disaster Services program promotes the message of citizen preparedness and supports the integration of local trained disaster volunteers into state and local emergency plans. Across the state, local volunteers are actively engaged in promoting and enhancing community preparedness.

 

Our Disaster Service Initiatives Focus on:


Whole Community Preparedness

  • Helping communities develop preparedness and response systems by providing information, resources, training, and opportunities to participate in federal, state, and local trainings and exercises.

  • Building partnerships with various stakeholders to leverage efforts to increase community preparedness and resilience.

  • Serving as a liaison between local organizations, their communities and state government.

 

Outreach & Education

  • ReadyWV is a multi-media public preparedness campaign that helps West Virginians to know what to do before, during, and after an emergency. The web site lists potential hazards by geographic region and provides emergency preparedness information and resources. ReadyWV materials are available upon request, contact gina.l.namay@wv.gov, or download the 28-page ReadyWV: A Family Emergency Guide.

  • Seasonal Preparedness: ReadyWV provides seasonal and monthly targeted messaging via our social media sites and e-newsletter. If you’d like to receive our newsletter, contact Dana Myslinsky.

  • National Preparedness Month: During the month of September, WV Disaster Services and other volunteer programs organize events and trainings to improve people’s ability to help themselves and others during an emergency.

  • America’s PrepareAthon - WV Disaster Services participates and encourages West Virginia residents to participate in America’s PrepareAthon on April 30th and Sept. 30th. It provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to take ACTION to prepare for specific hazards through drills, group discussions, trainings and exercises.

 

Building Capacity in WV for Disaster Response

  • WV Disaster Corps: Since 2014, West Virginia AmeriCorps & VISTA members have the opportunity to be trained and mobilized during local, regional and statewide disasters. By joining the WV Disaster Corps, national service members can help communities rebuild and recover from disasters. WV Disaster Corps is a National Service Partnership initiative unique to West Virginia. In addition to response and recovery missions, Senior Corps and AmeriCorps national service members help strengthen West Virginia’s emergency preparedness at the local level. They distribute preparedness kits to home-bound seniors, coordinate emergency response trainings, and design disaster-related service projects throughout the year.

  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT): CERT members are local volunteers who are trained in basic first response skills - disaster preparation, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search & rescue, and disaster psychology. Many are also trained in CPR, 1st aid, traffic control and emergency communications. Trained volunteers are better able to help themselves, families and neighbors during an emergency and can provide support to local first responders during large scale disasters. In addition, CERT members can support their communities during public events (parades, fairs, and sports games) by assisting with traffic control, safety patrol, medical 1st aid and the like.

 

For more information about the West Virginia Disaster Services program, Call 304-558-0111 or (800) WV-HELPS.