State Agencies Connect with Local Organizations to Strengthen Disaster Preparedness and Response

JACKSON – The Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (known as Volunteer Mississippi) is developing a database of the local volunteer organizations in each county and community throughout Mississippi. While we all know about organizations like the American Red Cross and Salvation Army, there are several local volunteer organizations that pitch in and stand up when a disaster occurs in their communities.

Volunteer organizations are vital to recovery efforts in local communities following natural or man-made disasters. When a disaster strikes a community, first-responders are normally the first group to arrive to provide life-saving operations. They stabilize the area and make it accessible to residents, as well as Second-Tier Response Organizations. Second-Tier Organizations are volunteer groups that provide essential services to responders and residents while also starting the process of recovery. These groups are ordinarily deployed from other parts of the state or region. First-responders and Second-Tier Response Organizations work with the county emergency manager and local officials towards a common goal of providing stability to the community while providing local community groups time to mobilize and respond to their own needs as well as those of their neighbors.

Third Tier Response Organizations are comprised of local volunteer organizations within the community. The services these local community volunteer organizations provide are vital to the recovery process. These organizations are comprised of local individuals that understand the community’s interests and are willing to work together toward the common goal of repairing and rebuilding lives, homes, neighborhoods, businesses, and public services.

These organizations are truly our partners in service, and we want to ensure that each one has knowledge and access to our shared wealth of information regarding disaster preparedness and response. Volunteer Mississippi needs your assistance in identifying these volunteer organizations at the local level. There are several no-cost training programs available to local organizations that can assist in preparing for the next disaster. Please visit volunteermississippi.org and click “disaster services” to get started with registration, and a representative from the MS Emergency Management Agency will follow up with those registered to determine the specific training needs.

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