Photos courtesy of the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health
In 2017 and 2018, the Central Virginia Emergency Management Alliance’s Mass Care and Human Services Committee applied for and was awarded funding through the State Homeland Security Program in support of training and exercises that enhance the regions capacity and skills in serving those who may seek shelter during times of emergencies. Over the course of the funding timeline, more than 1,500 local personnel responsible for the provision of shelter, as well as partners who may assist in supporting these duties, have taken advantage of available trainings such as Shelter Fundamentals, Shelter Management, Psychological First Aid, CPR, Automatic Defibrillator Skill Instruction, and Adult and Pediatric First Aid that otherwise may not have been possible without accessible funding. In addition, many localities throughout the region have been able to conduct both tabletop and full-scale shelter exercises that provide simulated experiences in support of improvement planning efforts.
Finding ways to enhance the overall capabilities within the region and providing opportunities for localities to partner together in building consistency within all of our sheltering programs has been a primary focus for the Central Virginia Emergency Management Alliance’s Mass Care and Human Services Committee. We have recently been awarded additional State Homeland Security Grant funding to support more Mass Care training and exercise opportunities through March 2020. This Committee is steadfast in continuing its search for ways that support localities working together, the engagement of local businesses, and the work of voluntary organizations, and strengthens the region’s overall ability to respond to and recover from the impacts of disasters that threaten Central Virginia.