Bulloch County leaders form group to aid in future disaster relief

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - Disasters in one community often prompt others to prepare.

Some organizations in Bulloch County have been working since October to be ready to take care of those who need help. The county dodged the tornados and storms this past weekend, but one group wants to be ready whenever the next disaster comes.

A meeting was held on Wednesday filled with people who represent local churches, non-profit charities, and county emergency crews. They've formed a VOAD - Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster. It will be a FEMA recognized group that comes together in local emergencies to help victims.

"Voluntary organizations like the one we're forming can immediately step in to meet the needs of individuals," said Bob Olliff, Chairman.

They started forming after Hurricane Matthew and several groups teamed to feed those without power. Olliff says each organization has resources, but also limitations. The VOAD helps serve more people more quickly and more efficiently.

"By forming this group, we'll be able to utilize the strengths of every person that comes to the table, either as an individual, or representing an organization," Olliff.

Olliff says they're watching how groups respond to crises like Albany to fine tune their plan. They'll hammer out details such as how to feed or house people hit by disaster, down to ways to recognize and train volunteers.

They're getting all these plans ready, and hoping they'll never need them.

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