United Way’s work to support people and communities during emergencies and disasters is multi-faceted. In addition to supporting nonprofit agencies which provide hands-on services to people in need, United Way also participates in Mid-South VOAD, a group which promotes coordination, collaboration, communication and cooperation among community and faith organizations during all cycles of a disaster.
Recently, United Way staff member Loretta Hurt completed her service with the Mid-South VOAD Board of Directors. During her term, the Mid-South faced a challenging emergency situation during the flooding of 2011 when the Mississippi River and other waterways displaced many citizens in our community.
As a member of Mid-South VOAD’s board, Hurt worked to increase disaster preparedness and resiliency by helping to forge partnerships between community, faith, business and government entities. During the flooding, she helped coordinate volunteers and donations in the Emergency Operations Center for Shelby County’s Office of Preparedness.
Earlier this year, she led planning for a Mid-South VOAD conference to observe the 200th anniversary of the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 in collaboration with the West Tennessee Seismic Safety Commission, the Center for Earthquake Research and Information, Shelby County Office of Preparedness, TEMA and FEMA.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to have served with Mid-South VOAD. I will continue to be engaged with VOAD, representing United Way as a member organization. We believe Mid-South VOAD plays a vital role in disaster planning, response, and recovery. None of us know when the next disaster will strike. Collaboration between sectors is the best model and provides the best opportunity for full recovery after a disaster,” Hurt said.