A new group has been formed in Audrain County to help address the needs of residents in case of a disaster. Emergency Management Director Steve Shaw says it’s called a COAD.
“‘Community Organizations Active in Disaster.’ The idea of a COAD is to get folks active in planning and looking at different types of disasters that can occur in our area,” said Shaw, who is also vice-chair of the group.
Shaw says it’s an off-shoot of what large, urban areas have.
“They have what’s called VOADs, which is ‘Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster.’ But urban areas have more volunteers per capita than we have in rural areas. So the idea in the rural areas was to open that up to not just volunteer organizations, but to business owners, organizations, the whole nine yards.”
The COAD specifically answers a need Shaw has seen in his line of work, which is what happens after the initial disaster response.
“How are we going to bring commerce back into our area, let’s say, after a Joplin-sized event, heaven forbid,” he explained, “we have to look at how we’re going to rebuild our infrastructure.”
It is in large part boosted by faith-based organizations, but it’s open to anyone interested. Regular meetings will be held on the first Thursday of every month, beginning September 6th, in the community room at Audrain County Courthouse in Mexico.