Cullman Disaster Relief Volunteers Sought CCVOAD Forms

by | Nov 28, 2017 | 911, Public Safety

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Imagine late April 2011. Tornados and high winds have struck throughout Cullman County.

Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue, EMA & EMS personnel are moving with committed, well-planned purpose through the hardest hit neighborhoods. These professionally trained emergency responders are on the streets within just minutes of the storms passing through.

Within hours, non-professional responders (average citizens) begin to grasp the enormity of the disaster that has befallen Cullman.

What ensued will be remembered as a spontaneous and historically significant outpouring of community volunteerism. Many of the citizens of Cullman dropped everything else to help their neighbors during a time of immense crisis, doubt, and disbelief.

From food to water to chainsaws to temporary shelters to impromptu rescue attempts to concerted debris removal to … <you name it> residents responded in whatever way they felt their talents led them.

It was both touching and remarkable to watch our citizenry coming together in support of the larger community.

In that cascade of community support and activism, many lessons were learned, most of them positive.

Tuesday night in the Emergency Operations Center in the basement of the Cullman County Emergency Management Agency, about two dozen people gathered to form a new volunteer organization based upon the essence of that grand show of public volunteerism back in 2011.

The new organization is called: Cullman County Voluntary Organizations Active In Disasters.

You can call it Cullman County VOAD, or CCCVOAD for brevity sake.

The purpose of the CCVOAD is to act as an umbrella organization that works closely with other agencies, organizations, EMA, police, fire, EMS, and any other local groups (such as churches, media outlets, raw materials suppliers, etc.) or governmental agencies to IMPROVE SERVICES TO CULLMAN CITIZENS DURING DISASTERS … OF ANY KIND.

If you were one of the Cullman resident s mentioned above who took to the streets to voluntarily help your neighbors back in 2011, you are a prime candidate to join this group.

In this interview, we speak with Director Phyllis Little of Cullman EMA and the new Chairman of Cullman County VOAD, Chris Hopper. These two explain the organization in detail. They also lay out the primary volunteer needs for this critical, seminal agency:

Ultimately, the group plans to set up leadership teams in EVERY Cullman County community – from Clifty to Walter, from Joppa to Cold Springs.

The goal of the larger CCVOAD – and each of these localized teams – is to be able to conclusively and proactively answer the following questions.

If a disaster came to your community causing extensive damage:

★ What would you do?

★ Who would you call?

★ Where would you start?

★ How would volunteers be organized?

★ What exactly would those organized volunteers do to serve the most good?

If you are curious or think you might be interested, in participating as volunteer of some sort during a disaster, the Cullman County VOAD would love to hear from you!

To learn more, please call Cullman EMA care of Phyllis Little at (256) 739-5410, or even better, e-mail

In Attendance At This First Meeting of CCVOAD were representatives from:

• Alabama Emergency Management
• Cullman EMA
• Cullman County Volunteer Fire Association
• Cullman Police Department
• American Red Cross
• Cullman Community Radio
• The Link of Cullman County
• Sacred Heart
• and several individual, concerned citizens.

You can join the Cullman County VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) group on Facebook here:

Cullman VOAD

Cullman Disaster Relief Volunteers Sought CCVOAD Forms

Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at

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