One of the first things we’ve learned while working with FEMA is that you need to learn your acronyms. VOAD is one that keeps coming up in the alphabet soup of disaster relief–it stands for Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters. Higher Ground is a VOAD.
This video from the FEMA media library features the efforts of numerous VOAD’s who came together after the destruction of Hurricane Irene in New Jersey. That the relief efforts have been coordinated by individuals and organizations that come from so many different faiths, backgrounds, and industries is something NJ and Western MA have in common. “The agencies can’t do it alone, the government can’t do it alone, so we have to work together,” says one woman.