Rob Schultz Rejoins Upper Valley Strong Steering Committee

Rob Schultz, Upper Valley Area Director with Granite United Way, recently rejoined the Upper Valley Strong (UV Strong) Steering Committee.  Rob, formerly the Executive Director with COVER Home Repair, was an original Steering Committee Member with UV Strong since its origin in 2011, after Tropical Storm Irene.  Recently, Rob resigned from COVER Home Repair and stepped off UV Strong’s steering committee.  As Granite United Way’s Area Director, Rob oversees the fundraising and community impact work in the Upper Valley region.  The UV Strong Steering Committee is excited to welcome Rob Schultz back and look forward to working with him to maintain our regional disaster recovery resilience.

DEMHS Promotes Regional Groups

DEMHS Invests in Regional Disaster Recovery Groups

The Vermont Department of Emergency Management Homeland Security (DEMHS) awarded a $21,000 grant to Anne Duncan Cooley and Anne Goodrich, both of Upper Valley Strong, to provide consulting services in support of regional disaster recovery groups.  Consulting services will support Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COADs).  COADs coordinate local, regional, and national resources to help people recover from the impacts of disasters more quickly and effectively.

Three Regions Receive Benefits of Grant

The project focuses on three regional groups ; Windham region, southern Windsor, and Chittenden region.  The Southern Windham COAD in the Windham Regional Planning Commission region formed in summer of 2016.  The Precision Valley Disaster Recovery Group, a former Long Term Disaster Recovery Group, formed during Tropical Storm Irene in the Southern Windsor Regional Planning Commission region.  The Chittenden Regional Planning Commission region will create their very first COAD.  Consulting services will promote COAD growth; websites, phone lines, training programs, resources, and networking with like-minded organizations.  Services with also promote networking with regional, state, and national emergency management organizations to help these groups become more informed and involved with municipal disaster recovery.

State Farm Grant Funds Volunteer Construction Coordinator Training

Website Photo for Con. Coord. Page


Thanks to a grant from State Farm Insurance, Upper Valley Strong is currently recruiting Volunteer Construction Coordinators. These trained volunteers will work with our Construction Manager, volunteers, and Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters (VOADs) to oversee and manage disaster recovery efforts in our region.  UV Strong will provide training for disaster site construction management, focusing on the distinction between disaster recovery and regular construction management.  This is an excellent opportunity for professional construction firms to assist area residents whose homes are impacted by disasters.

UV Strong is currently contacting area construction firms to determine their interest in this program. Please contact us if you (or some organization you know) have experience in construction management and are interested in this opportunity to help neighbors after disasters strike.

Click here to contact us and learn more about our training program.

UV Strong Welcomes New COVER Executive Director

Bill Neukomm

Upper Valley Strong bids a fond farewell to Rob Schultz, former Executive Director at COVER Home Repair. Rob was an early member of Upper Valley Strong’s Long Term Recovery Committee in 2011 and continued as an integral part of UV Strong’s Steering Committee. Thankfully, Bill Neukomm, COVER’s new Executive Director, has agreed to join the UV Strong Steering Committee.

Click on the link below to learn more about COVER’s leadership transition on the Daily UV.

First Days on the Job at COVER

Upper Valley Strong Now Offers Volunteer Safety Training


Interested in learning how to help people in our area in times of disaster?


Thanks to a grant from Hypertherm’s HOPE Foundation, Upper Valley Strong provides training to local organizations and residents so they can conduct themselves safely and more effectively in times of disasters.

This training covers topics that every volunteer on a disaster site needs to know:

  • What does Disaster Recovery involve?
  • What can I expect to encounter at a disaster site?
  • What should I wear/bring with me when I volunteer?
  • What will Upper Valley Strong do in support of my volunteer effort?
  • How will I be notified in times of a disaster and where do I go to help?
  • What will I be expected to do as I volunteer?
  • How do I conduct myself safely at a disaster site?

All this, and many more topics, are covered in our 45 minute training course.  Click on this link to find out how you and your organization can be a part of local, sustainable assistance in times of disaster!

UVS Vermont Emergency Preparedness Conference Presentation Hits YouTube

Upper Valley Strong Presents at 2015 VT Emergency Preparedness Conference

Upper Valley Strong (UVS), in conjunction with Vermont 2-1-1, was invited to present “Why Vermont Needs COADs” at this year’s annual preparedness conference.  The presentation covered topics ranging from Response vs. Recovery, effective interaction between COADs and VOADs, and the current aligning of UVS and their regional planning commission (Two-Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission).

The presentation was well received.  Representatives from three regional planning commissions expressed interest in learning more about supporting the formation of COADs within their regions.


Upper Valley Strong and VT Regional Planning Commissions

On May 7, 2015, Upper Valley Strong attended a meeting of the Executive Directors for the Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) for the State of Vermont.  We discussed the importance of, and distinction between, Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COADs) and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs) in times of disaster.

Because several regions within the State of Vermont were unaffected by Tropical Storm Irene, some RPC Executive Directors were unfamiliar with the capacity of these organizations to positively affect individual long term recovery after disasters.

COADs are comprised of local organizations and individuals and are centrally located to the disaster.  These organizations know the local resources and neighborhoods, work directly with municipal, state, and federal agencies, and have a vested interest in the recovery of the impacted area.  VOADs are non-profits and faith-based groups that coordinate in disaster preparation, recovery and response and also work with state and federal emergency management.  Ideally, COADs work in conjunction with VOADs to provide management, coordination, and support to conduct the most efficient recovery from disasters.

Currently, Windham County, hard hit by recent flooding, are in the process of forming a COAD in coordination with their RPC Commissioner, Chris Campany.  We anticipate future discussions with those RPCs without COADs to assist in evaluating the formation and long term presence of such groups within all regions in the State of Vermont.

NH Emergency Preparedness Conference

11th Annual
NH Emergency Preparedness Conference
June 10, 2015
Radisson Hotel, Manchester, NH

Highlights include
Over 30 educational sessions ~ Exhibitors
Time to network with over 800 of your colleagues
Complimentary registration includes access to all sessions and events,
a continental breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day!

Registration is now open!
There is no fee to attend but pre-registration is required. Registration closes June 2nd.

Nonprofit Partnering For Natural Disasters And Community-Based Climate Resilience

Climate change may feel a long way off, but the Upper Valley is already experiencing more frequent and intense rainfall, snow, hurricanes, high winds, flooding, power outages, and impassable roads and bridges. For busy nonprofit leaders, it’s hard to make time to plan, especially if the risks are unknown and seem far off. But recent natural disasters have made us realize that it’s not just about whether our agency gets flooded. By building plans and relationships in advance, our agencies and our communities will be ready to make the best decisions when crisis comes.

FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2015 7:30-9:30 AM
Networking Breakfast 7:30-8:00 AM
Disaster Resiliency Presentation and Discussion 8:00-9:30 AM
Hosted at Hypertherm, 71 Heater Road, Lebanon, NH

Sponsored by the Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup, Hypertherm, & the NH Charitable Foundation

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