What is COAD?

Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)


Imagine having a potluck dinner with strangers and no prior coordination. The likely result would be a disorganized and unbalanced buffet table, some awkward dinner conversation, and lots of no-shows.  

Now imagine responding to an unplanned event such as a hurricane or oil spill without any prior collaboration or communication between the organizations that are on the front lines.  While fire, police and emergency management professionals are responding to the immediate health and safety needs of the community, the non-profit organizations and houses of worship are the first entities to meet the basic needs of the community.  From the moment disaster strikes, these non-governmental organizations provide food, shelter, clothing, guidance, and care.  Community organizations are on the ground and available to deliver services long before FEMA and national organizations arrive on the scene and long after these organizations move on.  However, no organization can respond alone, and we need to coordinate the efforts of public, private and non-profit sectors in order to meet the needs of community members.  That is why Essex County needs a COAD. 

Register Today!

Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) brings together local organizations and houses of worship with local officials and emergency management professionals to strengthen the overall community response to a disaster and help the community better plan and prepare for whatever may lie ahead.  The COAD does not deliver any services directly but fosters communication, coordination, collaboration, and cooperation (the 4 C’s) among governmental and non-governmental organizations to provide the most effective services to our community.  Through regular meetings, training, and information sharing, organizations build plans and form partnerships to respond better when a disaster strikes. 

The benefits of joining COAD are numerous, but some of the highlights include:

  • Knowledge and information (pre- and post-disaster)

  • Minimizing duplication of efforts

  • Identifying and addressing gaps in services

  • Networking

  • Sharing and maximizing of resources

COAD builds synergy in the community; we can do more together than individually.  Being a member of COAD provides access to resources and services that can benefit your organization and the people you serve during the “blue sky” days as well as during times of disaster. 

While we are fortunate that major disasters do not strike our area on a frequent basis, every day is a disaster for someone in Essex County. Through joining together as a COAD, we can better respond to small and large-scale disasters affecting one individual or the whole community. 
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact  us:

Email: EssexCOAD@gmail.com
Phone: (862) 256-COAD / (862) 256-2623

Become a Member: Register Today! 

Quarterly Meeting Calendar 

Designed with you in mind and open to the general public. 

Next Quarterly Meeting
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
09:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guest Speaker: Eric Goldman - FEMA REGION II
Topic: Climate Change & Community Preparedness 
City: East Orange


Quarterly Meeting History
July 2016
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Zika Virus (Presentation
Newark, NJ
Guest Speaker: Eric Williges, Essex Mosquito Control Commissioner & Vaidehi Dave, Essex Regional Health Commissioner 

October 2016
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Active Shooter Training (Presentation
Livingston, NJ 

Guest Speaker: Ed Moore, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness

January 18, 2017
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Lights Out! What's Next? (Presentation) 
Fairfield, NJ
Guest Speaker: Mike Weber, PSE&G Emergency Preparedness Manager 

April 19, 2017
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Bio-Terrorism (Presentation)
Montclair, NJ
Guest Speaker: Gary Garetano, Essex County Regional Health Commission 

August 23, 2017
09:30 am - 11:30 am
Hurricane Preparedness (Presentation
Livingston, NJ
Guest Speaker: Eric Goldman, FEMA Region II, Regional Preparedness Liaison

October 18, 2017
09:00 am - 12:00 pm
Active Shooter Training (Presentation
East Orange, NJ 

Guest Speaker: Ed Moore, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness

January 17, 2018
09:00 am - 12:00 pm
You Are The Help Until Help Arrives (Presentation) & (Active Shooter Training)

Newark, NJ

Guest Speaker: Joe Grassi, University Hospital - Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response 

April 25, 2018
09:30 am - 12:30 pm

Conflict Management & De-escalation (Learn More)
West Orange, NJ

Guest Speaker: Jay Martinez, Warning Order, LLC

July 18, 2018
09:00 am - 12:00 pm

Psychological First Aid (Learn More)
Bloomfield, NJ
Guest Speaker: 
Wendy Chin, MSW, DRCC
Emergency Response Coordinator, Disaster and Terrorism Branch, NJDOH Mental Health & Addiction Services

Essex County Community Event Bulletin Board

What would you like to feature here? Email thomas@jerseycares.org 

Essex County COAD/VOAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster)

Board of Directors

Thomas B. Dougherty, Jr. 
Jersey Cares
Executive Board Role: Chair

Lisa McGee
American Red Cross
Executive Board Role: Vice Chair
R. David Williams
City of East Orange
Department of Public Safety, Fire Division

Executive Board Role: Secretary

Gary Garetano 
Essex County Regional Health Commission
Executive Board Role: Member At Large
Lizz McGrady
Executive Board Role: Member At Large
Muraad Abdus-Salaam 
American Red Cross
Executive Board Role: Member At Large
Shakira Drones
Medical Reserve Corps
Executive Board Role: Member At Large
Marita Mohanram Khan
Volunteer: American Red Cross
Executive Board Role: Member At Large
Walter D. Pagan, CPP
East Orange General Hospital

Executive Board Role: Member At Large
Are you ready to serve on the Board? Email, thomas@jerseycares.org 
Member At Large