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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.

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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:

Become a Member: Register Today!

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