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The MeVOAD traditionally becomes active following a Presidential Disaster. During the Recovery phase of a major disaster, a Long Term Recovery Committee (formerly called an Unmet Needs Committee) is established. The written history of the Maine VOAD begins in 1987 following FEMA-788-DR-ME, the April Fools Day Flood. Fourteen of the sixteen counties in Maine were declared disaster areas after many years when there were no disasters declared in the State.
Since this disaster had a great impact on the citizens in such a large area of the State, a Maine Interfaith Flood Recovery project was organized as well as an Unmet Needs Committee. Those attending the first official VOAD meeting in July of that year included representation from the Interfaith Flood Recovery Project, REACT, Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team, Civil Air Patrol, American Red Cross, Seventh Day Adventist Community Services, American Radio Relay League, the Mennonite Church, and Maine Emergency Management Agency (by invitation). An American Red Cross volunteer, Linda Ireland, was president of the Maine VOAD at that time. By-Laws were adopted in November.
Meetings have continued over the years with activity waning as years passed without a large disaster in the State.. A Resource Sharing Directory was developed in 1990. In 1997 a reorganization meeting was held following recovery operations and an active Unmet Needs committee that addressed needs following DR-1143, severe storms and flooding in York and Cumberland Counties in the late fall of 1996. However there came a lull in leadership and participation for a short period of time although members continued to remain in contact with each other on an informal basis.
Current activities began as a result of the participation of most current members and supporters in the recovery operation following the ice storm of January 1998 (DR-1198). Another widespread disaster, it demanded prolonged assistance, particularly to the elderly. Since the conclusion of those recovery efforts, the VOAD has been holding supper meetings quarterly, some having speakers and some involving work sessions. The distribution of minutes and other pertinent information between meetings keeps members current. Two members attended the National VOAD meeting last fall and brought back information from throughout the country. The group approved a Mission Statement and a new web site. Donation fact sheets, a brochure, and a revised resources directory are being developed. Long term goals include public education regarding ways people can support recovery efforts following a disaster, and the development of regional or county VOAD groups.
Maine VOAD is a member of National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster(NVOAD).