State group recognizes VOAD, volunteers still needed for local effort

Published 12:55 am Thursday, July 5, 2018

This past week at the annual Alabama Disaster Preparedness Conference, the Covington County Emergency Management Agency was honored with the 2017-2018 Mitigation Program of the Year Award for creating a local program that could help local residents, in time of need.

It has been a vision of Susan Harris, director of Covington County EMA, to establish a program locally that can assist with sheltering, feeding and collecting needed goods after a disastrous incident. This program was created in the form of the Covington County Volunteers Organizations Active in Disasters (CCVOAD). Its goal is to train volunteers to work in these three areas and to staff them once called upon by EMA. The efforts and abilities of this volunteer group is meant to supplement and support groups in our area that are already doing disaster relief. The training that they are looking to provide will help across the board when it comes to meeting the needs of the communities in Covington County. CCVOAD President Sherry Bedsole and Vice President Jean Freeney say that they are still looking for churches and others facilities that are willing to open up in times of shelter need. They also would like to see more volunteers that would be willing to partake in this training and commit to serve in the areas of sheltering, feeding, and collecting goods. The CCVOAD program is well on its way to become self sufficient and ready to activate. E

“ It’s nice to see this program being built up by these volunteers,” Harris said. “Our hope is that we never have to call upon them for help. However, knowing that they are available if the time comes, gives our county a resource that can be activated swiftly.”

CCVOAD holds monthly meetings on the third Tuesday of the month at the Covington Baptist Association at 18350 U.S. Highway 84 Andalusia, Alabama 36421. The meetings start at 5:30. For more information on how you can become a volunteer with CCOAD, Call 334-300-7502 or call the Emergency Management Agency at 334-428-2670. You can also send an email to Also, check out their page on Facebook by searching @CovCoVOAD. The next meeting will be August 21st.