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Steuben County established its Human Needs Task Force in 1996. Its mission is to identify the unmet needs of disaster victims and provide quick & efficient coordination of resources and services to assist families or individuals impacted by a disaster. The task force is convened by the Office of Emergency Services and its members include representative agencies with an interest in providing cooperative disaster assistance. It oversees a database of information about Steuben County residents with special needs, in order to preplan resources & provide information to emergency responders.
Following much research and discussion with statewide associates and using Steuben County partnerships as a foundation, IHS and Steuben County OES now wish to establish the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes VOAD.
VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) is a network of independent associations at the national, state, or local level which provides a forum where organizations share knowledge and resources through all phases of the disaster cycle in order to help survivors and their communities.
VOAD members include disaster-response organizations, information & referral providers, human-services agencies, faith-based organizations, animal-rescue agencies, civic groups, and others. Each member organization maintains its own identity and autonomy and works with other VOAD members to improve capabilities or efficiently deploy resources.