Meet Virginia’s new #VOST – @HenricoVOST – Call for Volunteers #SMEM

henricovostRecently launched Henrico VOST is the product of a year long effort by Gabe Lugo of the Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department, Office of Emergency Preparedness, and colleagues to research #VOST best practices in order to find the best methods for use in the State of Virginia, U.S.A.

Collaborative tools

Managed through Henrico County OEM, the VOST team uses many of the same collaborative tools as other VOSTs in the U.S. Henrico VOST has a VOST Manager position within the EOC’s Planning Section to facilitate team management and processing of any information. One difference is the VOST workbook, which has been heavily modified to make it easier to read from within their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) environment.

This new workbook should be easier to setup, maintain, and use by both emergency managers and VOST members. Gabe Lugo

Call for Volunteers

Still in the early stages of development, Henrico VOST is currently recruiting volunteers. The Team’s first activation and exercise in the live stream is scheduled for the UCI Road World Championship Bike Race September 19th-27th 2015 and you can join in the fun. To learn more about how you can support this effort, contact Gabe Lugo using the details below

Twitter: https//
Contact: Gabe Lugo e: HenricoVOST [AT]

Save the Dates!

VOSG News Update – #VOST #SMEM

VOST logoThanks to the enthusiasm and efforts of the #SMEM, #VOST, #MSGU and #RSGE communities of interest, The Virtual Operations Support Group (VOSG) continues to grow as a project driven team of teams working across several continents.

Recent discussions between VOST Spain, Association VISOV and the new VOST Belgique, have led to the formation of the VOST Europe Regional Coalition. VOST Europe is working to gain support for VOST across the 28 Sovereign states that comprise the European Union. A similar coalition for VOST Americas is also now being discussed.

As a project driven group, the VOSG has facilitated a number of projects over the last 2 to 3 years to further information sharing and collaboration between emerging multinational VOSTs.  In 2013 and 2014, VOSG hosted #SMEMau, a special twitter chat for the Australian Bushfires, which also promoted the work of VOST Vic and helped them raise public support.

In 2014 and 2015, the VOSG also successfully negotiated an agreement between Association VISOV and the US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology, for permissions to publish a French translation of a SMEM guide, adapted to suit the French MSGU constituency. This legal agreement now provides a boilerplate template for possible future translation projects published by VOSTs located outside U.S. borders.

Members of the VOSG have recently set up an “always on” multinational alert notification system on WhatsApp. Discussions are taking place in 3 languages simultaneously – Spanish, English, and French.

Association VISOV is currently working on a project to help raise the profile of SMEM and VOST in a coordinated citizen appeal with a unified message in multiple languages. This project offers VOSTs worldwide the opportunity to collaborate on a multinational, multilingual effort to support the COP21 Convention on Climate Change, taking place from Monday November 30th 2015 to Friday December 11th 2015 in Paris, France. The project targets the core capabilities of participant VOSTs and individual digital citizens activating in a multinational operational environment. Save the dates!

The VOST Leadership Coalition is taking steps to move further down the path of standardizing and credentialing best practices to support Emergency Managers in the U.S. The group meets on the last Friday of each month by conference call.

As the VOST concept has spread organically across the world over the years, a thorough understanding of the different strategies, tactics and cultural considerations has become critical to, amongst other aspects, the VOST mutual aid support component. The VOSG website assists in filling these gaps through team specific blog postings in English and Spanish.

We will continue to help meet the needs of this growing multinational, multilingual #SMEM, #MSGU, #RSGE community of interest.

JLane Website Owner and Administrator

Welcome @UtahVOST1 – new #VOST_TEAM in the U.S.

HGTHOjIPIn the U.S., Salt Lake County Emergency Management and the Utah Division of Emergency Management have founded the state’s first Virtual Operations Support Team, or VOST (rhymes with cost).  The UTAH VOST 1 team will help monitor, track, analyze and amplify a first responder’s operational efforts on social media. Many people say they won’t have time to do social media during an incident. A VOST can help. See the Virtual Operations Support Group website or watch the #VOST and #SMEM hashtags on Twitter.

Utah VOST 1 plans on using best practices from VOSTs around the nation, including those from their sister state, Colorado and they’re looking for some help.

  • They will be forming a VOST Leadership Committee as a subgroup of the PIO Association. This group will help direct the team, create operating guidelines and research best practices for running Utah VOST 1, which you can follow on Twitter here. More teams can be added as needed.
  • They are also looking for digital volunteers who want to play a role in the VOST and can be active on social media to help curate social media, create digital maps and retweet and repost important content during an incident.

Please contact Joe Dougherty or Steve Sautter if you are interested in either of these (or both) opportunities.

Sources: and the UTAH VOST 1 team listing here .