Glossary

Find important natural disaster planning, response, and recovery definitions here

Unity of Command - An Incident Command System principle stating that each individual involved in incident operations will be assigned to only one supervisor.

Virtual Operations Support Group (VOSG) - A group of professional emergency managers and disaster volunteers that offer virtual support to professionals on the site of a disaster by performing specific, as-needed functions -- oftentimes assisting with social media management and monitoring. The VOST team leader reports directly to the affected jurisdiction. Also known as Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST).

VOAD - Voluntary organizations active in disaster (VOAD) is a communitywide or statewide group of voluntary and non-governmental agencies that collaborate during responses to disaster. VOADs don't provide direct services, but provide a network through which individual organizations can more effectively address their mission and service goals during all phases of a disaster.  

Volunteer - For purposes of the National Incident Management System, any individual accepted to perform services by the lead agency (which has authority to accept volunteer services) when the individual performs services without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for services performed.

Warning - The alerting of emergency response personnel and the public to the threat of extraordinary danger and the related effects that specific hazards may cause. A warning issued by the National Weather Service (e.g., severe storm warning, tornado warning, tropical storm warning) for a defined area indicates that the particular type of severe weather is imminent in that area.

Watch - Indication by the National Weather Service that in a defined area, conditions are favorable for the specified type of severe weather such as flash floods, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and tropical storms.

Workshop - type of discussion-based exercise focused on increased participant interaction and focusing on achieving or building a product (e.g., plans, policies). A workshop is typically used to test new ideas, processes, or procedures; train groups in coordinated activities; and obtain consensus. Workshops often use breakout sessions to explore parts of an issue with smaller groups.

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