COAD: a community disaster organization looking for volunteers

by Chabella Guzman

A wildfire scorched a tree line during the Carter Canyon fire in 2022. Photo by Chabella Guzman
December 7, 2023

Lincoln, Neb. —An opportunity for community organizations and individuals to learn more about aiding their neighbors during a disaster event will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at ESU 13 in Scottsbluff. 

The Community Organizations Active in Disaster, or COAD, is a collaborative network of community organizations, agencies, individuals, businesses, and non-profits working together to minimize the impact of disasters.   

“It’s plugging these groups into getting communications and aid when a disaster happens, and mass care is needed,” said Ashley Hopkins, administrative assistant, Region 22 Emergency Management, Scotts Bluff County. “We’ll help volunteers with CERT disaster training and tie into FEMA training and networking with others.” 

The COAD groups will attend meetings and trainings, identify potential hazards and gaps in services, develop recovery plans, and lead training in their area of expertise. “We had a HAM radio group at our last meeting who would like to share with others the benefits of HAM radio during disaster events,” said Jamie Bright, UNL Rural Prosperity Nebraska Extension Educator. 

COAD volunteer members will be assisting with a variety of disasters in western Nebraska. In a state that is predominately agricultural, there will be focus areas on animal management, donations management, long-term recovery, volunteer management, water resource management, and more.  

“We often see, especially around here after a wildfire, Facebook posts asking how to help. These COAD organizations will help coordinate the logistics of how and where to help and supplies needed if necessary,” Bright said. 

For more information, contact Hopkins at 308-633-1811 or by email at

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