COAD Guiding Principles
The mission of Lane County Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) is to bring together a broad array of community organizations to foster an effective response to the people of Lane County in times of disaster.
The COAD’s working relationships are achieved through the promotion of cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration of member organizations.
Cooperation: No member organization has all of the answers for the challenges communities face. Members treat each other as partners.
Communication: Members regularly share their capacities, accomplishments, and commitments. The COAD maintains good channels for sharing information, listening carefully to each other, and dealing openly with concerns.
Coordination: COAD members work together towards the goal of effective service to the community. The COAD will equip members to be coordinated in times of disaster through planning and preparation.
Collaboration: COAD members dedicate themselves to working together.
The COAD exists to coordinate member organizations’ activities in relation to emergency response. It is a support to County and City emergency managers but is not run by emergency management personnel. Through regular meetings, communication, planning, and training together, member agencies will be well-connected, organized, and ready to respond. On an ongoing basis, the COAD helps with sharing information, resources, and expertise. The COAD will know what resources COAD members have to potentially offer and the contact person to access them.
During a Disaster
The COAD can be activated when requested by the County and City emergency managers or COAD members. The COAD does not self-dispatch when there is a declared disaster situation. Generally, activation by a COAD member is for smaller situations when it is not a declared disaster but a COAD member is in need of peer assistance or there is a demonstrated need in the community. Operating at its full potential, the COAD will
Organize resources and services needed
Manage community volunteers and donations
Coordinate among members to reduce duplication of services
Link to the Oregon state organization, Oregon Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (ORVOAD)
Expedite local response by COAD members
Ensure that human needs are being met as best as possible
The details of how the COAD will be activated and operate are outlined in the COAD Emergency Operations Plan. While some COADs also focus on preparedness and mitigation, it is recognized that in Lane County the Lane Preparedness Coalition and Red Cross actively fill this role; therefore, the Lane County COAD will focus its time and energy on being prepared for a role in response and recovery.
Eligibility: The COAD believes that every organization and business has something they can contribute. Be it tangible goods, services, volunteers, or time, there are a variety of roles and services that will need to be filled. In that spirit, membership is open to any interested organization, non-profit, agency, group, public agency, or business operating within Lane County. The intent is to have a broad-based coalition involving those who are not traditionally involved in disaster response and those who are.
Each member maintains its own identity and independence, yet collaborates and coordinates with other agencies to improve services and eliminate duplication. COAD member organizations may provide services during a disaster and do so under their own direction.
Individuals not affiliated with an organization may attend meetings as a non-voting participant but would not be eligible for membership.
Membership from government agencies: Government agencies have chosen to be non-voting members of the COAD. They are welcome to all meetings and are able to be elected to the Leadership Team, yet do not have voting privileges. This provision is at the request of the government agencies, in recognition of their active role as supporters and contributors but allowing non-profits to drive decisions.
Commitment: It is recognized that many organizations want to help but may not have the capacity to do so when needed. In order to fully commit to the COAD, a member must complete a signed Letter of Commitment on behalf of their organization (see Appendix A) that indicates their intent to contribute as resources allow. It is also expected that member organizations will work to increase their internal capacity to be ready to respond as indicated in their Letter of Commitment.
Selection: Those interested in becoming members of the COAD will submit a signed Letter of Commitment to the Chair of the COAD. At the first available meeting of the full membership, the interested member will share their interest in joining with the full group. All new members will be selected by a majority vote of the members present.
Meeting Attendance: To maintain membership, a representative of the organization must attend at least three meetings per calendar year. To maintain consistency, it is preferable to have the same person attend each meeting in person if possible, but designees or attendance by conference call or remote means are acceptable.
Change of representative: If a COAD member would like to change its representative to the COAD on an ongoing basis, such as due to a change of personnel, the organization should notify the COAD Chair of the change. The COAD membership will remain in good standing.
Resignation or Removal: A member organization may resign by giving written notice to the COAD Chair. A member organization may be removed by a majority vote of the Leadership Team. Alternatively, the Leadership Team may request that the COAD organization change their representative to the COAD. Grounds for removal or a request to change a representative may include but is not limited to failing to meet the meeting attendance requirement, obstructive behavior during meetings, or acting in a way that is contrary to the values of the COAD.
Meeting frequency: The COAD will hold a minimum of four meetings per calendar year for the general membership. One meeting per year will be the Annual Meeting where elections for the Leadership Team take place. The Leadership Team may call additional meetings as necessary.
Meeting conduct: COAD meeting will be conducted with the values of cooperation, coordination, communication, and collaboration in mind. When attending meetings, members agree to:
Respect each other
Act in a way consistent with a belief system that values diversity
Listen as an ally and with an open mind
Respect that only one person speaks at a time
Honor the limitations of time; speak concisely
Ensure that all members have an opportunity to voice their opinion
Work towards common ground for coordinated action, not necessarily agreement
Offer solutions if there is a problem to be addressed
Maintain confidentiality of sensitive information that is shared
Meeting roles: The Chair of the Leadership Team or designee will create and distribute the meeting agendas ahead of time and will facilitate and lead the meeting. The facilitator may call for a vote on an item that needs membership approval to move forward. The Secretary takes notes at each meeting or assigns a note-taker. The Secretary will record pertinent discussion items and decisions made and distribute meeting summary notes to all members within ten business days.
Voting: Each member organization will only have one vote, regardless of how many people from the organization attend the meeting. When a call for a vote is made, a simple majority of votes of the members present will be considered the will of the full membership. All members agree to support the outcome of the majority vote.
Role: The COAD will have a Leadership Team that provides organizational direction for the general membership, plans and executes meetings of the general membership, and leads the group in matters related to strategy, planning, training, organization, and risk. The members of the Leadership Team realize their commitment is to the overall practice and issues of the concern for the totality of the COAD. The COAD will strive to have a diversity of types of organizations on the Leadership Team, so that the Leadership Team is reflective of its membership.
Leadership Team members: The Leadership Team will consist of six people at a minimum and nine at a maximum. Any general member is eligible to be on the Leadership Team. There will be one Leadership Team member who is also an active member of the Lane Preparedness Coalition and will serve as a liaison between the two groups. The term of the Leadership Team members is two years with re-election possible three times.
Election of Leadership Team members: The general membership will elect the Leadership Team members through a vote of members present at the Annual Meeting. The Leadership Team will elect its Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary.
Chair: The role of the Chair is to provide leadership for the organization, plan the annual cycle of general and Leadership Team meetings, set the agendas for these meetings based on member interest, facilitate the meetings or designate a facilitator, ensure that decisions made at meetings are implemented, and be the designated spokesperson for the organization with media or where appropriate. The term of the Chair is two years with re-election possible three times.
Vice Chair: The role of the Vice Chair is to act for the Chair when she/he is not available. The Vice Chair may also share in the work and responsibility of the Chair through collaboration. The Vice Chair ensures that the organization has a leader who can assume the Chair’s responsibility and is familiar with their work should a sudden absence occur. The term of the Vice-Chair is two years with re-election possible three times.
Secretary: The role of the Secretary is to take accurate meeting minutes for records and keep updated files of meeting minutes and major decisions. The term of the Secretary is two years with re-election possible three times.
Creation and dissolution: Temporary and Standing Committees can be created by the Leadership Team to carry out specific work of the COAD, such as providing guidance and planning, training, or short-term tasks as needed. The Committee Chair will be appointed by the Leadership Team Chair. Any member in good standing may join a committee. The Leadership Team will provide the Committee Chair with the objectives of the committee. The Committees may be dissolved upon completion of their charge or the term of appointment.
Communication: The Committee Chairs will report on work, progress, and decisions to the Leadership Team. The Chairs will report at general meeting when appropriate.
These Guiding Principles can be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at a general meeting. Proposed amendments can be submitted to the Chair of the Leadership Team. Proposed amendments will be distributed to the general membership at least two weeks prior to a general meeting at which the changes will be considered for adoption.