EEE has managed to make progress in several key areas during the first quarter of the year despite the onset of the COVID-19 virus.
The Communications strategy, plan and budget were finalized and approved. A grant proposal is under consideration by the Sedona office of the Arizona Community Foundation. If approved, the funding would finance the basic communications needs of EEE at the Staging Area and would include vehicle tracking of evacuation missions.
EEE has also adopted the GoToMeeeting web application for internal meetings to include training, orientations and volunteer briefings. The various sub-groups (Evac/Transport, Communications and Staging Area Personnnel) will also have the ability to meet for their specific needs. This is of particular use during the COVID-19 situation as EEE will still be able to operate and while adhering to Social Distance requirements.
The process for the WhatsApp internal alert system has been updated and drills will be scheduled to ensure that all volunteers know how to use the App.
In January, EEE also received a donation of short range radios from another evacuation group. These radios are being reprogrammed for use between vehicles and for Staging Area operations.
EEE now has more than 80 volunteers. Background checks have been completed on all volunteers. The Volunteer Coordinator and the Administration Head are in the process of organizing the volunteers into sub-groups for WhatsApp and GoToMeeting announcements.
The Volunteer Coordinator is developing a roster of “Day Volunteers” who will be willing to assist EEE in the event of a major incident. All registered volunteers are encouraged to contact friends and acquaintances that could be interested and to forward the contact information to email@example.com.
The working group that developed the work flow process in the staging areas during an incident has determined that a separate group under a Horse Manager should be assigned to receive and care for animals that are held at the Staging Area pending final disposition. Interested volunteers should contact Carol Fontana (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more.
An Orientation for new volunteers was held on February 22, just prior to the COVID announcements. A revised training and drill calendar is being developed with the GoToMeeting app as the platform. All training will be on a virtual basis until further notice. On January 25, our Board Member and Veterinarian Karina Cox, conducted a very well attended class on Equine Triage. The information was useful and the photos compelling.
The website (eeeyc.org) was completed and has met with very favorable reviews. Professor Pony, whose goal is to create “buzz” about the site appears to be successful.
In response to the COVID outbreak, EEE has expanded its mission to include assistance to owners who may be hospitalized, quarantined or otherwise unable to care for their large animals. EEE will also transport animals to another address where care is available. A new Protocol detailing the process has been developed and can be downloaded at the Volunteer Portal on the website. The password is HorseSafety101. Please write it down with your other passwords. The process is very similar to basic EEE work flows with the notable exception that everything is virtual with no direct contact with others.
The rack cards were completed and have been distributed to a number of equine-related groups and outlets. COVID has clearly place limits on the effectiveness of the rack cards at this time.
With regard to EEE administration, the 2020 budget and strategic plan were approved. The IRS has properly reclassified EEE as a public charity and a CPA was selected to prepare the 2019 tax return. The 2020 Projects and Initiatives matrix has been created and will be updated monthly. 2019 Donation Letters were distributed.