This page is dedicated to the development, training and accreditation of Digital and Virtual Teams that provide social media assistance to Emergency Management and Public Safety agencies across the world.
Virtual Operation Support Teams (VOST) provide a set of services for emergency response organizations which request their help. VOST Teams very specifically are connected directly to an emergency management, public safety or incident command organization.
There are a number of digital communities which provide support services. Many digital humanitarian organizations differ from VOST because they self-deploy or work to provide direct community assurance. Each digitial community determines the standards for their volunteers and virtual assistants.
A "Governance" Committee, initiated by Virtual EMA to support VOST Teams, began working on definitions, standards and training in January 2016. The members of this committee currently includes Caroline Milligan, Michelle Ouellette, Scott Reuter, Kjell Brataas, Chris Tarantino and Cheryl Bledsoe. This group meets regularly to make progress towards an established set of goals to provide standardized training, credentialing and activation processes for public agencies who wish to establish this team-based capability to support their local jurisdiction.
Updates on this work are shared quarterly at VOST Leadership Coalition conference calls which are posted on our Virtual EMA Events page.
Organizations that provide digital assistance during emergencies: