Joe Molyson survived many hurricanes and their aftermath while growing up in south Louisiana.
He helped provide disaster relief to New Orleans as a teenager and later to the Gulf Coast as a member of the Civil Air Patrol. He served 32 years in the Air Force as a part-time reservist and on active duty. Hes also a retired astronomy teacher and volunteers as a teacher ambassador for NASA.
Most recently, Molyson was tapped as Houston Countys first director of Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters, a new program hes tasked with building from the ground up. The idea is to network with volunteers and see what type of manpower is available and then figure out how each agency will work together to coordinate a response of the volunteer force in an emergency.
Jimmy Williams, Houston County Emergency Management Agency director and fire chief, picked Molyson for the volunteer position. Williams said Molyson made an impression on him at their first meeting.
As the Knights of Columbus second responder disaster coordinator for Georgia, Molyson came to Williams with questions about how the Knights of Columbus could help in emergencies. Williams said most folks tell him what they can do but dont ask whats needed.
So when looking for the right person to coordinate the efforts of volunteer agencies in Houston through affiliation with VOAD, Molyson came to mind.
Already, Molyson has recruited 20 key volunteer agencies, including the American Red Cross and Salvation Army, to join VOAD. Hes now working to widen that network of agencies. He has identified 86 more volunteer agencies hed like to talk with.
-- Becky Purser
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