Virginia Emergency Support Team (VEST) Director
Michelle Oblinsky is VDEM’s Virginia Emergency Support Team (VEST) Director. As VEST Director, she works with VDEM and other state agencies to ensure the readiness of the VEST teams and the Virginia Emergency Operation Center systems. She holds a master’s degree in geography planning from UNC Charlotte, as well as a bachelor’s degree in planning from VA Tech. Michelle has more than 12 years of experience in emergency management at the local level. She previously served as the Deputy Coordinator of EM for Chesterfield County, and EM Planner for the City of Chesapeake. While in Hampton Roads, she served in leadership positions in regional committees. Michelle is recognized as both a Certified Emergency Manager with the International Association of Emergency Managers, and a Professional Emergency Manager in Virginia. She is also a member of the L101: Foundations of Emergency Management (Cohort 4) and is currently working on completing the Basic Academy. Michelle has been active on the board for the Virginia Emergency Management Association (VEMA) since 2010 and currently serves as VEMA President.
Michelle’s disaster experience includes 2 presidentially declared disasters – Tropical Depression Ida / Nor’easter (2009), Hurricane Irene (2011) – and numerous smaller disasters in Virginia. She also assisted Cameron Parish, LA in recovery efforts after Hurricane Rita in 2005.
Michelle and her family live in western Chesterfield County, where her daughters are 5th generation attendees of Grange Hall Elementary School. Michelle is leader for her daughters’ Girl Scout troops and serves as volunteer coordinator for her church’s children’s choir.