An Agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Emergency Support Team (VEST) Status: Monitoring

VEOC Activation Status: Orange

VEST FAQs

This resource is maintained by Virginia Emergency Support Team (VEST)

What is VEST?

The VEST stands for Virginia Emergency Support Team. The VDEM VEST consists of 7 (and growing) VDEM employees that are responsible for the administration and coordination of the full VEST. The full VEST consists of 105 + Executive Branch Agencies, private sector partners, and volunteer organizations tasked with responsibilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan.

VEST Roles and Responsibilities

How do I know what my VEST assignment is?

All VDEM employees are assigned a role (position) in the VEST. The VEST Roster is currently located on the VEST SharePoint page, accessible by current VDEM staff only.

Who do I contact with questions about my VEST position?

Jennifer Maul, VEST Operational Coordination Division Director – maul@vdem.virginia.gov

Where do I read about my role and responsibilities?

State agency partners can access the VEST Standard Operating Guideline in the VDEM Sharepoint site. All VEST roles and responsibilities are located in the VEST Standard Operations Guideline (

How do I get added to VEST MS Teams?

Please email any employee of the VEST Bureau or IT admin to be added to MS Teams. Please provide your name, agency and VEST role in order to be added to the appropriate team.

 

VEST On-Call Status and Activations

How do I know when I’ve been activated?

All activation notices are sent through the Statewide Alert Network (SWAN), check with the Situational Awareness Unit (SAU) to ensure that you have been added to the SWAN alert lists.

Once you have signed up for SWAN alerts, you will receive alerts anytime you are activated for an emergency. If you are on-call and receive a notice that you are activated, you have 2 hours to report to the EOC or virtually.

What is the difference between virtual support and on-call status?

According to the VEST Introduction SOG, while on-call, VEST personnel:

Will have their agency-issued cell phone with them at all times and will notify the SAU and on-call section chief of any issues with the phone and/or an alternate contact number;

Will be expected to return calls for assistance within 15 minutes of being notified;

Will be expected to be responding to an incident within two hours of being notified of an incident; and

Will notify the SAU, Operations Section Chief, VEST Lead and appropriate Section Chief (if appropriate) of any issues of availability or readiness.

 

Virtual Support means that VEST personnel are activated and on duty and completing any duties they would be completing if they were physically in the EOC. They are simply completing these duties from an alternate location.

I heard there are meetings I need to attend while I’m on call, is this true?

Command and General Staff are required to participate in conference calls and communications as needed. All Command and General Staff should attend the weekly VEST turnover calls on Monday mornings at 8:45 am.

Command and General Staff, ESFs, Regional Support should all attend the weekly Mission Coordination Call on Thursdays at 11:30am

It is recommended that you check in with your section chief or ESF lead to confirm any additional expectations or duties for when you are on call.

VEST Trainings

What trainings are required to join the VEST?

VEST 100e: Intro to Emergency Management & the VEST

VEST 104e | Intro to WebEOC for the VEST

IS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System

IS-200: Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents

IS-700: National Incident Management System (NIMS)

IS-800: National Response Framework, An Introduction

Where can these trainings be found?

VEST 100e and 104e are located on the COVLC

The IS courses are located on FEMA’s Independent Study site: https://training.fema.gov/is/

Additional VEST trainings are conducted throughout the year, currently these trainings are virtual. The schedule for upcoming VEST Trainings can be found on the VEST sharepoint page or the VEST Training google calendar.

Am I required to attend additional VEST trainings?

Command and General Staff are required to attend all training.

Other VDEM employees are required to attend one VEST training per month.

 

VEST Exercises

What is VESTEX and VOPEX?

VESTEX is an annual statewide exercise required by the Code of Virginia 44-146.17:2 which states that “The Governor shall conduct an annual statewide drill on response to a large-scale disaster, including electrical power outages. Such drill shall include the participation of local governments, affected state agencies, public utilities, law-enforcement agencies, and other entities as determined by the Governor”

VOPEX- Virginia Operations Exercise, is a radiological exercise that is required by FEMA. VOPEX occurs every 2 years and alternates between the 2 nuclear power plants in Virginia (Lake Anna and Surry).

 

WEBEOC and other systems

Who do I contact with WebEOC issues?

webeocsupport@vdem.virginia.gov

How do I get WebEOC access?

First complete the VEST 100 series in the COVLC and save your certificate.

Once you have completed these courses, please fill out the account request from and send to webeocsupport@vdem.virginia.gov.

Account request form can be found on the homepage of WebEOC.

How do I get access to ArcGIS?

This is managed by the GIS section in the planning division. Please email gis@vdem.virginia.gov

How do I get access to VEST dashboards?

The dashboards are managed by the GIS section. Please Email gis@vdem.virginia.gov

 

VEOC

How do I get access to the EOC?

The VDEM badge you were issued on your first day also gives you access to the EOC. At this time, COVID protocols are still in place and you must request access to the EOC at least 24 hours in advance. Requests can be made to Robyn Ewing – Robyn.Ewing@vdem.virginia.gov.

How do I get to the EOC?

FROM WASHINGTON:South on I-95 to Richmond, right at Exit 79, immediately go to left lane and take exit onto Route 195 to Powhite Parkway (Rt. 76), left onto Chippenham Parkway (Route 150) South then right onto Midlothian Turnpike(Route 60) West for 0.7 mile, right into Virginia State Police Headquarters, just west of traffic light at Turner Road intersection. The Emergency Operations Center is located behind the Headquarters building.

 

FROM NORFOLK:I-64 West to Richmond, left at exit 75 & 190 onto I-95 South, right at Exit 74-A to Downtown Expressway (Route 195) to Powhite Parkway(Route 76), left onto Chippenham Parkway (Route 150) South, then right onto Midlothian Turnpike (Route 60) West for 0.7 mile, right into Virginia State Police Headquarters, just west of traffic light at Turner Road intersection. The Emergency Operations Center is located behind the Headquarters building.

 

 

FROM PETERSBURG:I-95 North to Exit 67 then north on Chippenham Parkway(Route 150), take right at Exit to Midlothian Turnpike (Route 60) West for 0.7mile, right into Virginia State Police Headquarters, just west of traffic light at Turner Road intersection. The Emergency Operations Center is located behind the Headquarters building.

 

FROM CHARLOTTESVILLE:I-64 East to Exit 175 onto Route 288. Take the Midlothian Turnpike East exit and continue for approximately 11 miles. Virginia State Police Headquarters is on your left, just past the IHOP Restaurant.

 

Acronyms

What do all the acronyms mean?

You can find the following list of acronyms in the VEST introduction SOG

AFN  Access and Functional Needs
CIKR  Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources
COOP  Continuity of Operations Plan
COVEOP  Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan
ESF  Emergency Support Function
FEMA  Federal Emergency Management Agency
ICS  Incident Command System
ID  Identification
IMAT  Incident Management Assistance Team
IT  Information Technology
JFO  Joint Field Office
JIC  Joint Information Center
MS Teams  Microsoft Teams
NIMS  National Incident Management System
PDA  Preliminary Damage Assessment
SAU  Situational Awareness Unit
SCO  State Coordinating Officer
SOG  Standard Operating Guideline
SWAN  Statewide Alert Network
TEED  Training, Education, and Exercise Division
VDEM  Virginia Department of Emergency Management
VEOC  Virginia Emergency Operations Center
VEST  Virginia Emergency Support Team
VLC  Virginia Learning Center

 

Additional VEST Programs/ Acronyms

What is the COVIMT? How do I get involved?

Commonwealth of Virginia Incident Management Team. Contact VEST Coordinator Mike Anderson.

What is the AEW?

Adjunct Emergency Workforce. The Adjunct Emergency Workforce (AEW) provides opportunities for state government employees to support the Commonwealth’s Emergency Response and Recovery activities. During a declared emergency, qualified AEW participants may be offered temporary reassignment to close critical staffing gaps in Virginia Emergency Support Team (VEST) agencies.

More information about the AEW can be found here: https://www.dhrm.virginia.gov/stateemployeeresources/adjunct-emergency-workforce

What is a VAL?

Voluntary Agency Liaison. VALs establish, foster, and maintain relationships among government, voluntary, faith-based, and community partners. They work very closely with VOAD partners to meet the needs of the Commonwealth.

What is VA VOAD?

Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. VOAD is an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters, provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster.​

What is C-SALTT?

Capability, Size, Amount, Type, and Time; This is the guideline for the information needed to place a sufficient request for resources.

 

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