Crisis Response Training to be Held at WWU

Crisis response training has become important, even necessary, to a community’s ability to survive a disaster. After 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, many volunteers came to the aid of victims, providing food, shelter and relief.

NOVA, the National Organization for Victim Assistance, is offering a four-day intense training course at William Woods University that will qualify participants to become Missouri NOVA Crisis Response Team members. Certified members will have the skills and knowledge necessary to respond to a crisis and help their community.

Sponsored by the social work program at William Woods University, the training is May 13-16. William Woods is offering an economical lodging and meal plan for participants and registration is $175 per person. The event is open to the community and the deadline to enroll is April 18.

Elizabeth Wilson, assistant professor and social work program director at WWU, and George Garner, associate professor of social work, are sponsoring the continuing education program. Both have responded to national disasters with the Missouri NOVA teams in the past.

The training is interactive and participants will work in groups. NOVA also provides excellent skills to help traumatized individuals.

Participants will learn about the effects of a community-wide crisis, efficient community planning strategies and specific aid provided by individual organizations in a disaster. The workshop will also cover how to move forward from a crisis, by discussing recovery plans and training local caregivers.

“NOVA doesn’t only focus on natural disasters, but also on crime and manmade disasters,” says Wilson.

After Hurricane Katrina, NOVA responded by helping individuals cope with the aftermath, especially children, and offered continued support for individuals who lost loved ones.

According to its website,, “The National Organization for Victim Assistance is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization of victim and witness assistance
programs and practitioners, criminal justice agencies and professionals, mental health professionals, researchers, former victims and survivors, and others committed to the recognition and implementation of victim rights and services.”

For more information about the workshop, contact Wilson at (573) 592-4271 or