PrintMinnesota VOAD is the association of voluntary agencies and their partners involved in disaster response, recovery, and preparedness. MNVOAD works to promote cooperation, communication, collaboration, and coordination, the “4 C’s”, in order to help all our members provide better service to those impacted by disasters in Minnesota.

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aprilshowers2We have a lot of exciting opportunities and information to share this month.

Please go to Training to view all the training and webinar available. Many events are happening in May and we hope you can participate in them. Share these information with your members and any one who may find these events, resources and opportunities equally valuable.


Under One Roof Conference – May 19-20, Duluth.
Grant funding is available to cover one night lodging and registration for approximately  22 MNVOAD affiliated volunteers! To take advantage of this grant, do NOT register online, instead, please email Tony Guerra, at tony.guerra@redcross.org as soon as possible and be sure to reference the agency you represent.

Get Ready Gopher
Please check out the newest public education video, featuring MNVOAD agencies: Helping Out  After a Disaster https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hlb2xw88F8
Feel free to share this video

2015 National VOAD Award
If you would like to nominate an individual or agency for the please use this link to submit your nomination by April 13: https://t.e2ma.net/click/avugh/azdiei/i57f0c.

May 16-19, 2016 the National VOAD Conference is coming to Minneapolis!
Planning for this important event is already underway and we welcome your talents and support. Contact us at mnvoadconference@gmail.com to share your ideas or to join the host committee!



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Thank You from Ruth

Garrett-past presidents


Thank you everyone who joined us for our 2015 Minnesota VOAD Conference on Saturday, March 28, at the Hennepin County Technical College in Eden Prairie. Once again, this conference was a great success and a lot of fun! We had several exciting speakers, educational sessions, a lot of great vendors and beautiful weather. Most importantly, our valued partners and volunteers were brought together for a day filled with networking and relationship building.

Thanks to the very generous financial support we received from St. Paul Emergency Management, Hennepin County Emergency Management and the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Association (MEMA). We had the opportunity to offer free admissions to dozens of MNVOAD member volunteers and keep our costs down.

During the conference, we also conducted the General MNVOAD Membership meeting. We debuted the newest Get Ready Gopher public education video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hlb2xw88F8 Helping Out After a Disaster (click here to view and also share). We also adopted the updated bylaws and shared several exciting upcoming opportunities.

At the start of this new term, we welcomed several new board members:
Tom Anderson – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (returning)
Les Morrison – Minnesota Adventist Community Service (returning)
Marie Putnam – The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services
Judy Rue – The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services

We celebrated MNVOAD’s accomplishments of the past year, (such as the collaborative summer flood response) and thanked our outgoing board members for their service: Garrett Alessandroni (16 years), Heather Winkleblack, Dan Hoeft, and Lucy Angelis.

Many of our member volunteers received cool raffle prizes. Please check out photos from the conference on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MNVOAD.

For those who attended the conference, please be sure to send us your feedback via the post-event survey email or this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Z3L5BKS.

Also, per popular request, the slides from our Keynote session, “Followership,” by HSEM Director, Joe Kelly, have been posted on this website under Downloads http://www.mnvoad.org/downloads/for all who would like a copy. Please let us know if there are other materials you would like to have from this event.

This conference wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of our conference committee members and event volunteers, and the support of our wonderful sponsors and donors. T2015 Conf7HANK YOU.

We are excited to announce that we are hosting the 2016 National VOAD Conference in Minneapolis, May 16-19, 2016. Planning for this important event is already underway and we welcome your talents and support. Contact us at mnvoadconference@gmail.com to share your ideas or to join the host committee.

2015 Conf13

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March 6, 2015

2015 MNVOAD Training Conference and Annual Meeting

The Minnesota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (MNVOAD) annual conference will be held on Saturday, March 28th at Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie. The theme of the conference is “LEAD – Leading to Engage Action in Disaster.”  Volunteers and paid staff will represent the 30 plus members at our annual conference.

The conference will include leadership and disaster-related training, and opportunities to collaborate and network with emergency management representatives, volunteers, and private sector partners from around the state. For details, see http://www.mnvoad.org/2015-mnvoad-conference/.

Conference registration is $25 per person and includes lunch. Register at: http://2015mnvoadconference.eventbrite.com

Featured speakers include Commissioner Mona Dohman for the Department of Public Safety, Director Joe Kelly with Minnesota’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division, Eric Waage the Director of Hennepin County Emergency Management, Mike Boland with Xcel Energy, Mary Rhedin from FEMA Region V, and Margot Imdieke Cross with the MN State Council on Disability.

Minnesota VOAD, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the association of voluntary agencies and their partners involved in disaster response, recovery, and preparedness. MNVOAD works to promote the “4 Cs”— cooperation, communication, collaboration, and coordination—to help our members provide better service to those impacted by disasters in Minnesota.

During disasters, MNVOAD member organizations independently provide relief and recovery services. Working with officials in the affected jurisdictions, MNVOAD facilitates conference calls to foster inter-agency communication and efficient allocation of resources. Additionally, MNVOAD helps in identification of unmet needs and resource provision. These services help ensure implementation of best practices, reduce costs by avoiding redundancies and improve response time in meeting the basic needs of those affected by disasters.

Please contact MNVOAD President, Ruth Talford at Ruth.Talford@redcross.org if you have any additional questions

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Call for North Star Award nominations

Minnesota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (MNVOAD) is seeking nominations from the emergency management and voluntary agency communities for their third annual MNVOAD North Star Award. The award is presented each year to individual volunteers who have provided high quality service to people affected by disasters or emergencies by demonstrating and promoting VOAD’s “4 C’s” (Communication, Collaboration, Cooperation and Coordination) in their disaster responses.

We’ve heard many stories about how voluntary agencies banded together during last Summer’s statewide flooding to serve people who were affected. Did you witness one or more of these partnerships? If so, please consider nominating the volunteers who made that happen. Send your nominations by filling out the attached form and return it to Dennis Walter by e-mail at dennis.walter@state.mn.us

Deadline for nominations is by the close of business on Friday, March 6, 2015.

Click on this link for the application: 2015 North Star Award

2015 MNVOAD Training Conference and Annual Meeting Reminder

Please remember to join us for this year’s MNVOAD conference, Saturday, March 28, 2015 at Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie. We will be presenting the North Star Award at the conference. The conference is open to all emergency managers and voluntary agency leaders and features many interesting presentations.

The cost to attend is just $25 per person which includes lunch.

More information about the conference, including the agenda can be found at: http://www.mnvoad.org/2015-mnvoad-conference/.

Click here for a complete program: 2015 MNVOAD Conference Program

Click here to register: http://2015mnvoadconference.eventbrite.com

Seeking MNVOAD Board Candidates

As a few of our board members approach the end of their terms in March, we will have openings for some new members to join this wonderful team! These positions are open to individuals who represent a MNVOAD member agency on either a paid or voluntary basis. If you would like to nominate yourself or a peer, please send an email with your/their name and contact info to ruth.talford@redcross.org. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about these positions.

Congratulations Mennonite Disaster Service! Kudos to a wonderful partner, the Mennonite Disaster Service for winning the Outstanding Volunteer Partnership Award, during the 2015 Governor’s HSEM Conference last week!  See the details at https://www.facebook.com/MNVOAD

2015 Mennonite Disaster Service1



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February Notes



Upcoming HSEM “First Tuesday” presentations – February 3, 2015, 1-2 p.m.

Please join us for HSEM’s next “First Tuesday” WebEx webinar presentation on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, from 1:00 until 2:00 PM Central Time:  Amateur Radio Support for Emergency Managers.

Presenters will be Dan Anderson (KD0ASX) and Michael Ostlund (N0ANP) from Hennepin County Emergency Management (also serving as Minnesota Section Emergency Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator for the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL). We will be discussing how Amateur Radio operators can use their equipment (and yours) to augment/supplement local communications and volunteer management capabilities and “connect” donations, volunteer management and mass care facilities with your Operations Center during times of emergency/disaster.

To join the online meeting:
1. Go to https://mn.webex.com/mn/j.php?MTID=m7bd64a6477104c28f904bd73e5e2e3a3
2. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: password
3. Click “Join”.

To join the teleconference only: Dial in number: 1-888-742-5095 & enter conference code 766 492 6558

Additional proposed 2015 “First Tuesday” webinars, for your information:

April 7                 MN Disaster Recovery Programs

June 2                 Establishing and Operating Donations Facilities

August 4             Involving Community Volunteers and Citizen Corps Members

October 6            Volunteers and Mass Care Operations

December 1        Animals In Disaster

Contact Dennis E. Walter (N0VZB) at dennis.walter@state.mn.us with any questions!

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Training – February 10-17, 2015

The Salvation Army – Northern Division is pleased to announce that the The Emergency Disaster Services Department has EDS training available in February 2015.

  • Introduction to Emergency Disaster Services with Safe from Harm (TWO DAY TRAINING)
  • Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 5-9 p.m. and Thursday, February 12, 2015,  5-9 p.m.
  • Disaster Food Services: Handling and Delivery with ServSafe (TWO DAY TRAINING)
  • Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 5-9 p.m. and Thursday, February 19, 2015, 5-9 p.m.

Please go to (http://salvationarmynorth.org/community/twin-cities-metro/community-pages/eds-training-registration-form-twin-cities/) for more information and to register for these training opportunities! If you have any questions, please email Heidi Mathison (heidi_mathison@usc.salvationarmy.org) or  call  651-746-3415.

Feel free to pass this along to other interested volunteers and community members!

Minneapolis Health Department Emergency Preparedness Training–Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Please join us for this FREE training for Community and Faith Based Organizations. The speaker will be Dr. Mark Seeley, University of Minnesota Extension Climatologist and he will be presenting about Climate Change & Severe Weather in our Own Backyard.

The presentation will be at the Center for Changing Lives located at 2400 Park Avenue in Minneapolis, MN. To register, go to http://surveymonkey.com/s/2015_EP_training by February 17, 2015.



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2015 MNVOAD Training Conference Saturday March 28, 2015


2015 MNVOAD Conference Announcement

2015 MNVOAD Conference Schedule







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December Notes

ChristmasThank you MNVOAD members for participating in our general membership meeting last month. It was great to see so many of you! As shared at the meeting, we have several MNVOAD projects going on for which we would love to have your support:

1. 2015 MNVOAD Conference Planning Meeting–Saturday, December 13, 2014, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
This is an open teleconference-meeting of the 2015 MNVOAD Planning Committee, to discuss speakers, develop a schedule, and hear an update on plans for vendors, giveaways and registration. If you have any suggestions or resources to offer for our upcoming conference, please join the call (Phone: 888-742-5095, Access code: 7664926558) or email at mnvoadconference@gmail.com

2. MNVOAD Special Events Internship
We are seeking candidates for our new MNVOAD Internship for January and Spring. We hope to start interviewing by December 16, 2014. Please share the attached position description with any interested contacts as soon as possible. If you need more details, please direct your questions to Ruth at ruth.talford@redcross.org or call her at (612)490-6713.

3. Get Ready Gopher video
Ramsey County Emergency Management and Homeland Security has asked MNVOAD to participate in making the next episode of Get Ready Gopher! These are brief YouTube videos intended to relay important messages to the public about emergencies. This would be a great opportunity to promote MNVOAD and it should fun! If you would like to participate or have your agency featured, please get in touch with Charlie (charlieobrien52@yahoo.com).


We also have several free educational webinars from our partners this month. See details below Please share these with your teams.

1. Free Webinar: ALAN and YRC Freight Present “Freight 101”- Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
Click here to register: http://cts.vresp.com/c/?AmericanLogisticsAid/d3cb9fcd7b/6e8f55b043/04701227cd

2. ADA National Network/FEMA Webinar: Inclusive Emergency Planning–Lessons from the City of Los Angeles Lawsuit”
Thursday, December 11, 2014, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Register at http://www.adapresentations.org/registration.php.

3. HSEM Webinar: Establishing & Operating a Volunteer Reception Center
Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 1:00-4:30 p.m.
To join, go to https://mn.webex.com/mn/j.php?MTID=m687a941cb6e6204bf078d48b1a641a1a


Teleconference only: (888)742-5095
Access code: 7664926558#

You can also access the information below through the OPPORTUNITIES and TRAINING pages.


MNVOAD Special Events Internship

MNVOAD Training Opportunities December 2014_1MNVOAD Training Opportunities December 2014_1

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November Notes

Please share these two important opportunities with your members or anyone who may benefit from it.


LOCATION: Bartholomew Hall, Richfield City Hall,
6700 Portland Avenue, Richfield, MN 55423
TIME: 6 p.m.

Join by WEBEX with teleconferencing:
For online document access and video feed go to:
Click “Join Meeting”.
Meeting Number: 198 970 660

Teleconferencing call-in number:(888)742-5095
Passcode: 7664926558

DATE: November 20 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
LOCATION: Bloomington, MN

Register by November 18, 2014.
Register through HSEM Training Registration and Tracking at

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October Notes


MNVOAD Announcements for October 2014

FEMA Webinar
Nuclear Radiological Incident Annex
FEMA is in the process of updating the Nuclear Radiological Incident Annex (NRIA), and invites interested VOAD members to participate in an upcoming webinar/conference call to learn about these NRIA planning efforts.

The current NRIA update effort focuses on an Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) scenario. IND events present significant and complex challenges, including extensive infrastructure damage which would isolate and limit livability in affected areas for decades. The devastation and loss of life would require FEMA and all of our partners to provide response and recovery assistance to survivors, and participate in the long process of recovery.

Date/Time: Tuesday, September 30, 2014; 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Conf. Call: 800-320-4330, Pin 395655#
Webinar: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/NRIA




Luis Garcia, Lead Planner for FEMA Response–National Planning Branch, will provide a briefing to national and regional partners, including:
• What is the Nuclear Radiological Incident Annex (NRIA)?
• Why the update/rewrite?
• Potential impacts of an event
• Voluntary organizations’ support

CDP Webinar
The How and Why of Building Disaster Ready:
Date/Time: October 1, 2014, 2 p.m.

This Issue Insights Series webinar will be hosted by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), open to all who are interested.

: https://t.e2ma.net/click/m419f/azdiei/q3zyic

We know that disasters continue to occur more and more frequently and with more destruction. It is vital that donors, builders, architects, and community planners think ahead to what could happen as they develop communities, homes, and organizations. This webinar will work through some important questions on building disaster ready, such as:
• How can one build with disaster mitigation in mind?
• What are the benefits to building disaster ready?
• What are the funding gaps in resilient building initiatives?
• What initiatives are currently underway to help design buildings ready for an array of potential disasters?

HSEM Webinar
Volunteer Management 101
Date/Time: October 7, 2014, 1 p.m.

Our fifth session of “First Tuesday” presentations, “Volunteer Management 101,” is coming up on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, from 1:00 until 2:00 pm, using the WebEx webinar presentation system. All government emergency managers and voluntary agency leadership with an interest in managing unaffiliated volunteers during disasters are invited to attend.

Dennis Walter (HSEM Volunteer Resource Coordinator and State Donations Manager) will discuss the basic concepts of developing local plans to manage unaffiliated volunteers that may offer to local government during times of emergency.
Call-in # (888) 742-5095, passcode: 7664926558
Webinar: (coming soon)

Lastly, don’t forget to complete the MNVOAD Feedback & Engagement Survey!
If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to complete the MNVOAD Feedback & Engagement Survey! We are tacking projects to enhance our ability to meet the needs of those impacted by disaster, and we need the involvement of our members and partners to do it right! If you haven’t already done so, please take the MNVOAD Feedback & Engagement Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KP2VNFN by Friday, October 10.

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September Events

SeptMNVOAD leadership invites you to share your ideas and talents for the new MNVOAD Initiative Working Groups (Committees). We are tacking projects to enhance our ability to meet the needs of those impacted by disaster, and we need the involvement of our members and partners to do it right!

Please take a few moments to take the MNVOAD Feedback & Engagement Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KP2VNFN by Friday, Sept 12th.

We also have several upcoming training and networking events which we encourage you to take advantage of.

  • MNVOAD Announcements for September 2014
  • September 3, 3 p.m.-FEMA Region V VOAD “Y’all Call”

    Please join us Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 3:00pm CST for the second FEMA Region V VOAD “Y’all Call” where we will discuss best practices and resources for group communication. These stakeholder engagement calls are open to anyone from the “Great Lakes States” interested in hearing or sharing best-practices in voluntary organization coordination or disaster management.
    Topic: VOAD Communication Tools & Practices
    Conference Bridge: 1-800-320-4330
    PIN: 271187

    Sept 13th & Sept 20th-Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Training

    The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) Department is pleased to offer the following training opportunities in September:
    Saturday, September 13th- Introduction to Emergency Disaster Services- YMCA in Burnsville, MN
    September 20th, Saturday-Disaster Food Services: Handling and
    Delivery- YMCA in Burnsville, MN
    Please CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for EDS courses.
    Both courses are required for anyone wishing to volunteer with The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services. Open to anyone who may be interested.

    Sept 18th at 10am-Webinar on Practical Planning Solutions for People with Disabilities – The FEMA Region V Individual Assistance (IA) branch is hosting monthly webinars on various topics related to Emergency Support Function 6 (ESF6 – Mass Care and Emergency Assistance). Mass care and emergency assistance includes emergency sheltering, feeding, housing and human services, among other topics. On September 18th, Jessica Mitchell, Region V’s Disability Integration Specialist, will present on practical solutions to better plan for the needs of people with disabilities or those with access and functional needs. She’ll discuss promising practices from communities throughout the country, as well as resources, including toolkits, that you can use to begin or enhance your planning.

    This call will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 CDT
    Adobe connect link for webinar: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/rvesf6/.
    Conference Bridge: 1-800-320-4330
    PIN: 271187

    September 21-Role-Players needed for Full-Scale Active Assailant Exercise in Burnsville

    Burnsville Police and Fire Departments, Burnsville Center, and Dakota County Sheriff Office and Communication Center, will be conducting a full-scale active threat exercise the evening of September 21st (between 5p and 9p).

    If you are available and willing, please consider volunteering to be a role player (to act as suspects, victims, witnesses, etc.) for this exercise. It is a great opportunity to see how a large full-scale exercise is executed and see firsthand the benefit of the relationships we build with our response partners. Over 150 role players are needed.

    If you are interested please contact Sergeant Jim Iliff with the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office (james.iliff@co.dakota.mn.us) by September 10th.

    September 25-Minnesota Childhood Injury Summit in Vadnais Heights

    This is the state’s annual childhood injury conference, presented by the Minnesota Safety Council, Minnesota Department of Health and Safe Kids Minnesota. Hosting a great roster of speakers addressing a wide array of issues specific to childhood injury prevention, including disaster preparation for rural families with children who have disabilities, experts on cultural competence and communication with kids, etc. Details and registration page are available at http://www.minnesotasafetycouncil.org/safekids/summit/2014/index.cfm.

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