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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October Notes

DSC_0007The last hike for the year may not have ended and there’s many more to enjoy. Despite that, September had been a busy month for MNVOAD.

Here are a few items to note.


MNVOAD General Membership Meeting on September 24
We learned tricks to improve visibility on social media and were introduced to Team Rubicon, then member agencies shared updates and training opportunities, and discussed progress on several MNVOAD initiatives.  Minutes are available  for viewing in our Meetings page

Our next General Membership Meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6:00 pm on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 in St. Paul (Hosting offers welcome!)

MNVOAD membership outreach:
Through the month of October, the MNVOAD Membership Committee will be contacting each of our listed member agencies to:
o    Verify official contact information
o    Follow up on any outstanding 2015 membership dues
o    Solicit feedback on MNVOAD activities and engagement

Member Agency Status:
If there has been a recent change in agency contact info or if you have questions for the committee, please email Marie Putnam, mlputnam@peoplepc.com

If you know that your agency’s $75 MNVOAD membership dues has not yet been paid for 2015, you can pay through PayPal through our Members page http://www.mnvoad.org/members-2/ or send a check to: MN VOAD, PO Box 130261, Roseville, MN 55113-0003


NVOAD Bi-Weekly Operations Call:
Attention Members and Partners responding or interested in responding shared unmet needs and available resources for response and recovery to the following: Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Typhoon Soudelor and Tropical Storm Goni , Western Wildfires – WA, OR, CA, ID, MT. Our next call will be held on
Thursday, October 8 at 3 p.m., EDT, 
Conference line for  call: 877-262-0083 no pin
To share on the call, please use the link to RSVP: http://www.nvoad.org/rsvp-form/.
Click HERE for the notes from the September 24 call. For those unable to join the call, please post your updates on Yammer/VOADNet at yammer.com/nvoad.org.                       To make this call as productive as possible and foster collaboration, please report out the following: Overview of current operations in relation to timely and relevant event
– Resources available
– Unmet needs

National Disaster Interfaiths Network- FREE TOOLS & RESOURCES: Click here for links to dozens of disaster tip sheets and emergency planning resources intended for religious leaders and community organizations, but with potential value for all VOADs: http://www.n-din.org/ndin_net/2015/09_21_2015.html

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September Notes

sept sun

Where did Summer go? Before you answer the question, please check out the important date below.

DATE & TIME:  September 24, General Membership meeting, 6 p.m

FOCUS:              Training on social media by Julie Anderson from HSEM

WHERE:            St. Mary Greek Orthodox Church, 3450 Irving Ave So, Minneapolis

Important for all the PIOs in your organization.

For other training information, check out the training page. Partner events are also posted on this page.

Volunteers needed for the Headwaters Relief Disaster Dash on Saturday, September 19, 2015.More information on the Training page.


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August Notes

Dog Days of summer

We hope you are enjoying the last of this beautiful summer. This has been a very active summer in relation to our response to weather events and long term recovery is going to be the focus. Thank you to all those hard working volunteers from so many agencies who responded to the needs of the communities affected by the July storms. For more of the ongoing efforts check the Brainerd Long Term Recovery press release and  stories on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MNVOAD.

Our special project committees are taking shape. Thank you to all those who have volunteered to serve either committees to  help advance initiatives in MNVOAD or help in presenting a fantastic  national conference in May next year. There are still needs to be filled and if you want to help, please take this survey and let us know what your interests are. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8DH7YRH

We have MNVOAD BOARD OPENINGS! Due to recent board members change over, we have openings that still need to be filled. Please contact Tom Anderson Tomandkaty@mac.com if you have any questions or if you would like to nominate someone or yourself for the positions.

Check out current training and partner events here August Training or at our TRAINING page.

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July Notes

Fireworks, cookouts and family is beckoning us all to celebrate Independence Day holiday weekend. Before you go, take a moment to see some wonderful things happening with MNVOAD and exciting things for you to participate throughout July and August.



MNVOAD General Membership Meeting was held on June 25. Member agencies shared updates and training opportunities and discussed several MNVOAD initiatives for the coming year.  For full discussion see general membership minutes at Meetings page. We encourage all agencies to participate in the following committees. Contact the chairperson as listed.
o    NVOAD Conference Host Committee – Judy Rue (kb0tdk@visi.com or 763-427-0822
     Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis, May 22-26, 2016.  
o    Membership Committee – Marie Putnam (mlputnam@peoplepc.com)
o  Communications Committee – Liza Brazelton (lizasmf@gmail.com)  
o    Policies and Procedures Committee – Dan Christopulos (Dchristopulos@iocc.org)
o    Nominating Committee – Tom Anderson (Tomandkaty@mac.com)
o     Finance Committee – Cheryl Vennestrom (cherylv@orionassoc.net)

Rev. David Myers Visit-Friday, July 17, 2015.
Rev. Myers, is the Director of the DHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships and a Senior Advisor to FEMA Administrator Fugate. He’s coming to Minnesota as part of a series of trips to strong state VOADs to identify great initiatives and to understand challenges that FEMA and the Center may be able to assist with. If your agency would like to have a representative in this discussion, please email me, ruth.talford@redcross.org by July 12.

MNVOAD Board Openings
Due to personal reasons two of our Board members, Charlie O’Brian and Ed Povlinski, have taken leave from the MNVOAD board. We welcome any nominations for new candidates for a special fall election. Please submit questions or nominations to Tom Anderson (Tomandkaty@mac.com).

Please check our Training page for upcoming trainings and webinars.

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More Training

DSC_0236BEFORE summer kicks in, take a moment to check out some new training and webinars from FEMA. For more information, please go to our Training page.

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2016 National VOAD Conference in Minneapolis!

2016 National 1It’s official, the hat was passed.

MNVOAD  will be hosting the 2016 NATIONAL VOAD CONFERENCE in Minneapolis.

The conference is at the Hyatt Regency, May  22-26, 2016.


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May Notes

As we look forward to the warming of Spring in May, it is all but filled with a lot of activity and important events. Weather wise, we’ve seen tornados in Oklahoma and flash floods in Texas. Globally, we see the devastation of earthquakes in Nepal and earthquakes in Japan.

tornado1However, we want to draw your attention to some important training that will help you as serve your communities in disaster events. We hope you will take advantage of these opportunities shared with us by our members and partners.

Points of Light is offering two free online opportunities to help your organizations, agencies, and volunteers better prepare themselves to respond to disasters of any size.

  • Management of Spontaneous, Unaffiliated Volunteers Training
    In partnership with Volunteer Florida
    May 29, 2015, 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET                                                                                               
    To register go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2115062714599927041
  • Operation Volunteer Placement: A Volunteer Reception Center Exercise
    June 16, 2015.                                                                                                                             For additional information and to register, visit: www.drc-group.com/project/vrc.html

Coming up fairly soon on May 14, 2015 is a series of webinar provided by the
ADA National Network/FEMA Webinar Series through the Pacific ADA Center Emergency Management and Preparedness-Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities ada

Webinar Series: “FEMA Promising Practices: Closing Gaps in Local Emergency Plans and Grassroots Emergency Planning”

Times: 2.30 p.m. ET/1.30 p.m. CT/12.30 p.m. MT/11.30 a.m. PT/9.80 a.m. Hawaii

Registration: Free on-line at http://www.adapresentations.org/registration.php

Last but not least, check out the various topics represented at the:

2015 Disaster Behavioral Health Conference

Footprint of Disasters: Retracing Our Steps

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Earle Brown Heritage Center

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

       Registration fee April 16 – May 22: $75.00

Late Registration fee May 23 – May 28: $85.00

Register on line – easy process for group or individual: http://www.metrohealthready.org/training/footprint2015/

For detailed information on all of these opportunities, please go to TRAINING.


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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.

Date TBD (approx. May 22-27), 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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