Welcome to Minnesota VOAD

March 5th, 2010 § Comments Off § permalink

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.

» More about MNVOAD «

February 27th, 2015 § Comments Off § permalink


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



February Notes

February 1st, 2015 § Comments Off § permalink



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.



2015 MNVOAD Training Conference Saturday March 28, 2015

January 13th, 2015 § Comments Off § permalink


2015 MNVOAD Conference Announcement

2015 MNVOAD Conference Schedule







December Notes

December 11th, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink

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

November Notes

November 19th, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink

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

October Notes

September 29th, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink


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.

September Events

September 2nd, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink

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.

    Learning and Engagement Opportunities in August.

    August 6th, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink


    • August 6
    Disaster Assistance Resources for Individuals Webinar- August 6
    FEMA is hosting this free webinar on August 6, 2014 1:00 p.m. (local time) to provide a better understanding of the disaster assistance resources that are available for individuals during a federally declared disaster; explaining processes and best practices. To join the webinar, go to: https://icpd.adobeconnect.com/individualassistance (NOTE: sign in as a guest. Be sure to test your Adobe Connect connection prior to the meeting by clicking here.)

    • August 12 and August 13
    MNVOAD Exercise – Operation Raging River
    MNVOAD is participating in the “Operation Raging River” exercise, simulating a dirty bomb response in the Twin Cities. Please watch for EXERCISE emails on August 12 for simulated MNVOAD response details and collaboration call info.

    • August 12
    Children in Disasters Webinar – August 12
    Church World Service is hosting a free webinar on Children in Disasters on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 1:00-2L15 p.m. local time.
    Online registration: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/440588202
    If you have questions, contact Susanne Gilmore, CWS Emergency Response Specialist, at 78578237823 or sgilmore@cwsglobal.org

    • August 21
    MNVOAD General Membership Meeting – August 21
    MNVOAD General Membership meeting will be held on Thursday, August 21, at 6-8p.m.
    Location: Hosted by The Salvation Army – Northern Divisional Headquarters Office (2446 Prior Avenue, Roseville, MN 55113)
    WebEx video teleconferencing available for out-state members

    • August 22 – September 20
    Ham Radio Technician class August 22 – September 20.
    Disaster Response Communications will hold their next Ham Radio Technician class August 22 – September 20 at Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington. This class prepares the student to pass the Amateur Radio Technician License exam.
    To register online go to http://drcomm.org/ and click events.
    To register by phone call 952 224-2040

    Thank You

    August 1st, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink


    Summer is here and we’ve sunk into the routines of summer. Sun, fun, the outdoors, family picnics and scenes of happiness and tranquility have been captured in our smartphones. Behind these scenes have been dedicated volunteers who have helped those in situations not so peaceful and happy just months earlier. Scenes that are no longer the news story of the day but people have been grateful for the help to get back on their feet.

    Much thanks go to Dennis Walter, State HSEM and Ruth Talford, MNVOAD President, for coordinating conference calls every day, every week to check the progress and see what the needs are. But time is a healer of all things. Wadena, Prior Lake, and Delano, some of the areas flooded have now entered into the phase of long term recovery. We want to thank all the volunteers for their efforts. This, however, is the best yet that speaks to all of you.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Walter, Dennis
    To: Luke Manderschied
    Subject: RE: MN VOAD call

    Thank you Luke for your kind words. We’ve always felt that our MNVOAD and the agencies that it represents was one of the best in the nation and I’m proud to say that you were able to see why. Their members know their stuff, are truly committed to the concept of working with each other and with government emergency management partners and, as you have mentioned, treat their clients like members of their own family, because they are…We’re all Minnesotans and we get by, “with a little help from our friends.”

    We are fortunate to have them as our friends. Thanks to you and to City of Wadena officials as well for your participation in the coordination calls in support of their efforts. Together, we were able to serve affected Wadena residents in the most effective manner possible.

    Dennis E. Walter
    Volunteer Resource Coordinator
    Minnesota Homeland Security and
    Emergency Management
    —–Original Message—–
    From: Luke Manderschied
    To: Walter, Dennis
    Subject: MN VOAD call


    I will not be able to make the Wednesday VOAD call due to a meeting that I have to be at, but I would like to extend my thanks to the organizations that helped us out during the flood. From the time I made the call to the Red Cross for feeding assistance thru the volunteer day on Monday I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work with. When I made the call to the Red Cross I was out of town at a family event, and when I asked the staff that were working to control the flood what they needed they told me “food and less water”. I passed this information along to the Red Cross and they respond with this minimal information. From the time Terry from the Red Cross arrived he was looking at what we needed, and was making the proper connections to make sure that the staff and citizens got the services they needed, and then took very good care of everyone involved.

    Nechama and Catholic United provide excellent service to everyone. I saw both of these organizations have multiple contacts with the citizens of Wadena, and could tell that they really cared about what they were doing. They treated each person as if they were a member of their own family. They did whatever was requested of them, no questions asked. They made sure that everyone’s needs were meet even if they didn’t have the proper equipment by contacting VOAD. I was very impressed with how Mr. Swaisgoods needs were passed on to VOAD to make sure the proper organizations were put in contact with him.

    The volunteers from the Church of LDS did an excellent job. Our volunteer day wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without them. They were the majority of our volunteers.

    I would like to thank VOAD and the organizations that responded to Wadena. As a new emergency manager I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to have helped with this disaster. These organizations and any VOAD organizations will always be welcome in Wadena County. Next time I hope they are just stopping by to say “Hi!” and not responding to a disaster.

    Again I would like to thank everyone for their help,

    Luke Manderschied
    Wadena County Sheriff’s Office
    Emergency Management Director

    MN Floods of 2014

    June 24th, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink


    While we are thankful that the weather has improved and storms are abated, we know that many communities have been impacted by floods from heavy rains this summer.

    Cleanup and recovery has begun but vulnerable residents impacted by the floods will require help and support for some time to come. The Salvation Army has been providing food for volunteers and residents who are at risk. The Salvation Army in collaboration with American Red Cross, are sending cleanup kits to aid in the recovery. The cleanup kits are a popular item and in great demand. There are numerous private organizations, many of them members and partners of MNVOAD, who are providing cleanup assistance, cleanup supplies and volunteers to support communities in their recovery.

    These events are managed by local emergency managers and representatives from the state HSEM.The quick response and aid to these communities is a testament to the strong relationships and collaboration that are in place between government and non-government agencies. MNVOAD and representatives from the state have been hosting daily conference calls to ensure that coordination is maintained between voluntary organizations, the state and emergency managers in the impacted jurisdictions. Call in information and notes are available by contacting Dennis Walter, at Dennis.Walter@state.mn.us.

    We want to encourage any resident or any community affected by the floods in need of help and support, to call 211 United Way for information on recovery resources available in their area.

    Any organizations looking to support relief and recovery efforts in Minnesota are strongly encouraged to contact either Dennis Walter or Ruth Talford before taking action:

    Dennis Walter, Volunteer Resource Coordinator, Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
    (651) 201-7442 (Office), (651) 295-7720 (Cell) flood1

    Ruth Talford, MNVOAD President