Minnesota 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.
September 29th, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink
MNVOAD Announcements for October 2014
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#
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
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.
REGISTER HERE: 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?
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 2nd, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink
MNVOAD 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.
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
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
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 (email@example.com) 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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
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.
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
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,
Wadena County Sheriff’s Office
Emergency Management Director
June 24th, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink
MINNESOTA FLOODS OF 2014
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:
Ruth Talford, MNVOAD President
June 3rd, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink
Hello MNVOAD members!
Thank you so very much to all who participated in our MNVOAD Disaster Simulation and General Meeting on May 22nd. We learned a lot from each other and we were thrilled to see such a wide array of members and partners at the table and on the call. There was a lot of great information shared, so if you missed the meeting or just need a recap of the opportunity details please read the posted meeting minutes!
We would love to hear your feedback on this event, and to give you an opportunity to share your thoughts/ideas for our MNVOAD Goals and Initiatives moving forward. The MNVOAD Board is about to have a strategic planning session on how to best meet the needs of our organization, so input from our members and partners would be greatly appreciated! Whether or not you participating in our last meeting, please take a few moments to think about the questions posed in this survey, and submit your responses by Friday, June 6th.
Click here to take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FJRBS8P
Thank you and have a wonderful day!
May 5th, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink
We are pleased to announce that our next MNVOAD General Membership meeting will be held on Thursday, May 22, 2014, from 6-8 p.m.
It will be hosted from the American Red Cross Office,1201 W River Parkway, Minneapolis with WebEx video teleconferencing available for our out-state members.
For online document access and video feed go to: https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/meetings/view?uuid=M5DUFML8YVH5SEQ9JGNI1QJRIY-4O4&ucs=email and click “Join Meeting”.
Teleconference call-in number: (888) 742-5095,
In order to prepare for large disasters that may occur in our own state, we will open the meeting by simulating a MNVOAD disaster coordination call; providing our members an opportunity to practice sharing operational information and coordinating agency resources to meet community needs for a hypothetical disaster scenario! This will be followed by a simulation debrief with lessons learned, and then transition into our program and member agency updates. We are excited for this opportunity to learn and connect with our membership, so we hope you will join us!
Please also mark your calendars for the following MNVOAD General Membership meetings:
• Thursday, August 21, 2014, 6-8 p.m., at Salvation Army Office,
2445 Prior Ave N, Roseville, MN.
• Thursday, November 20, 2014, 6-8 p.m. Location TBD
These meetings are open to all of our valued members and partners!
April 24th, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink
Thank you to all those who joined us at our 2014 Annual Minnesota VOAD Conference on Saturday, March 22nd 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!
And thanks to the very generous financial support we received from Minnesota Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HSEM), Ramsey County Emergency Management & Homeland Security, the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Association (MEMA), and the Association of Minnesota Emergency Managers (AMEM), we were able to keep our costs low and even offer free admission to dozens of MNVOAD member volunteers.
During the conference, we also held our General MNVOAD Membership meeting, at which Dan Hoeft from NECHAMA, last year’s North Star Award winner, presented this year’s award to Red Cross volunteer, Mike Hofmann. As the start of a new term, we welcomed several new officers to the MNVOAD Board:
- President – Ruth Talford from American Red Cross (ARC)
- Vice President – Nancy Beers from Lutheran Social Services (LSS)
- Secretary – Dan Christopulos from International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
- Webmaster – Liza Brazelton from MN Animal Disaster Coalition (MN ADC)
- Co-Treasurer – Cheryl Vennerstrom from Headwaters Relief Organization (joining Heather Winkleblack from ARC and Garrett Alessandroni from Salvation Army
We celebrated the MNVOAD accomplishments of the past year, (such as the release of our statewide Long Term Recovery Manual) and thanked our outgoing President, Charlie O’Brien, and interim Vice-President, Cherryl Vennerstrom, for their service. Plus, many of our member volunteers received cool raffle prizes!
This conference wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of our conference committee members and the support of our wonderful sponsors and donors. THANK YOU!!!
Very soon, we will start planning for next year’s MNVOAD conference (your ideas and talents would be welcome for thisJ ). Please keep an eye out for details, and in the meantime, check out the 2014 conference photos submitted by your peers on our Facebook page!
March 2nd, 2014 § Comments Off § permalink
At last! Sorry for the wait but we had some last minute program changes and unexpected generosity in sponsorships that caused us to have to make some changes and additions for this years conference registration.
Date: The conference is Saturday, March 22nd 2014, the full schedule is in the 2014 Presentations section under conference schedule matrix.
We have an excellent program scheduled, you can see each individual session description and the full day schedule by going to the “2014 Conference Presentations” page of this website and clicking on each one. You will find that page in the list along the left side of this page.
We again have 2 general sessions, 15 breakout sessions, and the annual meeting/election/North Star Award presentation.
Several of this years breakout topics are two session presentations, don’t miss the second part by accident!
The cost of the conference is still low, including snacks and lunch for $25.00!
The conference will once again be held at Hennepin Technical College; 13100 College View Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55347.
We are also pleased to announce that we have 60 individual scholarships available for individual CERT or VOAD conference attendees, I will talk more about that below!
Registration: This year we are streamlining registration; you do not need to “pick” each session you will attend, they are all open but the PC based training lab seats 36 maximum. You will receive a copy of the schedule matrix when you check in at the conference. Use the link below to register for the conference via SurveyMonkey:
Scholarships: As I mentioned above we have been blessed to receive generous sponsorships from several agencies for this years conference (we will name them in the opening session). We have 60 individual attendee scholarships available for this years conference to cover the registration fee. An e-mail will be sent to the MNVOAD Official Representatives and the CERTleadersMN CERT Program Managers asking them to submit two names directly to our Registration Coordinator and our Treasurer. If you have need of a scholarship speak to your VOAD or CERT Leader so they can contact us!
Payment: For those of you registering without a scholarship a PayPal link has been provided below or you may pay with cash or check, no credit cards please, at registration.
I look forward to seeing you all at the MNVOAD 2014 Conference! Don’t forget to share this information with your fellow VOAD and CERT members!