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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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, May 16-19.


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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.

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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