VOAD LEAD Toolkit & Guidance

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In 2013 alone, the United States has experienced 44 Major Disaster Declarations and 4 Emergency Declarations, affecting over 31 States, Territories, and Tribal Governments.  These incidents include Hurricane Sandy, tornadoes, wildfires, severe storms, flooding, mudslides, and explosions.  With the scope and variety of events that have impacted our country in the past year, coupled with the forecast of threats and hazards in the coming months, it is more important than ever to be as prepared as possible.  The National VOAD community recognizes the importance of ensuring that every State/Territory VOAD is positioned as the lead convener where things get done to support a community’s desire to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. 

National VOAD is pleased to announce the roll out of the VOAD LEAD Program.  LEAD, standing for Leadership, Engagement, And Development, will serve as a resource for State/Territory VOAD leadership to strengthen existing processes and support development of new strategies that support Cooperation, Communication, Coordination, and Collaboration (4Cs).  This program was developed with and will be guided by a Member Work Group.  Key components will include technical assistance, mutual assistance resources, and a Tool Kit with checklists, templates, and sample documents that have been successfully used across the country.  In addition, trainings, discussions, and a professional development series will be hosted through various webinars, YouTube broadcasts, and other media platforms.

The VOAD LEAD Program is intended to serve as a roadmap for success.  The heart of the program is the VOAD LEAD Tool Kit.  The Tool Kit provides structure, resources, and the processes to establish a mutually agreed foundation that is customizable for the VOAD movement.

For VOAD LEAD to be successful and to determine what contents and tools will be most useful to the VOAD community, the expertise and experience of the members of the collective must be actively utilized in the development of this program.  The VOAD LEAD Tool Kit is supported by the VOAD LEAD Work Group consisting of the following individuals: 

  • Jenny Gannaway - Chair, West Virginia VOAD
  • Jay Burdick – Chair, Rhode Island VOAD; National VOAD Board Member
  • Nikki Beneke – Chair, National VOAD Communications Committee
  • Hilary Binder-Aviles – Senior Consultant, Mosaica

The VOAD LEAD Tool Kit includes the following modules and anticipated roll-out dates with a corresponding training schedule:

  1. Governing Documents:  Governing documents are essential to any organization, regardless of the scope andThis module will provide the best examples, templates, and other tools to ensure State/Territory VOAD leadership has every resource possible at their disposal. COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    OCTOBER 2013
  2. Role of the Officers:  It is important for VOAD leadership to have clearly defined and documents roles andEven though VOAD leadership consists mainly of volunteers, it is important that a degree of accountability exists.  This module offers best practices and strategies to effectively structure and define State/Territory VOAD leadership. COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    OCTOBER 2013
  3. Disaster Protocols:  Disaster protocols are fundamental to any strong State/TerritoryEverything from a response plan, continuity of operations plan (COOP), to standardized reporting, disaster protocols are critical to expeditiously and effectively serve a community.  This module will provide examples of the various disaster protocols employed currently throughout the movement as well as other, newly developed protocols for your consideration. COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    JANUARY 2014
  4. Supporting and/or Developing Local/Regional VOADs:  Similar to how National VOAD supports State/Territory VOADs, Local/Regional VOADs often times require assistance and support from the State/TerritoryThis module will highlight strategies to best utilize the 4Cs with your Local/Regional VOADs. COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    APRIL 2014
  5. Committee Development:  Most organizations, and specifically VOADs, are supported byMore times than not, committees are the best way to delegate tasks and to propel the mission of the State/Territory forward.  This module will detail what committees exist within the movement currently and which committees seem to be vital to a VOAD’s success. COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    JULY 2014
  6. National VOAD Collaboration:  National VOAD is not operational, rather, the organization serves to advocate for, consult with, and support the State/TerritoryThis module highlights the ways National VOAD can accomplish the aforementioned services as well as discuss opportunities for mutual engagement. COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    OCTOBER 2014
  7. Relationship Building:  Relationship Building is fundamental to emergencyWithout strong relationships across sectors and across your State/Territory, responding to and recovering from an event may prove to be extremely difficult.  This module addresses how to best cultivate, maintain, and develop new relationships with non-traditional partners such the Department of Public Health, Elected Officials, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Housing Authorities, among many others.  COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    JANUARY 2015
  8. Whole Community Engagement:  The VOAD Movement recognizes that achieving resilience requires whole community involvement in all phases of emergencyWhole community should be recognized, between government, the public sector, the private sector, and the American community.  This module will discuss strategies on how to engage, plan, prepare, and respond to disasters with a whole community approach. COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    JANUARY 2015
  9. Membership:  Membership is central to the response and recovery capacity of a State/TerritoryArguably, the more Members within a VOAD, the more resources and social capital that State/Territory will have to leverage.  This module outlines strategies and provides tools to recruit and retain Membership. COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    APRIL 2015
  10. Meetings and Convenings:  State/Territory VOADs are only as strong as theirConference calls and e-mails only go so far.  This module describes the ways for your leadership to host meetings, seminars, and if desired, conferences as well as the benefit of each. COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    APRIL 2015
  11. Finances:  Finance is the number one challenge for someOthers do not deal with Finance at all, as they do not touch money or in some instances, do not have a Treasurer.  Regardless of the direction your VOAD has taken or is considering taking, this module provides tools and insight into how to best organize, strategize, sustain, and develop your VOAD financially. COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    JULY 2015
  12. Strategic Planning:  This module directly addresses the sustainability and growth of yourSpecifically, this module will highlight various strategies that will ensure success in 1 Year, 5 Year, and 10 Year periods. COMING TO A VOAD NEAR YOU!    OCTOBER 2015

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