VOAD: Guidelines for Church Representatives

These guidelines address general questions of VOAD specialists appointed to represent the Church with state and local VOAD organizations.

What is VOAD?

Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is a humanitarian association of independent voluntary organizations active in emergency disaster relief. VOAD was founded in 1969 with the purpose of coordinating relief efforts between voluntary agencies, faith-based groups, and government organizations involved in disaster response.

The mission of VOAD is to provide efficient services to all disaster victims and eliminate the duplications of services.

Why does the Church participate in VOAD?

The LDS Church is a voting member of the National VOAD organization and supports the platform and mission of VOAD.  By participating in VOAD, the Church is an official part of the emergency response community in the United States.        

Organizations such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army are active members of VOAD.  Also, many national, state, and local government organizations including Homeland Security and FEMA actively participate in preparation and coordination efforts.  It is important to develop working relationships with other response organizations before an emergency or disaster occurs.


What is a state VOAD?

The National VOAD organization is divided into state chapters.  There is a state VOAD chapter in each of the 50 states. Some of the larger states have more than one chapter. Most state VOAD chapters meet on a monthly basis to discuss preparation and coordination efforts. The assigned VOAD specialist is encouraged to attend the monthly VOAD meetings. Information on each state chapter can be found at the National VOAD Web site: www.nvoad.org.

Duties of the VOAD specialist

The assigned VOAD specialist should be an active member of his state’s VOAD chapter by doing the following:

  • Attend monthly meetings
  • Pay dues if necessary (please contact area welfare manager for more information)
  • Participate in conference calls before and after disasters
  • Offer Church assistance when appropriate

What can the Church Provide?

Under the direction of the affected area the area welfare manager and the VOAD specialist may request the following assistance:

  • Volunteer labor
  • Food and water
  • Blankets
  • Basic medical supplies
  • Cleaning kits
  • Hygiene kits
  • Crisis counseling and emotional support from LDS Family Services
  • Temporary shelter
  • Cash assistance to support local relief organizations (please contact your area welfare manager for more information)

Other Useful Links:

FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons and Donations Specialists