State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) representatives are called as area welfare specialists under the direction of the seven Presidents of the Seventy to represent the Church on state VOAD committees. In disaster preparation and response, they represent the Church to the community (governmental, nongovernmental, and private organizations), and they also represent the community to the Church. They establish relationships with representatives of the Church and representatives of community organizations, serve as a training resource to the stakes, identify resources, and help coordinate the Church’s response to disaster events. While the state VOAD representative does not have direct authority over any group, the position is one of far-reaching influence.
The following are suggested duties that you can perform as a state VOAD representative.
1. Represent the Church on the state VOAD committee
a. Inform the VOAD committee of resources that the Church can offer during a disaster.
b. Be aware of resources provided by other participating agencies.
c. Participate in committee activities or on subcommittees, according to your availability and interests.
d. Pay required dues for participation (you will be reimbursed for these payments).
2. Support state disaster preparedness, response, and recovery through the state VOAD network
a. Coordinate with offices of emergency management (OEMs) and other VOAD members in emergency-related activities.
b. Support community preparedness outreach activities.
c. Serve as the Church’s state point of contact for FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons (VALs).
d. Participate in local Citizens Corps council meetings and events.
e. Help establish Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs), according to your availability and interests.
f. Participate in long-term recovery groups.
3. Inform Area Seventies and stake presidencies of your role
a. Learn about your role and the Church’s emergency response activities by reading the Area Emergency Preparedness and Response Guide.
b. Introduce yourself to Area Seventies who preside over coordinating councils in your state, and inform them of your role.
c. Upon invitation from the Area Seventy, attend coordinating council meetings so that you can introduce yourself and describe how you can assist participating stake presidents.
4. Review with the Area Seventies the opportunity for Church participation on regional and community VOAD committees (sometimes referred to as COADs)
a. As directed, inform local stake presidents of COAD committees and encourage them to call a stake welfare specialist specifically assigned to the COAD to serve as the Church representative on the committee.
b. Maintain contact and coordinate activities with Church COAD representatives.
5. Provide local priesthood leaders with preparedness assistance, disaster forecasts, and damage reports, and inform them of VOAD partner resources and needs
a. Assist stake presidents, as requested, in the development of their stake emergency response plans.
b. Obtain state-generated disaster forecasts and disaster damage reports following disaster events, and disseminate them to potentially affected stake presidents and their corresponding Area Seventies.
c. Coordinate with the area welfare manager (AWM) to obtain and disseminate member damage reports obtained from stake presidents in affected areas.
d. Maintain contact with VOAD partners, and inform leaders of their needs and resources.
6. Help coordinate the Church’s response to disaster events
a. Participate in VOAD and Church conference calls before and after disasters.
b. Provide updates on response activities to stake presidents in affected areas, stake presidents who are assisting those in affected areas, and the AWM.
c. Assist with the collection of the Volunteer Hours Report as requested by priesthood leaders.
d. Assist with development of a Lessons Learned document after response activities.
7. Offer Church assistance to the community as approved by priesthood leadership
a. Coordinate Church assistance activities with other VOAD partner activities.
b. Report to stake presidents any issues that surface as response activities are conducted.
8. Inform stake presidents of long-term recovery resources and volunteer recovery opportunities
a. Once the immediate effects of the disaster are addressed, inform stake presidents in affected areas of FEMA and state disaster assistance resources to help affected members.
b. As you become aware of volunteer opportunities to help with recovery efforts, inform stake presidents so that interested Church members and member groups can provide service.
Additional Training Resources
Course IS-100.b – Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS-100
Course IS-230.d – Fundamentals of Emergency Management
Course IS-244.b – Developing and Managing Volunteers
Course IS-700.a – National Incident Command System (NIMS), An Introduction
Course IS-800.b – National Response Framework, An Introduction
Course IS-806 – Emergency Support Function (ESF) #6, Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing, and Human Services
Disaster Services: An Overview
Mass Care: An Overview