National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD, or NVOAD) is a coalition of the major national voluntary organizations in the United States that have made disaster-related work a priority. National VOAD member agencies provide skilled direct services along the continuum from disaster prevention and preparation to response, recovery, and mitigation. NVOAD is the only nationwide organization of VOAD members in the United States.

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
MottoCommunication, Coordination, Collaboration, and Cooperation
HeadquartersWashington, DC
Region served


National VOAD was founded in 1970 in response to the challenges many disaster organizations experienced following Hurricane Camille, which hit the Gulf Coast in August 1969.

Prior to the founding of National VOAD, numerous organizations served disaster victims independently of one another. These included both government and the private, nonprofit sector. As a result, help came to the disaster victim haphazardly as various organizations assisted in specific ways. Unnecessary duplication of effort often occurred, while at the same time, other needs were not met. People who wanted to volunteer to help their neighbors affected by disaster were often frustrated by the variety of organizations in some areas of service and the total lack of opportunities to serve other needs. Further, there was only limited availability of training for potential volunteers. Information for victims on services during disasters was woefully inadequate. Likewise, communication among voluntary disaster agencies was very limited and coordination of services was negligible. In fact, mechanisms for this were non-existent.[1]

The seven founding organizations met on July 15, 1970 in the American Red Cross headquarters to establish a unified response to national disasters, committing to fostering the 4Cs—communication, coordination, collaboration, and cooperation—in order to better serve people impacted by disasters. In attendance were the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Southern Baptist Convention, Mennonite Disaster Service, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, the National Disaster Relief Office of the Roman Catholic Church, and the American Red Cross.[2][3][4] Annual meetings were held from 1971 onward, and National VOAD was established in 1975.

National VOAD is a leader and voice for the nonprofit organizations and volunteers that work in all phases of disaster — preparedness, response, relief, recovery, and mitigation. National VOAD is the primary point of contact for voluntary organization in the National Response Coordination Center (at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters) and is a signatory to the National Response Plan.[5]

Since the initial seven founding organizations convened in 1970, National VOAD's membership has grown to 110 Members total, including 55 National Member organizations and 55 State/Territory Members.

In 2010, FEMA and National VOAD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each other to broaden the communication and coordination between FEMA and National VOAD’s Members.

National membersEdit


  1. ^ "History". Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  2. ^ V. Alex Kehayan. Resiliency in the Face of Disaster and Terrorism. p. 140. ISBN 1-932181-18-0.
  3. ^ "National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster" (PDF). United States Senate. March 1, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 21, 2008.
  4. ^ Mary C. Comerio. Disaster Hits Home. p. 264. ISBN 0-520-20780-7.
  5. ^ "National Response Plan" (PDF). Department of Homeland Security. December 2004.
  6. ^ About Us

External linksEdit