About Us

About Washington VOAD


The Mission of Washington Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WAVOAD) is to bring together Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster within the State of Washington.
Together, these organizations foster more effective service to people affected by disaster through cooperation, coordination, communication and collaboration.
WAVOAD’s Vision Statement is: Leadership – Reliability – Excellence.
The Washington VOAD is the State Chapter of the National VOAD.

The VOAD consists of organizations active in disaster response throughout the state of Washington.

The VOADs role is to bring organizations together and enable them to understand each other and work together during times of disaster preparedness, response, relief and recovery.

The Washington VOAD adhere to the principles established by the National VOAD. 

The principles are referred to as the 4C’s:

  • Cooperation

  • Communication

  • Coordination

  • Collaboration

These principles serve as the foundation for the Washington VOAD as it collaborates with local, regional and national partners to coordinate disaster relief, response and recovery efforts in times of disaster.
WAVOAD is part of a network of similar national, state, and local groups that originated after Hurricane Camille in 1969 because disaster service providers were concerned about duplication of efforts.  In 1970, representatives from these organizations started meeting regularly as National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). 

WAVOAD grew out of the rationale that the best time to train and prepare for disaster response and become acquainted with your disaster response partners is before a disaster happens.

Following a disaster, WAVOAD convenes its members and other agencies to discuss how they will work together cooperatively in the crisis. WAVOAD does not itself deliver services. Instead, its members independently meet relief and recovery needs within the cooperative framework the organization makes possible.

WAVOAD coordinates planning by the many voluntary agencies responding to a disaster so they provide more effective service with less duplication when a disaster strikes.

WAVOAD member organizations work together and serve through:

  • Cooperation – a climate of cooperation at all levels to provide sharing of information

  • Coordination – coordinates policy among member organizations and serves as the state liaison, advocate, and voice to the national VOAD

  • Technical Assistance – provides training to members to increase awareness and preparedness for each organization

  • Mitigation – supports the disaster response efforts of federal, state, and local agencies and government

  • Outreach and Education – encourages the participation of agencies throughout the state, encourages the formation of county VOADs, gives guidance to state and regional volunteer organizations active in disaster response, and supports appropriate legislation

  • Convening – conducts seminars, board meetings, conferences, and training programs.

Who Should be a VOAD member?

  • · Voluntary organizations and faith-based groups engaged in disaster  preparedness and response.
  • · Private sector partners that want to assist communities affected by disaster.
  • · Organizations and community groups with a mission in emergency response.

Services Provided by WAVOAD Members:

  • Management of  spontaneous/unaffiliated volunteers
  • Management of unsolicited donations
  • Debris removal
  • Construction
  • Mass Care (Shelter / Feeding)
  • Animal evacuation and sheltering
  • Food Banks
  • Transportation
  • Communications
  • Long Term Recovery