MOU sample for Non Declared Disasters



Memorandum of Understanding




Ohio Voluntary Organizations

Active in Disaster (Ohio VOAD)
















Memorandum of Understanding Between Ohio Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Ohio VOAD)



I.  Purpose


The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") is to define the working relationship between Ohio Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (hereinafter "Ohio VOAD") and the ____________________ (hereinafter “___________”), in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters. This MOU provides the broad framework for cooperation and support between the Ohio VOAD and the ______________ in assisting individuals, families, and communities who have been impacted by disaster. It also provides the descriptions of readiness and response activities, such as planning, training, exercising, and resourcing, and the clarification of roles and responsibilities of the Ohio VOAD and the _______________ to the community and other agencies.


II.  Organization Descriptions and Authorities


Ohio VOAD seeks to facilitate the availability of needed services and to encourage uniform, impartial provision of these services. Ohio VOAD, as a state chapter of National VOAD, is activated at the request of a county Emergency Management Agency or when the Ohio EMA designates a Crisis Action System (CAS) II.


Ohio VOAD consists of faith-based, nonprofit, and non-profit eligible organizations active in disaster response and recovery of all types throughout the State of Ohio. The Ohio VOADs role is to bring it member organizations together with state and local EMA personnel and enable them to understand each other and work together during the four phases of Emergency Management: mitigation preparedness, response, and recovery. Ohio VOAD adheres to the principles established by the National VOAD.  The principles are referred to as the 4C's: cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration. These principles serve as the foundation for the Ohio VOAD as it collaborates with local, regional, and national partners to coordinate disaster relief, response, and recovery efforts in times of disaster. The purpose of Ohio VOAD is to help coordinate voluntary organizations active in disaster response to foster more effective response to the people of Miami County in times of disaster.

Description of EMAs – Authority is ORC 5502.26.


III. Cooperative Actions


While working cooperatively, each party will maintain its own identity, policies, procedures, standard operating guidelines, and financing.  Each party will assume liability and medical costs for its personnel.


Ohio VOAD recognizes the authority assigned to emergency management officials of __________ County and will share operating plans, priorities, and objectives with the delegated emergency management staff.


The _______ County EMA recognizes that Ohio VOAD has partner organizations with specialized abilities in assisting communities during and after domestic disasters, and, when activated, authorizes and will support and coordinate with Ohio VOAD in the execution of these duties.


Ohio VOAD and the __________County EMA will coordinate their respective disaster cycle activities to maximize services to the community and avoid duplication of efforts in the following ways:


1.           Explore ways to align business and operational processes and programs across the disaster cycle in an effort to make a more seamless disaster                         preparedness, response, and recovery experience for residents of the jurisdiction.


2.           Maintain close coordination, liaison, and support at all levels with conferences, meetings, and other means of communication. Include a representative                 of the other party in appropriate committees, planning groups and task forces formed to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other                 emergencies.


3.           Develop joint standard operating procedures for notification of disaster and emergency situations.


4.           Work together to develop plans and to secure resources to facilitate delivery of services to people with disabilities and/or functional and access needs                 before, during, and/or after a disaster.


5.           Make training, educational, and other developmental opportunities available to the other party’s personnel and explore joint training and exercises.                       Encourage all staff and volunteers to engage in training (e.g. ICS 300 and 400), exercises, and disaster response activities, as appropriate.


6.           During the times of disaster and readiness, keep the public informed of the parties’ cooperative efforts through the public information officers of Ohio VOAD and __________ County EMA.      


7.           During disasters and emergencies, keep each other informed of the human needs created by the events and the services they are providing.  Throughout the disaster cycle, share current data regarding disasters, to include risk and hazard impact analysis, statistical information, social media verifications, historical information, emerging needs and trends, damage assessments, disaster declarations, and service delivery plans.


8.           During a disaster or emergency situation Ohio VOAD will, at the request of the ______ County EMA, provide liaison personnel to the ______ County EMA Emergency Operation Center and any jurisdictional Emergency Operation Center(s) during a disaster. The ______ County EMA will provide facility access and identification, work space and, whenever possible, other required support, such as a computer, e-mail access, and a designated phone line for Ohio VOAD liaison personnel assigned to the Emergency Operations Center.


9.           Actively participate in reviewing and carrying out responsibilities outlined in the state, tribal, and/or county and local emergency operations plans.


10.       Advocate for programs and public policy/decisions, when appropriate, designed to mitigate disaster damage and loss of life in ______ County.


11.       Actively seek to determine other areas, projects, and services within the scope of Ohio VOAD and the ______ County EMA where cooperation and                       support will be mutually beneficial with jointly defined goals and objectives.


12.       Both parties agree not to use or display any trademarks of the other without first receiving the express written permission of the other party to do so.                   However, the use of the trademarks of the other party is permitted for internal meeting notes and plans that are not publicly distributed and used during               the normal course of business related to the purpose of this MOU.  If either party desires to use the intellectual property of the other, the “requesting                   party” should submit the proposed promotional/marketing materials, press releases, website displays, or other proposed use of the trademarks to the                “owning party” for review in advance of dissemination or publication.


13.       Allow the use of each other’s facilities or its partners facilities, as available and if agreed upon in writing, for the purpose of preparedness training,                       meetings and response, and recovery activities. 


14.       Work together to use volunteer hours and donated resources to offset the non-federal cost share, in accordance with FEMA Recovery Policy 9525.2,                   when feasible and appropriate.


15.       Widely distribute this MOU within Ohio VOAD and the ______ County EMA support agencies and/or organizations and urge full cooperation.



Examples of additional Cooperative Actions (as applicable):


·        Ohio VOAD will support the ______ County EMA in integrating the efforts of the NGOs its member organizations that provide disaster relief services during                 response operations.


·        Ohio VOAD will assist in the State response to emergencies and disasters with responsibilities in support of ESF 6, 7, and other pertinent ESF provisions.


·        Jointly develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) that standardize recurring tasks and responsibilities for each emergency support function (ESF) Ohio             VOAD is identified in as a support agency within the ______ County EMA Emergency Operations Plan.



IV.     Periodic Review


The parties will, on an annual basis, on or around the anniversary date of this MOU, jointly evaluate their progress in implementing this MOU, and revise and develop new plans or goals, as appropriate.  Both parties shall notify the other if primary points of contact change.



V.      Term and Termination.


This MOU is effective as of________.  It expires on _________. Six months prior to expiration, the parties will meet to review the progress and success of the cooperative effort. In connection with such review, the parties may decide to extend this MOU for an additional period not exceeding five years, and if so shall confirm this in a signed writing. This MOU may be terminated by written notification from either party to the other at any time and for any reason or for no reason.



VI.     Miscellaneous


This MOU does not create a partnership or a joint venture and does not create any financial commitments from one party to the other. Neither party has the authority to bind the other to any obligation. It is not intended that this MOU be enforceable as a matter of law in any court or dispute resolution forum. The sole remedy for non-performance under this MOU shall be termination, with no damages or penalty.


Entering into this memorandum of understanding does not preclude either party from entering into similar agreements with other parties and does not affect other agreements already in place.



Signature page follows:


EMA/County Representatives:



By: ______________________________   



Name &Title: _______________________________________



By: ______________________________   



Name &Title: _______________________________________



Ohio VOAD:



By: ______________________________   



Name &Title:   Erin Cordle, President






Ohio VOAD is the forum where organizations share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle—preparation, response, and recovery—to help disaster survivors and their communities.   It is affiliated with the National VOAD. 


The 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.  Before this, numerous organizations (both government and private) served disaster victims independently of one another. As a result, help came to the disaster victim haphazardly.  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 training for potential volunteers.


Information for victims on available 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.  Today, National VOAD and its state organizations provide leadership and voices for the nonprofit organizations and volunteers that work in all phases of disaster—preparedness, response, relief, recovery, and mitigation.


The Ohio VOAD was created in 1991 and officially established its bylaws in 1993.  The Ohio VOAD was created to foster a more effective response among volunteer organizations to disasters within Ohio. Ohio VOAD took the opportunity to prove how effective it could be during the 1997-1998 flood emergencies coordinating almost 30 other volunteer organizations throughout the state.  Ohio VOAD personnel toiled extended hours throughout the emergency in order to provide a broad range of services to disaster victims.  Included in these services were meals, drinking water, childcare, clothing, cleaning assistance and supplies, referrals to other type of assistance, counseling and rebuilding services.  The involvement of Ohio VOAD made a difference in the lives of thousands of people.


Ohio VOAD is a state-level counterpart to the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.  Its member organizations meet regularly to coordinate, cooperate, communicate, and collaborate about matters of mutual interest with regards to disaster preparedness and response.  The Ohio VOAD has a work station in the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The governor’s staff work along side the Ohio VOAD in the state EOC.  Ohio VOAD works in full partnership with government and private industry.


Ohio Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (OH VOAD) Mission Statement:  To bring together voluntary organizations active in disaster services and foster effective response to the people of Ohio in time of disaster through:


v  Cooperation:  Through interdependence between/among Ohio VOAD members, to generate resources and share information in response to disaster challenges.   Sharing the capacities, resources, and abilities of each organization to respond to disaster – updating and maintaining that understanding.  Working in concert with all members before, during, and after the disaster.


v  Communication:  Through quarterly meetings and networking among our member organizations to maintain open and on-going information sharing through: 

§  Internet email

§  An active website

§  Conference calls

§  Publication of minutes, training manuals, and disaster assessment and response reports

§  Schedules meeting


v  Coordination:  Through commitments to effective responses to disaster survivors by matching services to their unmet needs with:

§  Advanced planning of the disaster response process

§  Preparation of disaster response resources – knowing who has what and where

§  Equipping the membership to operate in a coordinated process at the point of a disaster


v  Collaboration:  Through working with the Ohio & county EMAs, FEMA, and other organizations to respond to specific disasters. Types of Services Provided

§  Preparedness and/or mitigation

§  Mass care

§  Emergency assistance and casework

§  Emotional and/or spiritual care

§  Recovery

§  Donations management

§  Volunteer management

§  Outreach and/or information and referral

§  Animals and pets services


Ohio Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (OH VOAD) – Our Values

v  Our commitment to provide care and compassion for all people. 

v  Our coordinated, inclusive approach that provides the basis for a nurturing environment in which disaster response agencies will flourish.

v  Our quest for excellence by encouraging best practices and mutual accountability in operational synergy.  

v  Our work being accomplished in a respectful, non-judgmental, and non-discriminatory manner.

v  Our networking efforts focus on building trust, mutual respect, and equal partnerships of community service providers.  

v  Our desire is to provide hope, make a difference, and offer opportunities for true collaboration that are the true lifeblood and soul of the organization.

v  Our agreement to adhere to the National VOAD standards of conduct and service delivery.


Ohio VOAD is there – before a disaster!  Survival and quick recovery from a disaster depends on education and planning BEFORE the disaster.  Ohio VOAD provides education and networking opportunities for member organizations and the general public through quarterly meetings and on-going regional training.


Preparedness includes activities that seek to prevent casualties, expedite response activities, and minimize property damage.  Most of our organizations require a level of training to be sure their volunteers are qualified to supply the services being offered. 


Early in the response phase, we rely on our established teams to respond – we add volunteers as the response develops. The presence of untrained volunteers can present coordination challenges and even endanger the volunteer or others.

There are two phases to response:  emergency and relief.


Emergency Response:  First responders in the emergency phase will be local fire and police departments, and search and rescue teams but others who may initially respond include family, neighbors, churches and community-based organizations. The emergency response is characterized by activities focusing on the preservation of life and property. This is usually a very dangerous environment.


Ohio VOAD is there – after a disaster

§  15% of disasters are handled by first responders (local police and fire, Red Cross, utility companies, etc.)

§  85% of disasters are handled by volunteers!

§  Early response ends when disaster area’s safety has been restored and access is open to the areas impacted!

§  Ohio VOAD responds through long-term recovery groups (LTRG)!!!!!


Relief Response:  Requires an organized community effort.  Basic human needs include medical services and the provision of food, clothing and temporary shelter.  Basic cleanup of homes, businesses and streets begins.  This includes:

v  Utilities being restored. 

v  Application for assistance beginning. 

v  People beginning to move into temporary housing or return home.

v  Human, material, and financial resources may begin to flow into the community.



Recovery starts soon after impact and lasts an extended period of time, even up to several years.  Typical activities include

v  restoration of infrastructure and vital life support systems,

v  resumption of the routines of daily life, and

v  initiation of plans for permanent housing (repairing, rebuilding or relocating of homes). 


Human, material and financial resources may dwindle with decreasing public awareness.  A strong, well-organized long-term recovery group can maximize the use of available resources to address recovery needs.  Additionally, the incorporation of mitigating activities into a community’s recovery process may reduce future loss and impact.


Ohio VOAD works through local long-term groups (LTRG) work with local leaders from the impacted community by offering training and support from Ohio VOAD members with the following:

v  Establishing leadership and extended committees

v  Raising funds, needed donations, & and long-term recovery response teams

v  Developing case management capacities to make assessments of “UNMET NEEDS”

v  Coordinating long-term recovery response through:

§  monetary donations

§  recovery teams

§  in-kind donations of household items: furnaces, hot water heaters, furniture, etc.


Ohio VOAD Challenges:

v  Donation Management

v  Monetary

v  Household items

v  Donation storage

v  Flood and health kits

v  Early response coordination – new territory – more of our member bodies have entered into early response phase

v  Undeclared individual disasters