Cooperation | Coordination | Communication | Collaboration


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Tabletop Exercise

Presented by: American Red Cross San Diego / Imperial Counties Chapter
February 16, 2010

Why We Exist

VOADs exist to foster better service by its members to communities struck by disaster. This is done through preparedness activities that include planning among VOAD members and providing education to the general public, and by responding to and helping communities recover from disaster.

This is accomplished by adhering to four core values (The 4 “C’s”):


VOADs are not service delivery organizations. Instead, they uphold the privilege of members to independently provide relief and recovery services while supporting their efforts to do so by providing a forum where voluntary organizations active in disaster can practice the four C’s.

To eliminate duplication and effective resource coordination — money, materials and manpower – in the disaster cycle (mitigation, preparation, response and recovery), the National VOAD collaborative practices the “4C’s” as guiding principles for how we operate and resolve conflict:

By this we mean that we need each other; we recognize no single organization has all the answers for all the challenges that arise during disasters. We understand that our common goals for a community can be best achieved by working or acting together with a common purpose. Operationally, “cooperation” recognizes the value of working together on at least one specific delivery of service or event, distinct from the more comprehensive “coordination” principle listed below.

We treat fellow members as partners and foster a climate of openness to promote the regular sharing of information about and between our member organizations—their capacities, accomplishments, limitations and commitments. Members must develop and maintain effective channels for sharing information, listen carefully to each other, and deal openly with concerns.

Member organizations commit to working together, in a non-competitive manner, toward the goal of effective service delivery throughout the disaster cycle. Through careful planning and preparation, National VOAD member organizations form tactical partnerships to work in a coordinated, predictive fashion to more effectively utilize resources to accomplish a set of tasks.

Member organizations establish shared goals and actively work together to achieve specific goals and undertake specific projects throughout the disaster cycle. We form strategic partnerships throughout the disaster cycle.

Noteworthy Links

For information on The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) go to

Are you a disaster survivor?

Are you a disaster survivor?

-3 Step Guide for Assistance
-  Disaster Assistance
- Call 800) 621-3362
TTY (800) 462-7585

Report disaster fraud / Recovery tips

Find a Disaster Recovery Center to speak with a FEMA representative in person logo