Disaster Volunteers' National Conference

Indianapolis, Indiana - Hundreds of leaders in disaster preparedness and response will convene May 13-15 in Indianapolis for the 22nd annual conference of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

Indiana VOAD is hosting the conference at the J.W. Marriott Indianapolis, 10 S. West St.

Anyone interested in disaster preparedness, response or recovery can attend.

The conference is expected to attract 400-500 leaders from all 50 states, several U.S. territories and more than 50 national organizations, said Abby Hostetler, a Purdue Extension Disaster Education Network communications specialist and host committee co-chair.

"This annual event provides educational opportunities and a chance for the VOAD members to communicate so they can coordinate and collaborate when disasters strike," Hostetler said.

Organizations to be represented at the conference have brought in millions of dollars of resources to Indiana during disasters since the widespread, devastating floods of 2008, said Steven Cain, EDEN homeland security project director and also host committee co-chair.

"It is a pleasure to invite them to Indiana to plan for cooperation in future disasters, whether those disasters are in Indiana or anywhere in the nation and U.S. territories," Cain said.

Conference registration is available at http://nvoad.org/events/. Early registration with discounted fee ends April 11. There is a higher registration fee after that date. 

National VOAD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership-based organization that serves as a forum for its 111 member organizations to share knowledge and resources to help communities prepare for and recover from disasters.

Member organizations include 55 of the nation's faith-based, community-based and other non-governmental organizations. It also includes 56 state and territory coalitions representing local and regional VOADs.

National VOAD was founded in 1970 as a solution to the challenges that disaster relief organizations faced when trying to coordinate response for communities affected by Hurricane Camille, a Category 5 storm that hit the Gulf Coast in August 1969.

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