Voluntary and Community-Based Organizations

FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons (VALs) establish, foster, and maintain relationships among government, voluntary, faith- and community-based, private sector, philanthropic, and whole community partners who help communities plan for, respond to, and recover from disasters. Through these relationships, the VALs support the delivery of inclusive and equitable services and empower and strengthen capabilities of communities to address disaster-caused unmet needs.

Celebrating Partnerships

FEMA is proud to recognize the more than 40 years of collaboration between FEMA and its voluntary and faith-based organizations.

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Contact us to get connected to your FEMA regional and headquarters Voluntary Agency Liaisons and Donations Specialists.

VAL Technical Assistance

Voluntary Agency Liaisons can provide information, guidance, and support on a range of topics, tailored to the needs of your organization or event. Some of the VALs capabilities include:

  • Information-sharing (including Routine Use, Written Consent, and Referrals)
  • Planning, Preparedness, and Mitigation
  • Mission Assignments

This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) sets out how Individual Assistance staff will request, implement, and process FEMA Invitational Travel for Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

Voluntary Agency Liaisons Also Support:

  • During Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs):
    • Documents activity and evaluates capacity of government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGO) providing mass care/emergency assistance care and support
    • Responsible for coordinating with NGOs, including Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and/or Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) members in order to document activity and evaluate capacity of those organizations

Community Services Programs

  • Crisis Counseling Program (CCP)
  • Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP)
  • Disaster Legal Services (DLS)
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Voluntary, Faith-Based and Community Efforts

  • Cleanup (including Debris Removal, Tarping, and Muck and Gut)
  • Volunteer and Donations Messaging and Management
    (including spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers, and in-kind donated goods)
  • Volunteer Reception Centers (VRCs)
  • Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs)
  • Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs)
  • Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs)


FEMA training and exercise resources may enhance the disaster preparedness – and response and recovery capabilities and capacity – of FEMA voluntary, faith-based, and community partner organizations, staff, and volunteers.  Offerings also support mutual understanding and integration across the non-profit, public, and private sectors.

Visit the Emergency Management Institute to Find Training Courses

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Preparedness Webinars

Watch previously recorded webinars that focus on topics impacting individual and community preparedness.

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