Voluntary and Community-Based Organizations

FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons (VALs) support the significant contributions of voluntary, faith-based, and community stakeholders active in disaster by building relationships – and coordinating efforts – with and across partner organizations and government agencies.

VALs promote information-sharing and mutual understanding among partners, and provide guidance on integrating activities across various subject areas and the full disaster life-cycle. This work empowers stakeholders and communities to strengthen their capabilities, capacity, and delivery of inclusive, equitable services.

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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 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:

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

Preparedness Webinars

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

View Webinars

Last updated January 22, 2021