Guest Post by Steve Cain
The National VOAD and EDEN took an historic step on March 15, 2011 and signed a partnership agreement. The agreement was signed by Bob Leipold, Executive Director of National VOAD and EDEN representatives Virginia Morgan, Rick Atterberry and Steve Cain at the EDEN Executive Committee’s 2011 retreat.
During his brief presentation following the signing, Bob Leipold highlighted the similarities between the two organizations. The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster’s goal is to reduce the impact of disaster through communication, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration. The Extension Disaster Education Network’s mission is to reduce the impact of disaster through education.
EDEN Chair Virginia Morgan pointed out that the partnership recognizes the values and the system that the Extension Service brings to helping in all functions of disasters. For National VOAD, the partnership brings a valuable ally in improving knowledge so that people in the U.S. better understand disasters.
Extension, with outreach in all U.S. states and territories, and involvement in disaster issues, matches up well with the VOAD movement. Recent disasters demonstrate the need for more individual and community disaster resilience. This need influences the VOAD growth and movement at the national, state and community level. The same need drives Extension to answer the call at the same levels to help individuals and communities prepare, respond, recover and mitigate for disasters. The EDEN and National VOAD partnership makes sense. The ideas for growth in the partnership are many, and more opinions are welcomed here.