Disaster Standard Operating Procedures

KANSAS voluntary organizations active in disaster

Kansas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Standard Operating Guide














Notifications. 3

Direction and Control 3


Preparedness. 4

Response. 4

Recovery. 4


Initial Actions: First 24 Hours. 4

48 Hours. 5

Multi-Agency Resource Center 6
















Kansas has experienced several sizeable disasters in recent years. Some received a federal declaration, while most did not. Voluntary agencies are usually the leader in providing front-line immediate and long-term recovery assistance to those affected regardless of declaration status. Government organizations usually play substantial roles in the response and recovery efforts but are sometimes resource limited; especially without a federal disaster declaration. The community response begins immediately following the disaster impacting the community. To be most efficient, the near-term and long-term response should be coordinated.


Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) serves member organizations through communication, cooperation, coordination, education, leadership development, mitigation, convening mechanisms, and outreach. Kansas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (KSVOAD) is a supporting collaborative, not a direct response organization. It is through its commitment as a convening mechanism that KDEM can have a positive impact on the community response efforts. It is under the obligation of that commitment that we create this standard operating guide.


Kansas Division of Emergency Management recognizes the value of voluntary agencies and has appointed a liaison to support volunteer agency efforts.


KDEM understands that each member agency possesses certain program areas of expertise targeted at different phases of the response and recovery process. No member agency has consistent strength or presence in every community or county within the state. For many, the level of response in any particular geographical area is greatly influenced by the performance of their local affiliates; many of which are somewhat autonomous from the parent organization. Our intent is to get agencies with the desire and resources to act matched with community needs.


The purpose of this Standard Operating Guide is to provide guidance regarding the operations of the Kansas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (KSVOAD) during multiple phases of emergency management.


This Standard Operating Guide is applicable to KSVOAD and other personnel with roles which support KSVOAD. The primary objective of this Standard Operating Guide is the generation of timely, accurate and detailed information on the status of damage to households and businesses, impact to community, and coordination of identified needs.



The concept of this Standard Operating Guide is that defined responsibilities and uniform procedures will initiate prior planning, facilitate training, and provide functional field processes and procedures, essential in achieving goals and objectives.


1.      KDEM will notify KSVOAD leadership when an area of the state is threated or has been impacted by an emergency or disaster event and will continue to provide situation updates.

2.      KSVOAD leadership will notify all KSVOAD agencies of the situation and will continue to provide situation updates as needed.

3.      KSVOAD will notify KDEM about specific activities and needs.

4.      KSVOAD leadership will be notified by KDEM to report to the State Emergency Operations Center if needed.

5.      KSVOAD will notify liaisons to report to the State Emergency Operations Center as requested.

6.      KSVOAD leadership will notify members of any conference calls or meetings during disaster and non-disaster times.

Direction and Control

1.      During non-disaster times activities of KSVOAD will be coordinated by KSVOAD leadership with member organizations.

2.      During times of disaster KSVOAD will coordinate with KDEM regarding deployment to the SEOC or to the disaster site.

3.      KSVOAD leadership will coordinate disaster needs with KDEM and other KSVOAD member organizations.


KSVOAD plays an active role in multiple phases of emergency management.


1.      Educate citizens on disaster preparedness and voluntary organizations active in disasters resources.

2.      Support the formation and sustainability of local or regional VOADs within the state.

3.      Train and exercise with local, state, and federal partners to ensure readiness for disaster response.

4.      Collect contact information on community organizations and agencies.

5.      Assist in identifying voluntary agencies to aid in mass care activities including mobile feeding, shelter staffing, food preparation, and bulk supply transportation.


1.      Upon contact by KDEM or through contact with KDEM activate KSVOAD response and initial call or meeting if scale of disaster warrants.

2.      Coordinate response activities with voluntary organizations active in disaster.

3.      Provide representation to the SEOC as available and requested.

4.      Conduct ongoing coordination to meet community and victim/survivor needs.


1.      Coordinate available voluntary agency disaster assistance to work to meet community needs and the needs of disaster victims/survivors as disaster warrants.

2.      Assist long-term recovery committees as needed.

3.      Assist in compiling volunteer hours from member agencies which may be used to offset state and local cost-share under the FEMA PA Programs.


The time frames stated are maximum limits. If tasks can be accomplished sooner, it is preferred. Any member agency learning of a situation creating substantial community needs should contact the Kansas Division of Emergency Management or KSVOAD Chair. Since the impact on a community varies greatly as influenced by the community's preparedness level and type, size, and scope of the disaster there is no minimum impact required or threshold for activation of KSVOAD.

Initial Actions: First 24 Hours

Conference Call

Within 24 hours of a disaster's occurrence where VOAD support may be needed, a conference call will be held to assess the situation. A notification will be sent out by the KSVOAD secretary or Chair with conference call details.

Those on the conference call should include:

•           Executive Committee of KSVOAD

•           KDEM liaison

•           FEMA VAL

•           Local VOAD or COAD Chair or designee (if one exists in the affected area)

•           Representatives of voluntary agencies


The call should address the following topics:

o   Identify affected communities

o   Impact on the community

o   Status of the response

o   Needs (Immediate and other known needs)

o   Detail most pressing needs and prioritize

48 Hours

Within 48 hours of a large-scale disaster's occurrence, a meeting will be held in the affected area to coordinate response. If a meeting is deemed not necessary by leadership, a second conference call may be held. A notification will be sent out by the KSVOAD secretary or Chair with meeting or conference call details.

The meeting/call should address the following topics:

o   Determine what organizations and agencies are involved in the response (if still occurring).

o   Identify organizations and agencies involved in the recovery.

o   Identify existence (if applicable) and contacts for local Long-Term Recovery Committee.

o   Work with County representative to identify lead agency for long term recovery.

o   Situational Updates/Updates of resources being provided.

o   Discussion of community needs and gaps in victim/survivor services and identification of methods to fill gaps.

o   Identify additional participants that may be needed.

o   Work with State and Local representatives and the American Red Cross to identify Multi-Agency Resource Center location and local lead.

o   Work with State and Local representatives and the American Red Cross to identify Multi-Agency Resource Center Needs.

o   Identify next meeting/call time, date, location.


Multi-Agency Resource Center

It is important that a Multi-Agency Resource Center be opened in a timely manner in areas impacted by disaster. This facility can serve as a location for individuals to seek resources and replace documents lost in disaster events (such as driver’s license, etc.).

A Multi-Agency Resource Center is a place where community agencies and other helping agencies join together to help those devastated by a disaster. This site is a one-stop shop for disaster survivors to seek assistance and resources. Additionally, this site can provide referrals for additional services, a place to meet and gain information, a site for spiritual and emotional care services, and other needed services and support.

Some counties and communities may have addressed the establishment of a Multi-Agency Resource Center in their planning process. KDEM has a memorandum of understanding with the American Red Cross to establish and manage Multi-Agency Coordination Centers. KSVOAD can provide leadership and support throughout this process before, during, and after a disaster.

Through coordination with individuals identified by County Emergency Management to serve as representatives for long-term recovery the following actions should occur in the establishment of a Multi-Agency Resource Center:

1.      Identify location

a.       Consider amount of space needed for anticipated clients and organizations/agencies involved;

b.      Identify a location that can establish and support flexible hours;

c.       Identify a location that is accessible;

d.      Identify a location that is logistically suitable-

                                                              i.      Internet/Phone access

                                                            ii.      Restrooms

                                                          iii.      Meets space requirements

                                                          iv.      Has access to chairs/tables

2.      Identify who will assume liability

3.      Complete a facility agreement with facility owners

4.      Hold initial planning meeting for partners

a.       Discuss

                                                              i.      Opening Date

                                                            ii.      Times

                                                          iii.      Organization/Agency Needs

5.      Publish opening date and operation times

6.      Post signs and announcement information

a.       Ensure that you meet language needs

Operate the Multi-Agency Coordination Center to meet the needs of the impacted community. It is important to continually access the needs of this changing situation. The Multi-Agency Resource Center can be closed when client needs are fulfilled as best as possible. The closing of the Multi-Agency Resources center will need to be coordinated with the local leadership and publicized in a timely manner to the community.