Southern Tier / Finger Lakes VOAD


Human Needs Task Force

Steuben County established its Human Needs Task Force in 1996. Its mission is to identify the unmet needs of disaster victims and provide quick & efficient coordination of resources and services to assist families or individuals impacted by a disaster. The task force is convened by the Office of Emergency Services and its members include representative agencies with an interest in providing cooperative disaster assistance. It oversees a database of information about Steuben County residents with special needs, in order to preplan resources & provide information to emergency responders.

Following much research and discussion with statewide associates and using Steuben County partnerships as a foundation, IHS and Steuben County OES now wish to establish the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes VOAD.



VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) is a network of independent associations at the national, state, or local level which provides a forum where organizations share knowledge and resources through all phases of the disaster cycle in order to help survivors and their communities.

VOAD members include disaster-response organizations, information & referral providers, human-services agencies, faith-based organizations, animal-rescue agencies, civic groups, and others. Each member organization maintains its own identity and autonomy and works with other VOAD members to improve capabilities or efficiently deploy resources.



  • Identify nonprofit, faith-based, and other community organization members and gain collective understanding of their role or contributions during a disaster
  • Share information, protocols, and practices about disaster-related service delivery
  • Identify potential gaps and duplication
  • Facilitate opportunities for coordinated interagency planning, and development of partnerships and agreements to assist in disaster more effectively
  • Establish procedures and processes for notification and collaboration between emergency and member organizations and between member organizations