Ellis County is creating a Voluntary Organization Active in Disasters, which is a humanitarian association of independent voluntary organizations who may be active in all hazards of disaster/emergency.

A VOAD’s mission is to foster efficient, streamlined service delivery to people affected by disaster/emergency, efficiently speed the recovery process for those affected, while eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort, through cooperation in the four phases of disaster/emergency preparation, response, recovery and mitigation.

Ellis County VOAD is intended to be a network for not-for-profit organizations active in disaster/emergency and will provide an environment for members to network, build and sustain inter-agency, intra-agency partnerships that foster collaboration toward planning for and preparing for all-hazard disasters/emergencies.

Ellis County VOAD will maintain its own identity and independence while closely collaborating with other Ellis County VOAD member organizations, interfaith and local, state or federal authorities. Ellis County VOAD’s mission is to cooperate, coordinate, communicate and collaborate before, during and after a disaster/emergency.

“You are invited to send two representatives to attend the first organizational and informational meeting to understand how your organization can participate in this newly formed VOAD,” a spokesman said.

More information on VOAD can be found at www.nvoad.org.

The first meeting will be held at First Baptist Church, 315 N. Rogers St., Waxahachie, from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28.

For more information, contact Barry Bensmiller, Ellis Christian Disaster Relief Team, at bbensmiller@swbell.net or (214) 538-1813 or Shelly Campbell, American Red Cross, at scampbell@redcrossdallas.org or (903) 874-4551.