Lt. General Russel Honore to Deliver Keynote Address at Disaster Recovery Conference and Expo

Emergency Relief Organizations Convene on Disaster Operations, Collaboration, New Resources

Oct 18, 2011, 10:07 ET from Tri-State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters

JACKSON, Miss., Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Lt. General Russel Honore will deliver the opening address to a cadre of disaster relief organizations from throughout the country at a conference and expo scheduled November 14-16 in Jackson, Ms.  


Honore, US Army (Ret), is widely hailed by the media as the "Category 5 General" who led Task Force Katrina in the aftermath of the 2005 devastating hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. His address is expected to draw major interest on the opening morning of the conference. General Honore is currently a Senior Scientist with The Gallup Organization, where he is working on developing questions to determine levels of emergency preparedness.

The Tri-State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters convention and expo offers the disaster services community multiple options for professional development through presentations, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and Certified Training Unit eligible sessions. Information and registration is located at

In light of shared regional experiences, the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have come together to host this inaugural conference for faith-based groups, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, government agencies and corporate partners that participate in disaster response and recovery. The conference, scheduled at the Jackson Convention Center, is entitled "Catalyst 4 Success: Cooperation, Collaboration, Coordination, and Communication."

The Louisiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters received a grant in the amount of $410,000 to support the conference from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation's Future of the Gulf Fund.  The Baton Rouge Area Foundation established the Future of the Gulf Fund with a $75 million transfer from the Gulf Coast Restoration and Protection Fund, which was established by a $100 million donation from BP in 2010 to financially assist oil rig workers affected by the spill.  The Future of the Gulf Fund's mission is to help people, wildlife and the environment along the Gulf Coast.

"Our goal is to bring together non-profit organizations, government agencies and corporate partners to learn how to more effectively respond together to the human needs and suffering that result from disasters," said Bill Feist, chairman for the Tri-State VOAD Conference Committee representing Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. The three State VOADs for Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are all members of National VOAD, which was formed in 1996 to aid response after Hurricane Camille.

More than twenty plenary and break-out sessions are scheduled on behavioral health disaster operations, response, collaboration and cooperation, resources and tools. Businesses and services of the disaster industry will also have expo opportunities in the Jackson, Mississippi Convention Center, site of the conference.

The workshop topics include immediate, post, and long-term response, FEMA case management pilot programs in Alabama and Mississippi, and corporate involvement in VOAD. Workshops on cooperation and collaboration include benefits and methods for sharing services, Citizens Corps collaboration techniques, collaboration with national VOAD organizations, and media relations. The third conference track, focusing on resources, includes philanthropic investments along the Gulf National Service Resources, AmeriCorps volunteer roles, impact of data collection, analysis of Deepwater Gulf Horizon Incident, and alliances and network building for effective disaster response.

The last day of the conference is devoted to training.  Trainings will be offered in various areas of disaster response. CEU credits  will be offered for the trainings and the various workshops throughout the conference.  .

Funding from the Future of the Gulf Fund has allowed the Tri-State VOAD  to keep conference registration cost to  a minimum, $50 per person for VOAD members and $75 for non-members. A limited number of stipends to cover conference fees is available to VOAD member organizations in need.

For conference details, workshop schedules, hotel reservations, and expo exhibit costs, go to

Media representatives: Please contact Linda Alwood, Conference Coordinator at 225-291-2806 to register for the conference or Angela deGravelles 225-202-5073 for interview requests.

SOURCE Tri-State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters