Office of Emergency Management
Empowering the Whole Community
Tips for Volunteering Responsibly
Know what to do
Affiliate with existing non-profit organizations before coming to the disaster area. Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the amount of generous people who want to help. Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained to respond in the most effective way.
Wait for needs to be identified
Be safe. Do not self deploy until a need has been identified and the local community impacted has requested support. Wait until it is safe to travel to volunteer sites and opportunities have been identified. Once assigned a position, make sure you have been given an assignment and are wearing proper safety gear for the task.
Monitor local media for volunteer opportunities
As community needs are revealed in the aftermath of disaster, if the disaster impact is significant and volunteer assistance will be required, a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) may be activated. If you are not already affiliated with a recognized volunteer organization, you can report to the VRC. Monitor local media for instructions.
For local volunteer opportunities click any of the following:
Volunteer Reception Center
Important things to consider before a disaster:
Volunteer with a recognized organization involved in disaster response and recovery prior to the next disaster event.
Volunteer with a non-profit organization and be trained before the next event to find meaningful volunteer opportunities following a disaster.
There are many organizations and faith-based groups in your community that have active disaster programs and need volunteers
These groups offer a wide range of services following a disaster