Often times during a disaster or emergency, citizens come forward and want to volunteer in any way possible. Assistance from citizens during these difficult times can be invaluable because they may possess training, skills, or experience that can be useful in the relief effort.
Managing Citizen Volunteers Effectively
In order to manage citizen volunteers effectively during emergency situations, the City will establish an Emergency Volunteer Center (EVC). It is important for community members interested in volunteering to know that they should report directly to the EVC if they are interested in assisting in any manner with the event. Volunteers should not report to the disaster or emergency area without being dispatched by the EVC. Going to the EVC first will reduce your risk of exposure to unsafe conditions, and it will ensure that each volunteer is assigned to a location where his or her efforts can have a beneficial impact, as well as interact with public safety officials more efficiently. During many emergency events, citizen volunteers have proven to be a valuable asset to a community’s disaster recovery efforts, and the EVC helps ensure that you are placed where you are needed most and that you will be as safe as possible while you are there.
Notification will be distributed to the community when the EVC has been activated and setup within the community, and there are multiple forms it can take: a Walk-in Center, a Call Center, an Online System, or a combination of all three. EVC staff will interview and refer prospective volunteers to either a non-governmental organization or the City’s own disaster operations based on your skills and the needs of the event.
The EVC allows volunteers and local government to work together to help efficiently rebuild the community following a major disaster or emergency.
The City is always looking for residents that are willing to help out in the case of an emergency, and is continually recruiting citizen volunteers. If you would like information on how to become a Disaster Service Volunteer, please visit the Disaster Worker Volunteer page.