Disaster preparation involves a considerable amount of planning and preparation–both individually and within a community. No one recovers from a disaster by themselves. This is one reason why mobilizing a community response to a disaster is so important. Disaster volunteering is one powerful way in which people can provide a much needed community service while also facilitating their own training in disaster response and preparedness. Volunteering isn’t just about assisting in the immediate aftermath of a disaster; it is about helping plan and build awareness and preparation well before a disaster strikes. Here is a quick overview of some of the best disaster volunteer resources.
The Federal Emergency Response Agency has volunteer/donation resources for anyone interested in volunteering with a non-profit organization following a disaster. Many communities have active disaster programs and always need help planning and assisting in disaster recovery. Check out this resource for information regarding disaster planning and volunteer responses.
The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is a one stop resource for volunteer placements across the world. There are numerous resources here for national and international disaster relief opportunities and plenty of information about the process of becoming a disaster volunteer.
This is a resource for finding local disaster volunteer opportunities across the U.S. There are also a wide list of causes on the site in need of volunteer assistance. The site is not entirely focused on disasters, but there are a number of resources related to disaster preparedness and relief volunteering. Use the interactive map to find local opportunities by state.
American Red Cross-
The American Red Cross is a comprehensive resource for disaster volunteer information and opportunities. This is an excellent place to search for opportunities in your local community and learn more about what is involved in disaster volunteering. Not all disaster volunteer work is the same, so find more information on different ways in which you can help in your community in the wake of a disaster.
Use this resource to search for volunteer opportunities, internships, jobs, and organizations. For disaster related volunteer opportunities, there is a section of information on donations, local service opportunities, and detailed information on assessing your preparedness for volunteering in a disaster affected area. If you are seriously considering how you can help following a disaster, this is a good place to begin.