Volunteer at Disaster Sites- Training and Registration
Here are a few options you may consider if you are serious about being a volunteer at disaster sites.
- You may consider taking a course in CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) training. Make sure you are getting trained by a reliable organization and you are part of a certified training program. These certificates are valid for a limited period. We suggest that you check the CPR & ECC segment at www.americanheart.org.
- Contact the American Red Cross
You may get in touch directly with organizations like the American Red Cross, and inquire about their volunteer opportunities. In case you would like to get more information about the volunteer opportunities at American Red Cross, we suggest that you visit the “Get Trained,” and “Volunteer Services” segments at www.redcross.org.
- You may also contact the local office of United Way to know about their volunteer programs. You may check their “Volunteer” segment at www.liveunited.org.
- You may consider contacting the volunteer department of your local firefighting unit, or you may contact the police to find out if they have any volunteer programs. Once you are accepted as a volunteer, you will be led through certain basic training programs.
- Contact the NVOAD
The NVOAD (National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) is an organization that acts as a coordinator for the numerous voluntary organizations that respond to various disasters. When a disaster takes place, the NVOAD or one of the state VOADs (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) make sure that their volunteers reach the disaster site. This coordinated effort has proved to be a big help. If you want to contact NVOAD for more information on its services and its volunteers, we suggest you check their website: www.nvoad.org.
Volunteering for international organizations
If you would like to know about similar disaster volunteer programs abroad, we suggest you check the Volunteers section at the International Federation for Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies at www.ifrc.org. If you want to be a volunteer with the United Nations, you may also like to check the How to Volunteer section at www.unv.org.
There are other international organizations like the Salvation Army (www.salvationarmy.org) whose volunteers help victims of man-made and natural disasters, not just in the US but all over the world. Get registered as a volunteer for disaster sites.
Once you have completed your training, you should be eligible to volunteer for helping at disaster sites. HelpInDisaster is website that ensures that the US has a bank of volunteers for disaster sites. If you feel that you are ready to volunteer at a disaster site, it may be a good idea to register at www.helpindisaster.org.
You may also consider checking the Volunteer Opportunities section at www.disastervolunteers.org.