Prepare Yourself and Identify Local Resources
Check out the organizations already doing good work. Many existing service groups have identified community needs and have built the expertise to provide solutions and there may already be an active volunteer group that you could join. A few phone calls or scanning a few websites can identify local groups and volunteer opportunities.
- Visit www.CitizenCorps.gov to find local Citizen Corps Councils, USAonWatch (Neighborhood Watch) groups, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Fire Corps programs, Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) programs and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units. Ask them what you can do to prepare and train yourself and your community for disasters and how to get involved locally.
- Contact local chapters of Citizen Corps Affiliates, such as the American Red Cross and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for local disaster preparedness and response service opportunities. Find more information at: http://www.citizencorps.gov/partnersandaffiliates/. Be sure to ask the organization for items they might need.
- You can also get in touch with your local fire department, police department, paramedics, or emergency management agency to discuss ways to prepare your community and improve its capacity to respond to and recover from disaster.
- Once you’ve identified the appropriate community-based organizations, search their website or give them a call to see how you can better prepare yourself and how you can help your community. You can use the Sample Phone Script below.
Sample Phone Script
Hi, my name is ________ and I’m interested in supporting the great work your organization is doing. Some friends and I would like to volunteer to support community safety / disaster preparedness. May I speak with your volunteer coordinator?
- What kind of volunteer opportunities do you have for local residents?
- If I organize a group of my friends to volunteer with me, how many volunteers can you take?
- Can you help us sponsor an event that promotes preparedness, a forum that encourages people to discuss disaster preparedness and response and to exchange information, or help us organize a drill or exercise?
- Would you be able to send a representative to our event?
- How can I volunteer to help make sure others in the community are prepared too? We are particularly interested in helping those who have unique needs, such as the frail, elderly, individuals with access and functional needs, those who do not speak English, children, and pets.
Remember to keep track of who you have contacted so you can follow up as necessary. You can use the chart below or create one that fits your project.
|Group Name||Contact Name||Contact Number||Volunteer Activities||# of Vols Needed|