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Four boy scouts with their leader engaging in a debris clean up while wearing gloves and other protective gear


The hurricanes of 2017 and the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 caused many Americans to wonder how they can help prepare their communities.

Through Citizen Corps, and community volunteering individuals can learn about opportunities to get involved and help build capacity for first responders. With proper training and education, civilian volunteers expand the resources available to states and local communities. Many partner organizations offer public education, outreach and training for free.

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)

American Red Cross

  • For over 135 years, the mission of the American Red Cross (ARC) has been to help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. A humanitarian organization led by volunteers, guided by its Congressional charter and the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross Movement, the ARC is woven into the fabric of communities across the nation.
  • Get trained in CPR and basic first aid and volunteer to help mass care and sheltering operations by learning more at your local American Red Cross Chapter

Medical Reserve Corps

  • The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Program coordinates the skills of practicing and retired physicians, nurses and other health professionals as well as other citizens interested in health issues, who are eager to volunteer to address their community's ongoing public health needs and to help their community during large-scale emergency situations.

  • Learn more by visiting the Medical Reserve Corps homepage.

Neighborhood Watch & Volunteers in Police Service

  • USAonWatch is the face of the National Neighborhood Watch Program. The program is managed nationally by the National Sheriffs' Association in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, and US Department of Justice.
  • Support community safety and security by getting trained and involved in Neighborhood Watch and Volunteers in Police Service.

Fire Corps

  • Fire Corps promotes the use of citizen advocates (volunteers) to support and augment the capacity of resource-constrained fire and emergency service departments at all levels: volunteer, combination, and career.  Fire Corps is funded through the Department of Homeland Security and is managed and implemented through a partnership between the National Volunteer Fire Council and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
  • Volunteer to support local fire departments through Fire Corps.

Civil Air Patrol

  • Civil Air Patrol recruits volunteers through local squadrons that support aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services.  This air auxiliary has been supporting missions since the 1940’s.

American Radio Relay League

  • American Radio Relay League supports the advancement of Amateur Radio Service and trains individuals interested in learning the skill of operating ham radios.

Meals on Wheels Association of America

For more information see our Affiliate Programs.

Last Updated: 03/22/2022

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