In the event of a disaster which escalates to the state level, UServeUtah serves on the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) as the state lead in volunteer and donation management across Utah. Below are some points to consider if you would like to volunteer or donate in the event of a disaster.
Disaster volunteers are priceless but disaster survivors are our purpose. Here are some tips to volunteer effectively in the event of a disaster:
- If possible, you should consider joining a voluntary organization before a disaster strikes to learn valuable skills that are needed in disaster response. Some of these organizations include Citizen Corps groups (CERT, VIPS, MRC, Fire Corps and Neighborhood Watch), the American Red Cross Utah Region, and Team Rubicon.
- In the event of a disaster, learn where and when your skills will be needed before traveling to the disaster site. You can do this by contacting a temporary Volunteer Coordinator Center (which may be set up in the aftermath of the disaster) or one of the previously mentioned organizations.
- Before traveling to the disaster service, ensure that you will come prepared to serve. This includes ensuring your food and water needs will be provided for, so that you don’t take valuable resources from disaster victims.
Donating cash is best. Cash doesn’t need to be sorted, stored or distributed, and it gives a voluntary organization to make bulk purchases locally to help the most urgent needs. People who do the most good practice smart compassion. They stop, think, and give cash. Visit Greatest Good Calculator to learn the real costs behind donating goods.
If giving cash is not possible, donations of goods should only be given when a request for these specific donations has been made. These requests can be found on the Utah NeedsFeed.