Volunteers can play a significant role in helping to rebuild lives and communities. It is important that volunteers are given meaningful and constructive opportunities to serve, while not overwhelming the affected community during the response and recovery. UServeUtah works to help local jurisdictions plan for coordination of spontaneous and unaffiliated volunteers during disaster recovery efforts.
About the Course
Volunteers—sometimes hundreds, sometimes thousands—show up to help after a disaster, bringing skills, energy and compassion to the relief effort. Unmanaged, these volunteers can become “the disaster within the disaster.” These trainings seek to help local communities plan for the coordination of spontaneous and unaffiliated volunteers during disaster recovery efforts.
Trainings will provide local municipalities with best practices and materials, in order to prepare their communities to handle the management of spontaneous or unaffiliated volunteers in times of disasters. These trainings will also allow local municipalities the opportunity to self identify with the state, those individuals that are prepared to manage spontaneous volunteers if a larger event were to occur where their skill sets could be called upon.
Each municipality in attendance will receive a “Go-Kit” that will contain all the materials necessary to initially stage a Volunteer Coordination/Reception Center or VCC. Local municipalities including towns, cities, and counties should identify key players to serve as VCC Managers as well as VCC team members. Each municipality should send three to five individuals; one of those members needs to be an Emergency Manager or their designee. It is highly recommended that the emergency manager or at least one individual who attends be familiar with the National Information Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) as well as the local emergency plan in order to provide context to the other individuals in attendance from a specific locality. The training materials have recently been revised and should greatly enhance the learning experience.
At the completion of this training, local municipalities will:
- Learn best practices and materials to handle the management of spontaneous or unaffiliated volunteers in times of disasters (SVM).
- Self identify with the state that they are prepared to manage spontaneous volunteers if a larger event were to occur where their skill sets could be called upon.
- Receive a “Go-Kit” that will contain all the materials necessary to initially stage a Volunteer Coordination Center (VCC).
- Have learned the benefits and challenges associated with management of spontaneous, unaffiliated volunteers.
- Have the tools necessary to complete a spontaneous volunteer management plan for their municipality.
For more information or to be put on a waiting list for future Spontaneous Volunteer Management Trainings, contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org. These trainings are being conducted in coordination with DEM and the Utah Volunteer and Donations Coordination team (VDCT).