Thursday, December 29, 2011

3,000 volunteers what to do with them ?

An amazing story of Volunteers in Joplin and the spirit of volunteerism following the Joplin tornado disaster.  But if you are a volunteer manager, then you must be thinking what I'm thinking:
  • Where did they house them?
  • Who fed them?
  • How did they provide direction and supervision?
  • What about liability for spontaneous volunteers with no disaster training operating heavy/dangerous equipment over long hours in trying times.
  • And what about screening to keep the bad people away! They do come when things go wrong.
Truly these were amazing people coming to help, but many probably did not come with food and shelter for the first 72 hours. The article talks about 60,000 registered volunteers, that's great those come (most of the time) with a built in supply line and support system like the Red Cross and the Southern baptist.  But what about the 20,000 spontaneous volunteers?
So the question is - does your municipality have a volunteer management system/program ready to go?
Has it been tested? Table top or full exercise?
Again thank you to all the volunteers who show up in the aftermath of any disaster, but we have to have  a plan and a system so those 20,000 SUV's don't become the second disaster.

disaster dave

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