Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Unknown Volunteer

Sandy has provided us many lessons, in many different areas of disaster response, most of the lessons are not new, just reinforcement of the ones we know and are working on.  Lets look at one I have written about before and will again.  

As our climate changes (and it is) we will have more disasters caused by weather, with that knowledge, more people should join professional volunteer organizations and get trained BEFORE something happens.

As this article points out many people were turned away! Volunteers Flock to Disaster Areas, Overwhelming City Relief Centers Those people think why, I drove all the way here to help.  And bless you for wanting to help.

Now look at it from our side:
  • We don't know who you are (background check, professional license) 
  • We don't know what you are trained for (didn't get trained before hand)
  • You don't know who we are
 We want to train you, and provide you and the people you are helping the best help we can.

"You can't afford the time to go to training before hand, because your too busy." But you aren't too busy to self deploy to a disaster zone? If you can't afford a weekend or two to train in advance, how committed are you really?  Now don't get me wrong, I think volunteers are wonderful and give greatly of their time and knowledge, but we need to get organized before.

Okay if that doesn't get your attention, think about this. In order to process & train volunteers during an event we have to take some of our most experienced volunteers off the line to do this.

Yes there are times and tasks that may not require huge sums of training, but help out all of the volunteer managers out there who are toiling nights and weekends to get volunteers signed up, checked and trained so we will be ready for the next Disaster.

Below is a place to start. Commit to being trained and ready before the next disaster strikes, and when will that be? We don't know that's why you need to do something Now!

PS: if you don't listen to me listen the President and Gov. Christie  //