Then Friday this article popped up in my reader "Untrained Volunteers May Do Harm as Well as Good During Disasters, Johns Hopkins Study Finds".
This is one of my nightmares in my world (volunteer management for a Public Health organization), dealing with lots of people I do not know or can not validate that they are who they say they are. The whole idea behind joining an organized group and getting at least a modicum of training in NIMS and ICS goes a long way in organizing from the start.
Dollars to doughnuts the same people who show up as spontaneous volunteers are the same ones that said they didn't have time to volunteer (but now do)
As Bill Boyd points out in his recent blog post "The Buck Stops With Them" it is his nightmare too.
My point is, if you are not in an organized disaster response organization, you should be! Here are some benefits:
- Great training opportunities - you will get to participate in some awesome opportunities and see behind the curtain
- Fellowship - you will be around other like minded volunteers
- Able to help in disasters
- And most of all you will not appear in my nightmares; you might help me solve it by being part of the solution.
A beginning list of organizations to join (there are more)
Medical Reserve Corps - Not just for medical volunteers
Community Emergency Response Teams
American Red Cross