Do Not Self Deploy

Seeing images of disaster may compel you to head to the impacted area. Don’t underestimate the complexity of working in a disaster area. Until a need has been identified and the local community impacted has requested support, volunteers should not enter.

  • Be sure to affiliate with existing voluntary organization before coming to the disaster area, and that organization has been asked to respond.
  • Wait until it is safe to travel to volunteer sites and opportunities have been identified.
  • Once assigned a position, make sure you have been given an assignment and are wearing proper safety gear for the task.

Be patient. Recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention. There will be volunteer needs for many months, often years, after the disaster – especially when the community enters the long-term recovery period.

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