When will I be deployed as an Emergency Volunteer?

There are two phases of action for Emergency Volunteering CREW - these phases affect the amount and type of volunteers being deployed.

#1 Emergency

What you can do: During this phase, volunteers will usually participate in immediate clean-up projects following disasters, be referred for additional support to organisations administering disaster-relief (this is for qualified and in some cases pre-trained volunteers).

What we do: Process new volunteer registrations, communication between organisations and volunteers, keep an eye on how volunteers are going (keeping you as informed, safe and supported as possible).

Therefore, the emergency phase of action requires a relatively small amount of volunteers, so there is less of a chance that you will be called on at this time. 

#2 Recovery

What you can do: Long-term recovery projects (regular participation/project based/one-off), participate in training (accredited/non accredited) to prepare you for different types of volunteering.

What we do: look after all our emergency volunteers by getting feedback and improving our services, learn lessons from emergencies, stay in tune with the needs of organisations delivering ongoing recovery, advocate for emergency volunteers, promote better management of spontaneous volunteers, deliver training, connect with the community, promote preparedness.

So, the months and years following a disaster is when you are most likely to be contacted to volunteer. 

Where do I go when I have questions or feedback?

Questions relating to a volunteering opportunity that you are participating in currently:

If you have direct contact with the organisation you’re volunteering with (this will usually be a Volunteer Coordinator or on-site supervisor) and have questions about the location, timing or details of the project you have confirmed in, the most direct information will come from them. If we have confirmed you in an opportunity, you should have received an email with these contact details on it – but don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance.

Questions relating to everything else to do with emergency volunteering:

Check out the information available on this Emergency Volunteering site, on our FAQ page or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Important things for you to remember

  • Disaster zones are dangerous, so your first responsibility is to yourself - eat, drink water, wear protective clothing and have adequate rest.
  • Before you volunteer, make sure you have first helped yourselves, your household, your family, friends and neighbours.
  • Make sure to check out your volunteer rights and responsibilities.
  • After a disaster, it takes disaster response agencies time to work out how to most effectively engage volunteers - it can take up to 4 - 6 weeks to get placed in a volunteer opportunity (assuming an organisation is looking for someone with your skills, location and availability).

Volunteer safety

Emergency and recovery situations can be dangerous. Supporting organisations to make safety a priority for their volunteers is one of the most important things we do at Volunteering ACT. As an individual, one of the most important things you can do is be aware of your rights and responsibilities when volunteering and understand basic things you can do to stay safe. Make sure you check out the Australian Red Cross Emergency REDiPlan cleaning up after an emergency info booklet.