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….
What you can do: During this phase, volunteers will usually participate in immediate clean-up projects following disasters and/or 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 (last season there were 20,000 in just a few days!), maintain communication between organisations and volunteers, and 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 out at this time.
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 and get feedback to improve 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 disaster preparedness and build community resilience.
So, the months and years following a disaster is when you're 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 info will come from them! When our Emergency Volunteering CREW team confirm you're involved in an opportunity, you should receive an email from us with the organisation's contact details – but don’t hesitate to contact us if need be.
Questions relating to everything else to do with emergency volunteering:
Important things to remember when it comes to emergency volunteering:
- 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, as well as this handy checklist for volunteers.
- After a disaster, it takes disaster response agencies time to work out how to most effectively use volunteers - it can take up to 4 - 6 weeks to get placed in a volunteer opportunity.
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 Queensland. 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.