By gubenatorial executive order S-02-08, CaliforniaVolunteers was charged with ensuring the coordination of volunteer activities related to disaster response and recovery, including necessary training, equipment, and transportation provisions.
In partnership with Cal OES, California Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other state and local organizations, CaliforniaVolunteers works to strengthen the state’s readiness for and ability to respond to large-scale disasters.
CaliforniaVolunteers "Disaster Volunteering"
Volunteer and Donate During a Disaster
The ability to have volunteers donating time or the public willing to donate money or goods are a very important part within all four phases of emergency management. The ability to draw from and rely on volunteers and donations will ease the workload on first responders and provide critical support during long emergency activations.
If you are willing, the information below will assist you in getting started:
Your community is a great place to start. There are hundreds of organizations that provide direct social service support in your area and many of these have disaster components to prepare and support those in your area. These same volunteers are often the first line of support in other areas when disaster strikes. To find out where and how, to connect to a volunteer center by interest, zip code, or county click here .....
Additional information is available here:
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD)
Give Blood: As explained by the American Red Cross, every minute of every day, someone needs blood. That blood can only come from a volunteer donor, a person like you who makes the choice to donate. There is no substitute for your donation. When you make a blood donation, you join a very select group. Currently only 3 out of every 100 people in America donate blood.
From its beginning, the American Red Cross has formed a community of service, of generous, strong and decent people bound by beliefs beyond themselves. The American Red Cross blood donor embodies this principle. Please join us in our mission to maintain a safe and stable blood supply by making your appointment to donate blood today.
call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543). For further information from the Red Cross visit “GIVE BLOOD”
The National Voluntary Organizations Active in a Disaster (NVOAD) explains how most disaster organizations require a level of training to be sure their volunteers are qualified to supply the services the clients need. Though it is sometimes possible to train you in the moment, it is not the most effective way. Signing up with a disaster-based organization before a disaster is the BEST way to be a great volunteer later.
Although there are numerous opportunities, the organizations below are available as a start:
On February 26, 2008, California took first-in-the-nation action to encourage volunteerism and to improve coordination of volunteer efforts between the state's departments and agencies by an Executive Order S-02-08 to establish a new position of Secretary of Service and Volunteering. The Secretary leads the efforts of CaliforniaVolunteers and serves as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet. This order also charged CaliforniaVolunteers with managing donations in times of disaster. Click Here to Visit the CaliforniaVolunteers Home
The American Red Cross (ARC) is one of several community organizations working together to respond to disasters. The Red Cross involves annually matching knowledge, skills, interests and experience of individual's with opportunities to serve their community. We Depend on Volunteers
. Volunteers constitute 96 percent of the ARC total work force to carry on our humanitarian work.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. Locate a local team by zip code
Additional National Organizations
In 1993, the Corporation for National and Community Service was established. The Corporation was created to connect Americans of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to give back to their communities and their nation. It merged the work and staffs of two predecessor agencies, ACTION and the Commission on National and Community Service.
hosts the most comprehensive collection of data on volunteering and civic engagement ever assembled, including data for every state and almost 200 cities. The data is collected through a partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and has been released annually since 2005. This year the Web site has been substantially upgraded and is much more interactive for users who wish to retrieve and customize profiles of their local area’s volunteering information.
Cash donations are preferred because they reduce the amount of labor and the expense of sorting, packing, transporting and distributing donated goods, and relief agencies can use cash to meet survivors’ specific needs more quickly.
Check to see if your company has matching gifts, and be sure to follow their requirements.
Donate through an "Experienced Disaster Relief Organization".
Relief agencies prefer the versatility of cash donations; however, some have the infrastructure in place to store and distribute donated goods. To prevent waste, donations of goods should be made only to agencies that have requested specific items.
If you are a non-profit group that helps individuals and families recover from disasters and would like to participate in the NDMN in California, please complete the NDMN Application
and return it as instructed. Once approved, authorized users from your organization can begin accessing offers of in-kind donations.
Confirm the Need before Collecting
Donors should be wary of anyone who claims that "everything is needed." Many groups have been disappointed that their efforts and the goods they collected were not appreciated. A community hit by a disaster, however, does not have the time, manpower or money to dispose of unneeded donations. Get precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods.