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The Bigger Picture as a Disaster Volunteer

Organizations that respond to disasters are always looking for volunteers. If you are interested in being part of an organized response when disaster strikes, consider getting in touch with one or more of these organizations

Citizen Corps – Coordinated by FEMA, Citizen Corps helps coordinate volunteer activities that will make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation

American Red Cross – The American Red Cross is often the first to a disaster area, providing food, shelter and comfort. Volunteers constitute about 90% of the American Red Cross workforce.

VOAD (National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) is a coalition of national emergency response organizations and statewide VOAD organizations. It helps insure disaster response efforts from volunteer organizations are coordinated and is the primary volunteer organization point of contact with FEMA

Social Media Campaigns in Community Recovery – While not an organization, a growing number of state, county and municipal governments have established plans for using social media as an information gathering and outreach tool in the event of a disaster. If disaster strikes your area, join one of these online disaster recovery communities, and if none are evident, consider working with others to create one. Here are some lessons learned while doing so after the 2011 Joplin, MO tornado and other recent central U.S. natural disasters.