There are many ways to get involved when, especially before, a disaster occurs. The content found on this page will guide you to find ways to take action and protect your community in a disaster.
Monterey County Office of Emergency Services works closely with our volunteer and non-profit organizations to mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters to Monterey County by promoting cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration; and foster more effective delivery of services to our communities when affected by disaster.
Monterey County is a loving and giving community; the compassion and generosity consistently demonstrated by Monterey County residents and businesses is never more evident than after a disaster. People want to help. While we appreciate the uniqueness of our supportive community, please assist us in avoiding a secondary disaster caused by uncoordinated, uncontrolled masses of donated goods and volunteers, ultimately interfering with disaster operations, by following the general guidelines listed on this page.
The priority of volunteer activity is assistance to others. When this spontaneous activity is well managed, it also positively effects the volunteers the,selves and this contributes to the healing process of both individuals and the larger community.
Volunteering is a valuable and necessary part of every healthy community. Volunteers come from all segments of society and often provide essential services. Everyone has the potential to contribute strength and resources in times of emergency.
Volunteers are successful participants in emergency management systems when they are flexible, self-sufficient, aware of risks, and willing to be coordinated by local emergency management experts. Volunteers must accept the obligation to "do no harm."
VOLUNTEER BEFORE THE DISASTER.
- Volunteer with a recognized organization involved in disaster response or recovery prior to the disaster.
- Volunteer with a non-profit organization and be trained to find meaningful volunteer opportunities following a disaster.
- There are many organizations and faith-based groups that work nationally and in your community, that have active disaster programs and need volunteers.
- These groups offer a wide range of services following a disaster. See National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster www.nvoad.org for more information and to sign up for volunteer opportunities.
AFFILIATE WITH EXISTING NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS BEFORE COMING TO THE DISASTER AREA.
Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the amount of generous people who want to help. Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained to respond in the most effective way.
DO NOT SELF-DEPLOY.
Wait until a need has been identified and the local community impacted has requested support. Sign up to volunteer, and wait to travel until opportunities have been identified. Once assigned a position, make sure you have been given an assignment and are wearing proper safety equipment for the task.
Recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention. There will be volunteer needs for many months, often many years, after the disaster - especially when the community enters the long-term recovery period.
If you are interested in volunteering at OES please complete the Volunteer Interest Form below or submit a Volunteer Application.
Submit by email: email@example.com
Submit by mail:
Attn: Kelsey Scanlon
Monterey County Office of Emergency Services
1322 Natividad Rd
Salinas CA 93906
If you would like to volunteer to support disaster efforts but have not registered or have not received training prior to the incident, there are several options available to you:
Register as a volunteer through the Monterey County Recovers website.
Register as a volunteer at an Emergency Volunteer Center near you, see below.
Volunteer through the Monterey County Recovers website.
DISASTER HEALTHCARE VOLUNTEERS
If you're a healthcare provider with an active license, a public health professional, or a member of a medical disaster response team in California who would like to volunteer for disaster service, Disaster Healthcare Volunteers is for you.
What does it take to register for disaster service?
- During the on-line registration process, you will be asked to enter information regarding your license (if applicable).
- Enter information about the best way to contact you, and other relevant background information.
- Once you've registered, your credentials will be validated - before an emergency - so that you can be deployed quickly and efficiently. Your information will only be viewed by authorized system managers.
Once I'm registered, what happens next?
- During a State or national disaster, (e.g., an earthquake severe weather event, or public health emergency), this system will be accessed by authorized medical/health officials at the State Emergency Operations Center or your county.
- If a decision is made to request your service, you will be contacted using the information you enter on the site. If you agree to deploy, your information will be forwarded to the appropriate field operational officials.
EMERGENCY VOLUNTEER CENTERS
Part of being prepared is staying informed, and you can stay informed by attending free preparedness trainings in your area.
The concept of the CERT Program began in the mid-1980s when the Los Angeles Fire Department saw the need, in the event of a large-scale disaster, to train citizens on how to help others without putting themselves in harm’s way. FEMA formalized the CERT program in 1993 and the CERT program is now available nationwide. The CERT curriculum is taught from an all-hazards approach and each community emphasizes the disasters, both natural and manmade, to which they are most vulnerable. Although preparedness steps may vary from community to community, the goal remains the same: “to do the most good for the most amount of people” in an emergency, such as in the event of a natural disaster.
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.
COST RECOVERY FOR PRIVATE NON-PROFITS (PNP)
In the event of a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, faith-based organizations, community, volunteer, and nonprofit organizations in areas eligible for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance program may apply for FEMA grants to help them get back to the business of helping others.
As part of its mission, FEMA provides grants to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments and certain private nonprofits through its Public Assistance program. Community, volunteer, faith-based, and private nonprofit organizations conducting critical and essential services of a governmental nature that sustained disaster damage may be able to receive FEMA Public Assistance (PA) grants to repair or replace their facilities so they can continue offering critical and essential community services.
Only organizations with state or IRS tax-exempt status may be considered. For more information about eligible essential and critical service providers, go online to FEMA.gov and reference the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide.