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- An introduction to disaster volunteer management intended for nonprofit and governmental agencies in Howard County, Maryland …

- An introduction to disaster volunteer management intended for nonprofit and governmental agencies in Howard County, Maryland
- Overview of Volunteer Reception Center model
- Recommendations of steps to take to prepare for disaster volunteers

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  • 1. Volunteer Mobilization Centers An introduction to standard operating procedures for Governmental and Non-profit Agencies
  • 2. Objectives
    • Brief Overview of VCSHC
    • Definitions
    • Disaster Volunteer Management in Maryland
    • Goals of Disaster Volunteer Management
    • Introduce concept and operations of Volunteer Mobilization Centers
  • 3.
    • History of the Volunteer Center Serving Howard County
    • Overview of Volunteer Center services and programs
      • Clearinghouse
      • Website
      • Youth Programs
      • Agency resources
      • Publications
      • Disaster Volunteer Initiative
    Volunteer Center
  • 4. Definitions
    • Volunteer: willingly provides services without receiving financial compensation
    • Affiliated Volunteer: affiliated with government agency or NGO and who has been trained for a specific role or function in disaster relief or response during the preparedness phase; typically used first in disaster (VIPS, ARC-DAT, CERT, ACSDR, etc.)
    • Spontaneous Volunteer: comes forward (at times without being requested) following a disaster to assist a governmental agency or NGO with disaster related activities during the response or recovery phase, not initially affiliated with a response or relief agency, also called convergent or unaffiliated volunteers
  • 5. Currently
    • Many jurisdictions across the state have started to plan for disaster volunteers
    • Volunteer Centers are working in cooperation with local government to identify an appropriate role to play in managing disaster volunteers
    • The Governor’s Office for Service & Volunteerism is the designated lead agency for ESF 15 in the state
  • 6. Volunteer Centers in Maryland
    • Working collaboratively
    • Sharing resources and best practices
    • Utilizing and modifying the Volunteer Florida model as appropriate
    • Increasing interoperability and maximizing resiliency
    • Support of the Baltimore Urban Area Security Initiative Work Group is playing a critical role in creating and enhancing regional planning for disaster volunteer management
  • 7. Objectives of Disaster Volunteer Management
    • Before a Disaster:
    • Encourage non-profit and governmental agencies to effectively involve volunteers in the four phases of disaster (mitigation, preparation, response & recovery)
    • Encourage community members to become affiliated volunteers with existing disaster preparedness, response and recovery agencies (allows for training, best use of skills, credentialing as needed, etc.) ex. ARC, CAP, ACSDR
  • 8. Objectives of Disaster Volunteer Management
    • Before a Disaster (continued):
    • Plan and prepare for spontaneous volunteer management
    • Train agencies unable to host affiliated volunteers how to access and manage spontaneous volunteers following an event
  • 9. Objectives of Disaster Volunteer Management
    • After a Disaster
    • Assist the local lead agency with the coordination and management of spontaneous volunteers in order to effectively complement response and recovery efforts
  • 10. Role of the Volunteer Center in Disaster Preparedness and Response
    • Before a Disaster
    • Foster the pre- affiliation of community members to existing disaster preparedness, response and recovery agencies; ex. ARC, CAP, CERT.
    • Identify training opportunities.
    • After a Disaster
    • Assist the Department of Citizen Services with the coordination of spontaneous, unaffiliated volunteers.
    • Effectively utilize volunteers to complement recovery efforts.
  • 11.
    • Included in the National Response Framework
    • Identified as a critical aspect of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery by FEMA, National VOAD and the Points of Light Foundation
    • MUST be addressed prior to a disaster to maximize effectiveness
    • The role of the Volunteer Center in local preparedness and response initiatives (LEPC, CERN, MDVOAD, Citizen Services, Baltimore UASI)
    Spontaneous Volunteer Management
  • 12. A model for managing spontaneous volunteers
    • Introduced by Volunteer Florida
    • Called Volunteer Mobilization Centers (VMCs) or Volunteer Reception Centers (VRCs)
  • 13. Volunteers May be Called Upon to. . .
  • 14.  
  • 15. What is a VMC?
    • Serves as a point of mobilization, registration and referral for spontaneous, unaffiliated volunteers who emerge in response to a disaster or incident
    • Also known as Volunteer Reception Centers (VRCs).
  • 16. Why are VMCs necessary?
    • Help potential volunteers respond more effectively to critical needs of the community (as determined by coordinating agencies)
    • Make the best possible use of spontaneous volunteers
    • Serve as a buffer between first responders and well-intentioned, unaffiliated volunteers
    • Many agencies are not able/willing to create and maintain relationships with affiliated disaster volunteers specific to disaster
  • 17. Why are VMCs necessary?
    • Comple ment rather than compli cate efforts of first responders (including those in disaster response organizations tasked with functions apart from spontaneous volunteer management)
    • Ensure that urgent community needs are addressed in a timely manner
    • Lay the foundation to rebuild community
    continued
  • 18. Where will VMCs be located?
    • Several sites have been assessed in the community as potential locations.
    • Libraries, senior centers, faith communities may be considered.
    • Locations will be determined after the event based upon the situation and need.
  • 19. When are VMCs activated?
    • Volunteer Mobilization Centers DO NOT self deploy.
    • In Howard County, the Volunteer Center serving Howard County will be notified by the Howard County Department of Citizen Services (HCDCS), which is the primary agency for volunteer management and donations.
  • 20. Who staffs VMCs?
    • Members of the Volunteer Center Staff
    • Volunteer Coordinators from local non-profit and governmental agencies
    • Community Members trained in the process, procedures and paperwork of registering and referring spontaneous, unaffiliated volunteers
    • Select SUVs who appear at VMCs
  • 21. VMC Sample Floor Plan Entrance Exit Greeter Interview Referral Confirm. Safety Identific. Volunteer Opportunities
  • 22. Registering Spontaneous, Unaffiliated Volunteers Step 1 Upon Arrival
  • 23. Upon Arrival
    • Incoming Volunteers will:
    • Be met by a Greeter
    • Sign-in on the Volunteer Tracking Sheet
    • Receive :
    •  Volunteer Instructions
    •  Volunteer Intake Form (Volunteer should complete both sides of the form)
    • Be asked to review the list of volunteer opportunities available
    • All incoming volunteers should be told that photo identification is required for registration!
  • 24. The Interview Step 2 Determining Referral
  • 25. The Interview
    • Each incoming volunteer will be seen by an Interviewer who will review the Intake Form for completeness.
    • The Interviewer will confirm if the volunteer can meet an immediate need or would prefer to wait.
  • 26. The Interview
    • If volunteer prefers to wait , confirm methods of contact.
    • Registered volunteers can choose to wait at VMC IF appropriate or wait elsewhere.
    • Intake Form is held at VMC.
    • If volunteer elects to provide a service , the Interviewer will complete a Referral Form.
    • The Referral Form contains site contact information and service(s) requested.
  • 27. Agency Referral Confirmation Step 3 Confirming Agency Need & Contact Information
  • 28. Agency Referral Confirmation
    • The Referral Form is reviewed for completeness.
    • Site Directions are verified.
    • Volunteer’s Name is documented on an Agency Tracking Form.
    • Filled & Incoming requests are relayed to the volunteer opportunity board.
  • 29. Safety Briefing Step 4 General Safety Orientation
  • 30. Safety Briefing
    • A general orientation to the situation with basic safety instructions will be presented.
    • Confidentiality is critical.
    • Following directions is a must.
    • Additional training may be available at site.
    • Provided orally and in written form
    • Volunteer sign-in to document attendance.
  • 31. Volunteer Identification Step 5 Verification of Identity
  • 32. Volunteer Identification
    • The volunteer’s Referral Form and form of identification will be compared and documented.
    • A Volunteer Center wristband will be attached to the volunteer, its number recorded next to the volunteer’s name.
  • 33. VMC Support Staff
    • VMC Media Coordinator
    • Responds to ALL
    • media requests
    • Logistics
    • Coordinates setup
    • and supplies
    • Security
    • Ensures safety measures
    • are implemented and
    • followed
    • Data Entry Staff
    • Accurately records
    • all VMC information
    • into a database
    • Communication Staff
      • Phone Bank
      • Agency Liaison
    • Collects and delivers
    • accurate information to
    • callers or e-mailers
    • Runners
      • Carry information from station-to-station as needed .
    *May vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction
  • 34. VMC Management
    • VMC Director
    • VMC Manager/s
  • 35. VMC Director
    • Serves as Incident Commander for VMCs
    • Maintains direct communications with Department of Citizen Services
    • Requests support services from County
    • Locates VMC Manager
    • Assists with location’s logistics
    • Determines VMC hours of operation
  • 36. VMC Manager/s
    • Serves as VMC Operations Manager
    • Oversees the smooth operation of an individual VMC
    • Maintains regular communications with VMC Director
    • Provide VMC staff with regular updates
    • Establish shift & rotation schedules
    • Determines a plan for closing VMC
  • 37. VMC Training Manual
    • Developed to allow VMC staff to train spontaneous volunteers to assist as needed
    • Contains general information, forms, and resources
    • Presents information in context so volunteers gain an overview of the process in addition to position specific information
    • Agencies may wish to use it to develop their own volunteer training manual for use in disaster (overview available upon request)
  • 38. Agencies How to access volunteers through a VMC
    • Agency must be registered with Volunteer Center
    • Complete and submit Disaster Volunteer Request Forms (available in hard copy and online)
    • Submit new/updated requests as needed
    • (Procedure determined by event: may be via online submission, phone, fax, or physically going to a VMC to report needs)
    • Point of Contact : Communication Staff, Agency Liaison
  • 39. How to locate a VMC following a disaster
    • Contact the Volunteer Center at 410.715.3172
    • Access the Volunteer Center website at www.volunteerhoward.org
    • Be alert for announcements via radio or television
  • 40. Volunteer Management – the basics
    • The non-profit/governmental agency requesting volunteers is responsible for volunteers’ compliance with any and all agency regulations and/or requirements
    • Plan for disaster volunteers – create forms, checklists, and procedures in advance (intake form, liability form, safety training, volunteer log, position descriptions, written policies and procedures, etc.)
    • Designate individual to supervise volunteers
    • Determine process by which volunteers will be selected (Please note: agencies may decline volunteers and volunteers may decline agency referral. The VCSHC/VMC is not responsible for screening volunteers.)
    • Track hours for potential reimbursement from state or FEMA
  • 41.
    • Volunteer training & supervision
    • Volunteer dismissal – always an option, easier to manage with written position description, policies and procedures
    • Volunteer recognition
    • The VCSHC is available to consult with agencies before a disaster to discuss planning and issues related to volunteer management
    Volunteer Management – the basics continued
  • 42. Lessons Learned
    • Planning for disaster volunteers is essential
    • Liability and risk management needs to be addressed early
    • Communities outside of the affected area may play a role in disaster volunteer management
    • Providing direct or indirect service upon request and/or
    • Helping to educate the public regarding effective volunteer
    • and donations protocol
  • 43. Lessons Learned con’d
    • Common Messaging is CRITICAL
    • Value of tracking volunteer hours for potential use as matching for federal and state reimbursements
    • Models for disaster volunteer management will vary from place to place and will look different in a pandemic situation
  • 44. Agency Resources
    • Agency Disaster Preparedness Planning Guide - Incorporating Volunteers
    • All Hazards Volunteer Operations Checklist
    • List of potential disaster volunteer tasks
    • Agency checklist for submitting request following a disaster
    • Encourage participation in VMC trainings and exercises
    • Contact the VCSHC for more information at 410.715.3172 or info @volunteerhoward.org
  • 45. Exercise
    • Identify 3-5 tasks that could be performed by spontaneous, unaffiliated volunteers in your agency
    • Complete agency request form
    • Determine what additional information is required
    • and identify ways to obtain it
    • Identify ways to incorporate SUV Management into existing organizational procedures
  • 46. Final Thoughts & Questions
  • 47. Thank You Thank you for your commitment to making a positive difference in our community in times of disaster. The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD, 21044 (410) 715-3172 info@volunteerhoward.org www.volunteerhoward.org This training was developed using materials and information from the American Red Cross and Volunteer Florida. The Volunteer Center would like to acknowledge the support of the Horizon Foundation, the Baltimore Area UASI Work Group, the Columbia Association, Howard Department of Citizen Services Community Partnership Grant Program, the Columbia Foundation, and the United Way of Central Maryland.