After the historic JUNE 2016 Floods in West Virginia, there was a great volunteer response. Many people from in and out of state wanted to help. With proper training and education, volunteers expand the resources available to states and local communities helping to support first responders. Many partner organizations offer public education and training for free. The whole community can participate in programs, trainings and activities to make their families, homes and communities safer from risks and threats.
Learn how you can get involved by reaching out to one of the disaster volunteer organizations listed below.
American Red Cross offers multiple trainings, like CPR and 1st Aid, as well as a variety of volunteer opportunities. Learn more at: national website, WV Red Cross website, or contact your local WV Red Cross chapter. See Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities. Want to donate blood, find a local Red Cross Blood Drive near you.
WV Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (WV VOAD) is a humanitarian association of independent organizations that may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is to identify unmet needs and facilitate efficient, streamlined service delivery to those impacted by disaster. JOIN a VOAD member organization, or go to West Virginia VOAD to see how you can help. Learn more at National VOAD.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members get training to learn to help themselves, their families, and those nearby during an incident, and help support local 1st responders. You can be ready. CERT can help get you there. Join a CERT Programs in WV, or learn how to start a CERT program in your community, contact Gina.L.Namay@wv.gov.
Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. The MRC network comprises approximately 190,000 volunteers in 900 community-based units located throughout the United States and its territories. Find an MRC program near you, or contact the WV MRC coordinator at Tony.M.Leach@wv.gov.
The National Neighborhood Watch Program (formerly USAonWatch), housed within the National Sheriffs’ Association, has worked to unite law enforcement agencies, private organizations, and individual citizens in a nation-wide effort to reduce crime and improve local communities. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Neighborhood Watch programs have expanded beyond their traditional crime prevention role to help neighborhoods focus on disaster preparedness, emergency response and terrorism awareness. The Neighborhood Watch Program draws upon the compassion of average citizens, asking them to lend their neighbors a hand. For more information, go to: http://www.nnw.org/
The Fire Corps promotes the use of citizen advocates to enhance the capacity of resource-constrained fire and rescue departments at all levels: volunteer, combination, and career. Citizen advocates can assist local fire departments in a range of activities including fire safety outreach, youth programs, and administrative support. Fire Corps provides resources to assist fire and rescue departments in creating opportunities for citizen advocates and promotes citizen participation. Fire Corps is funded through DHS and is managed and implemented through a partnership between the National Volunteer Fire Council, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. For more information, go to https://www.nvfc.org/fire-corps-information-for-prospective-volunteers/
Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) works to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement to utilize volunteers. VIPS serves as a gateway to resources and information for and about law enforcement volunteer programs. Funded by DOJ, VIPS is managed and implemented by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. For more information, visit https://www.nnw.org/volunteers-police-service-vips Disaster Services – The Corporation for National & Community Service Disaster Services Unit (DSU) leads coordinated, collaborative, and strong disaster-related efforts with federal, state, and local governments, nonprofits, faith-based and philanthropic organizations and other partners. See specific programs below:
The mission of the WV Pets in Disaster Task Force is to identify and facilitate the exchange of information regarding resources (professionals, volunteers, equipment, supplies, etc.) available to support sheltering of companion animals, related animals and livestock during emergencies. Please like and follow our WV Pets in Disaster Task Force Facebook page to see how you can assist in helping pets during a disaster, or contact email@example.com
Non-Disaster Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer West Virginia is the State's Commission for National and Community Service is the lead agency for volunteerism and national service The State's Commission for National and Community Service is the lead agency for volunteerism and national service (In-state AmeriCorps) in West Virginia. Visit the website to search for a volunteer opportunity in your area.
AmeriCorps National Service Programs - Answer the President's Call to Service. Give back to your community and gain valuable life experience by serving as an AmeriCorps member, a VISTA, Senior Corps RSVP, or find a volunteer opportunity near you.