Regional Volunteer Preparedness Plan
The Regional Volunteer Preparedness Plan is designed to build and strengthen Regional partnerships among volunteer managers, nonprofits, disaster response agencies, and the private sector to improve the response capability of the Region’s affiliated volunteer networks and to work together following a catastrophic event. The plan will increase the ability of the Region to effectively use volunteer resources and to prepare and manage volunteers to respond to a Regional catastrophic disaster.
Following the National Incident Management System and Emergency Support Functions, the plan is a guide for emergency management personnel to effectively manage volunteers who are trained and affiliated with an organization that supports emergency response operations that range from local to Region-wide catastrophic events.
Proposed Plan Initiatives
- Regional Volunteer Coordinator (RVC) at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
The plan recommends to introducing an RVC position in the EOC to help emergency managers to identify, locate, request, order, and track volunteer resources from neighbor counties or states within the Region. The RVC will also identify costs associated with volunteer deployment including, but not limited to, transportation of food and lodging.
- Regional Volunteer Task Force (RVTF)
The RVTF emphasizes unity of effort among affiliated volunteer organizations to increase the ability of the Region to effectively use resources responding to a catastrophic event. The RVTF allows volunteer organizations with different missions to work together by pairing volunteer services with ground needs. The main RVTF objective is to share volunteer services within the Region across state and county lines.
- Regional Coordination and Request Protocol
A catastrophic event will quickly deplete local volunteer resources; therefore, support from neighboring counties and states will be needed to provide volunteer services to affected areas. The plan recommends introducing a mechanism and protocol to request and provide volunteer services across state lines. The plan has identified two ways to achieve Regional coordination, and volunteer request can be executed if:
- The interested parties enter a Mutual Aid Agreements Memorandum of Understanding and a Memorandum of Agreement
- Emergency Management Assistance Compact procedures are activated
- Regional Volunteer Typing System and Regional Training Requirement
The Regional Volunteer Typing System is a mechanism to request affiliated volunteers from different states to assist a state and/or a jurisdiction affected by a disaster. The system allows emergency management personnel to identify, locate, request, order, and track outside volunteer resources quickly. It also provides an effective mechanism to facilitate the movement of these resources to the jurisdictions that need them. The planning team is developing a capability matrix designed to facilitate emergency personnel to request volunteers from government and nongovernment agencies according to organizational capabilities. The matrix lists key volunteer services and identifies organizations that trained their volunteers in services needed at the ground level.