12/02/2006

Volunteer Mobilization Center

Know where your local Volunteer Mobilization Center is BEFORE disaster strikes!!!

Volunteers for America
:
Here are some tips for how to set up one piece of the an emergency management and continuity of operations plans, the Volunteer Mobilization Center (VMC).

Volunteer Mobilization Center Sample Floor Plan Click the Sample Volunteer Mobilization Center Floor Plan icon on the left to print a larger copy. Neighbors helping neighbors, strangers helping each other who then become friends...i.e. Volunteers... are essential to the American Way of Life. The Volunteer Mobilization Center is where it all comes together and those friendships are cemented.
The VMC sample floor plan here shows the arrangement of the supplies, furniture, and flow for the various volunteers and their duties. No matter what the emergency, this is a good place to greet, identify, organize, train and dispatch all the volunteers who arrive to assist.
Tip: Identify and prepare the VMC BEFORE a disaster. For example, establish the local library, a church basement, fire house basement, or other room as THE central location for volunteers to go to and be organized to deal with the event.
Stock the VMC with tables, chairs, white boards, pens, wrist band identity bracelets, thin film solar batteries for back power for laptop computers, water, food, and all other supplies necessary to get it going and to maintain it.
VMC Support Staff - Core Staff Roles: * VMC Manager * Logistics Coordinator * Security Coordinator * Data Entry Staff * Agency Liason * Runners * Media Coordinator * Greeters

There would be no America without volunteers Barn raisings that were critical to early farm life were done by volunteers. From the early settlers, to George Washington's Continental Army, to every religious, military, fraternal, association, we have depended on volunteers. There are cemeteries all over America with with white marble crosses and stars of David with hundreds of thousands of America's best volunteers.
Recently, just look at any area of America recently hit by earthquake, flood, ice storm, extreme wind, jihad's, hurricane, fire, chemical spill, or any of the other man-made or natural disasters that strike as regularly as the change of seasons.
Volunteers mitigate, plan for, respond to, fix, clean, repair, medically assist, and undertake the hundreds of thousands of individual tasks that mean survival, recovery, and a brighter day.
Basically, a core of professionals (fire fighters, police, emergency operations center managers and staff, doctors, nurses, and so forth) are supported by a deep bench of spontaneous volunteers who contribute mightily in any successful disaster mitigation, planning, response, and recovery.
It was true when the British occupied Philadelphia and American volunteers had to survive at Valley Forge, to World War Two when American's saved their spare iron coat hangers and oven grease for the war effort, to the thousands who showed up to help with the work to be done at the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attack to the current work of repairing the Gulf after Katrina.
To all the American volunteers who have given and now give their time, talent, treasure...and often their limbs and lives... for their family, friends and strangers...my and my family's deepest gratitude.

Additional Resources
https://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/
http://www.training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/CERT/
http://www.citizencorps.gov/programs/
http://www.firecorps.org/
http://www.usaonwatch.org/
http://www.policevolunteers.org/

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