Volunteer FAQ

What do I need to do to become a disaster volunteer?

Disaster volunteers are trained volunteers that assist families during times of crisis. Disaster Volunteers need to take a series of Basic Disaster Training courses that are offered at our chapter and other local chapters, free of charge. The first two courses are available as self-study courses. Additional courses may be required depending on position chosen.

Disaster volunteers are required to attend a minimum of 70% of all monthly meetings, which are held on the last Wednesday of each month at 6:00PM at the Tinton Falls office. These meetings are informal gatherings of the Disaster Services Volunteers in which we discuss everything from training and disaster response to the review of forms and procedures. We have guest speakers and “road trips” occasionally and we ALWAYS have fun.

What kind of disasters do we help with?
A single family could have been evacuated from their home due to a fire, flood, storm, etc, or a multi-family apartment building that has been evacuated due to an electrical fire. Our goal is to provide clients with help to satisfy their immediate needs due to a natural or manmade disaster.

Do I sign up to work at a specific time?
Disasters, unfortunately, do not happen at the most opportune times. Disaster Services is not a 9-5 job. Depending on the position you choose to become involved with, will determine whether or not you will need to sign-up to work at a specific time. Our volunteers can be asked to respond at any time, day or night, to assist during an emergency.

How can I become involved?

At our chapter we have classified our Disaster Volunteers into five categories

Rapid Response Volunteers (RRV)

DAT (Disaster Action Team) Members

Large Disaster Response (LDR) volunteers

Local Shelter Volunteers (LSO)

DSHR (Disaster Services Human Resources) Members

What is the RRV Program?

The Rapid Response Volunteer program is organized to place a disaster services Red Cross volunteer at the scene of a disaster within minutes of notification to quickly assess, if any, Red Cross services are needed. The RRV paves the way for mobilizing other chapter and National Red Cross resources that may be required.

The RRV position does require that the volunteer be scheduled to respond to disaster situations for a period of one week per month on an on-call basis during the hours of 7:00PM to 7:00AM Monday through Friday and 24-hours on Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays.

What is a DAT?

DAT stands for Disaster Action Team. The Disaster Action Team consists of disaster volunteers that have been trained in (at least) Family Service: Providing Emergency Assistance, Mass Care: An Overview, and Shelter Operations.

In the event of a small disaster (1-4 families), a DAT member will respond to the disaster scene and give casework assistance to those in need. Immediate assistance includes lodging, clothing, groceries, and medical needs.

What is LDR?
Volunteers that are classified as LDR (Large Disaster Response) are those that have taken the required disaster training courses for a specific function and choose only to be involved should a large disaster occur within our jurisdiction. These volunteers also attend monthly meetings, but are only called upon when a disaster of more than 10 families has occurred.

What is LSO?
Local shelter volunteers are volunteers that have taken basic training in sheltering and would only like to volunteer in their own local community should the need arise.

What is CDE?
Community Disaster Educators are volunteers who are trained to present our Together We Prepare, Masters of Disasters and general disaster prevention information to schools, businesses and the general public.

What is DSHR?

DSHR stands for the Disaster Services Human Resources System. DSHR is the system utilized by National Red Cross to track and place volunteers that are trained, able and willing to go out on National disaster assignments for a minimum of 3 weeks.

DSHR members are local chapter volunteers that have taken training in a specialized area (i.e. mass care, family service, mental health, etc.) and have committed themselves to being available for long-term assignments.

How Do I Get Involved?
We ask that you take a look at the course schedule and then complete the Disaster Volunteer application. Disaster courses are free to the community. To register, please complete the application or contact us via email if you have additional questions.