Volunteering in Response to Hurricane Maria

— Written By

The following information regarding voluntary response to hurricane Maria was published in a recent FEMA press release located at
https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/09/22/how-help-after-hurricane-maria.

Volunteering in Response to Hurricane Maria
Anyone seeking an opportunity to get involved in response and recovery operations is encouraged to volunteer with local and nationally known organizations. A list of volunteer websites is available at www.nvoad.org.

*Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands ask that volunteers not self-deploy,* as unexpected arrival in affected communities creates additional burden for first responders. Those who wish to register to volunteer to support response efforts for Hurricane Maria can go here for Puerto Rico (https://prvoad.communityos.org/cms/irma) and here: (https://usvivoad.communityos.org/cms/irma) for the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To register as an affiliated volunteer with a voluntary or charitable organization, visit the National VOAD for a list of partners active in disaster. Alternatively, you may register your interest to volunteer here for partner organizations to reach out to you.
Patience is paramount, and the need for volunteers endures. Recovery activities associated with Hurricane Maria will require volunteer engagement for many months and years to come, and the help of many will be required.

Please encourage your colleagues and your clientele to not create additional burdens for first responders by self-deploying.

That same press release also cautions against donations of unsolicited donated goods, as they require voluntary agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.