Emergency Volunteer Center
Take the Helm when Disaster Strikes
Writer Henrik Ibsen once said, “A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.” With those words in mind, the City of San Rafael’s Emergency Volunteer Center (EVC) has been formed to serve, train, rally and refer spontaneous or unaffiliated volunteers to response teams and service agencies throughout the county in the event of a disaster.
Order in a Time of Crisis
Spontaneous or unaffiliated volunteers are people wanting to help others during a disaster but who have no training or prior affiliation with a disaster response agency. In the Loma Prieta earthquake, spontaneous volunteers came forward in droves. Unfortunately, in many instances they hindered rather than helped the disaster operations in San Francisco for two days because there was no plan to employ them. Shortly after that event, the Emergency Volunteer Service concept was developed at the state level in order to remedy this predicament.
Volunteers Can Help
San Rafael operates a walk-in Emergency Volunteer Center (EVC) so if a disaster should occur, a spontaneous volunteer can either visit the center or call its phone bank. If the need for human resources is urgent, volunteers should come to the Center. At the center, the volunteer will be interviewed to identify strengths, interests, resources, and/or specialized experience. After the interview, the volunteer will be advised of available openings and referred to an agency or relief operation.
Get Involved Today
How can you prepare to take the helm in the event of a disaster? San Rafael has an EVC plan, but the City still needs skilled and dedicated volunteers to be pre-trained for operating an EVC. Positions such as receptionist, interviewer, data coordinator, training officer, security officer, and others are available. The EVC program is also in need of a dedicated intern or volunteer who can commit several months to a year of service to assist with training and outreach activities.