Thursday, September 06, 2007

Some comments on the new Quick Response team

As you no doubt saw recently, there are new rules that are being imposed on volunteers who want to help after a disaster. Here is my small contribution to the on going discussion on the Handson Alumni site.

handsonusaalumni : Message: Re: [handsonusaalumni] Re: Feds to restrict volunteers at disasters:
"Better coordination, not zero coordination, is what is needed....we are trying to prepare for the problems that the rules may bring to volunteer organizations...and it should be noted that this plan was in the works BEFORE the article was published. Both in Buffalo NY and Enterprise Al we had already begun to run into the problems of no volunteers allowed without being "official"...we worked around it in each case, but I have to confess it was at least partially good luck (especially in Enterprise where the street by the high school was still off limits but we did get in).

We have formed a new BonaResponds Quick Response team...we are getting the basic Red Cross training, then FEMA CERT (317), then a day with local fire dept, police dept, and finally our county disaster response coordinator. By no means will we be first responders, but quick and able to is an added burden and many/most volunteers will not be able/willing to do it but short of saying we are not going to help, I think this may be the best course of action. " [emphasis added]
As I told Laura tonight, this is not perfect and we may hit snags along the way, but I truly believe it is the best way we can help people after a disaster.

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