Strategies for Managing Volunteers during Incident Response: A Systems Approach
Fernandez, Lauren S.
Barbera, Joseph A.
Van Drop, Johan R.
MetadataShow full item record
During disasters, large numbers of people with no pre-planned role arrive at the scene and other areas of response activity to offer assistance. Spontaneous volunteers can be a significant resource, but are often ineffectively used and can actually hinder emergency activities by creating health, safety, and security issues, distracting responders from their duties, and interfering with ongoing operations. The challenge for incident managers is to capitalize on the available volunteer resources while ensuring safety and the responders' ability to effectively perform tasks within the established incident management system. This article presents a systems-based approach to planning for spontaneous volunteer management in disasters.
This article appeared in Homeland Security Affairs (October 2006), v.2 no.3