The 2018 hurricane season has been extraordinarily active in parts of the U.S., with Hurricane Florence currently impacting millions in the Carolinas. As this natural disaster unfolds, the staff here at VolunteerMatch is doing its part to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you are prepared and safe. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know about the most effective ways to contribute.
When a sudden, unexpected crisis occurs in our lives, we frequently experience degrees of depression, despair, confusion and emotional shock. Imagine what a victim of random violence feels, or someone who has arrived home to find their personal property has been violated, a driver who has struck a child, a wife whose husband suddenly dies, or a homeowner whose home and memories have been destroyed by fire. It is these and other life experiences that we all dread but may be forced to endure. VSU volunteers respond to these challenges to:
Provide comfort and emotional support
Help arrange for shelter, food, clothing
Notify family and friends
Serve as liaison between the victim and other agencies
Help arrange follow-up services
Provide information and referral to appropriate agencies for on-going assistance
VSU volunteers are scheduled as teams to be on-call 24 hours a day for seven-day periods to provide this necessary initial support. Police and fire personnel, when necessary, contact 911 dispatchers to request VSU assistance. The on-call VSU team is then paged to respond immediately to the scene.