What’s It Like to Volunteer for Emergency Response?

Disasters happen all over the world. Sadly, despite all the effort our emergency services go through, they aren’t always able to help those in need because there’s only a limited amount of people. This is when we as human beings have to turn to other human beings for help. This is when emergency response volunteers can come in handy. When there’s a natural disaster or an incident that the local authorities can’t cope with, they turn to normal citizens for help.

Our first human reaction to a disaster should be to secure the safety of those around us. First it’s our families, then it might be our neighbors and friends, and then we’ll worry about distant friends and family. However, if you’ve ever wanted to help and do more for people in their time of need, then here are a few things to consider before you register yourself as an emergency response volunteer.

Source: Flickr

You aren’t a freelancer, you’re a volunteer

You won’t get paid for volunteering. The only payment you receive is the kind thanks and the feeling of doing something good for people around you. If you want to help, then you need to be within a couple of hours of driving distance from the scene itself. Don’t drive across your state or country if you can’t make it to the disaster zone within at least 12 hours because you’re likely going to complicate things and get in the way of everyone else.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay for your own transportation and fuel, you need to buy your own LED emergency lights to let others know you’re a volunteer, and you won’t get reimbursed for most of these things. If you want to help during a disaster but can’t afford to take time off work or invest money into preparing for disasters, then you can provide relief by donating to these causes after they happen.

Its dangerous work

You are most likely going to head into an area which is still unstable and dangerous. For instance, if a nuclear reactor goes into meltdown and causes radiation to pour into the surrounding area, it’s going to be an incredibly dangerous area to work in. If there are riots in an area, then chances are you’re going to become a target and the rioters will not care if you are there to help or not. Your life could be at risk depending on the situation and depending on who you take with you, you could be putting other people’s lives in danger as well.

Its emotional work

Not everyone you try to save is going to live. You might stress yourself out or even break a few bones trying to save someone that is trapped under a heavy piece of rubble from a hurricane. That person may or may not live and you will have to deal with that emotional distress, so is that something you can cope with? You might also be given some rather questionable orders that you have to obey if you are a volunteer. For instance, you might be forced to leave an area to give other people care, forcing you to leave behind anyone that needs assistance where you are currently stationed. You need a strong will and mental fortitude to be able to look upon a disastrous situation and remain focused enough to be useful instead of a burden.


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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