If you are an agency interested in recruiting volunteers to support your organization’s mission please register on the statewide GetConnected system to get started.
If you are an individual or group that are interested in becoming a disaster volunteer in Iowa, you can explore opportunities available here.
How to Volunteer
Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the amount of generous people who want to help. Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained and supported to respond in the most effective way.
IDHRC members respond to disasters in Iowa. Contact us and we can help you connect with an IDHRC member. You will be contacted once our members have had an opportunity to assess the damage and identify unmet needs.
The IDHRC and our partners can provide resources to help emergency managers develop a plan and train community members to mobilize and manage these volunteers to meet needs and ensure safety.
When disaster strikes, unaffiliated/spontaneous volunteers who want to help will often travel from all over the country to assist their neighbors, friends, and even complete strangers. Yet without a plan, these much needed volunteers can cause complications with rescue response efforts.
Seeing images of disaster may compel you to head to the impacted area. Don’t underestimate the complexity of working in a disaster area. Until a need has been identified and the local community impacted has requested support, volunteers should not enter.
- Be sure to contact us before coming to the disaster area.
- Wait until it is safe to travel to volunteer sites and opportunities have been identified.
- Once assigned a position, make sure you have been given an assignment and are wearing proper safety gear for the task.
Be patient. Recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention. There will be volunteer needs for many months, often years, after the disaster, especially when the community enters the long-term recovery period.