Spontaneous volunteers in large no’s offer real, heartfelt support in times of major disasters. Unfortunately most are untrained, posing serious problems by adding to the complexity of the situation. Self-organizing on social media many even arrive on the scene whilst the responders are still assessing the situation.
Alliance Manchester Business School developed Quality Standard ISO 22319:2017 which can help NGOs, charities and governments to turn this goodwill into a powerful tool in any relief effort.
Advance planning takes into account, expected no’s of volunteers (from historical similar disasters) , assign responsibility to one agency to lead and co-ordinate and identify tasks to be allocated in advance ensuring the volunteers work under experienced leaders.
Registration and selection from among spontaneous volunteers (considering local knowledge and skill), weeding out those who do not adhere to safe practices, initial hazard awareness information, establishing lines of communication and sharing experiences for improvement are some of the other components of the advance planning.