Disaster preparedness volunteers needed

news release

In the event of a hurricane, United Way operates the Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) after a disaster located at the United Way Center on 14th Avenue, Vero Beach.

Ava Pybus reviews volunteer Cheryl Lunte’s information at mock Volunteer Training

United Way of Indian River County in conjunction with the Indian River County Emergency Management Division will be the liaison in connecting volunteers to individuals needing assistance with hurricane clean-up in Indian River County. The VRC is set up and staffed to intake and match volunteer skills with unmet needs in the community in the event of a disaster.

In order to plan ahead, VRC volunteers are encouraged to attend our 1-day certification training provided by Volunteer Florida on June 30th at the United Way Center from 9 AM to 4 PM. Registration is required.

Examples of opportunities:

•A request from the Emergency Operations Center may be for volunteers to help victims of a disaster inneed of blue tarps and installation on damaged roofs

•Salvation Army may need volunteers to help in their mass-feeding kitchens following a disaster

•The American Red Cross may need volunteers to case-manage victims of a hurricane and direct them totemporary assistance

•An elderly person may need volunteers to help clear debris from their yard or flood-soaked carpetremoved from their home

•Home-bound victims may need water or food delivered by volunteers

•and many, many more opportunities.

Volunteer Reception Center positions include registration and volunteer intake and interviewing, data collection and entry, safety training, phone bank, runners, greeters, etc.

The VRC serves to coordinate spontaneous, unaffiliated volunteers to help support the relief effort of ESF#15 (volunteers and donations) under the direction of IRC Emergency Management. Spontaneous volunteers will be assigned duties as needed by the VRC volunteer staff. A spontaneous, unaffiliated volunteer or SUV is a person that has not received current, formal disaster response training from a state organization or agency active in disaster.

There is a role for anyone who would like to become certified and assist at the Volunteer Reception Center in times of emergency. Volunteers must be 18 years or older. No special skills are necessary.

To register as a Volunteer Reception Center volunteer, please visit UnitedWayIRC.org or contact Stacy Benezra at (772) 567-8900, ext. 120 or Stacy.Benezra@UnitedWayIRC.org.

United Way of Indian River County (UWIRC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every community member. United Way works with local programs to provide resources to individuals and families in crisis today while working year-round to improve community conditions and create lasting solutions. We are effectively building a strong foundation and improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For more information about your local United Way, please call (772) 567-8900 or visit our website, UnitedWayIRC.org.

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