Get Involved, Volunteer

Another way you can help make your community and your family more prepared for an emergency is to volunteer. There are opportunities to volunteer in your community through the following groups:

Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council


The Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council is comprised of faith-based and voluntary agency representatives and representatives from key government agencies. Council members seek to identify available resources that can address the unmet needs of Iowa's citizens impacted by disaster events. For more information, view our Brochure (PDF) that includes a list of member organizations. To volunteer or learn more about involved agencies in your area, contact your county emergency management coordinator.

The Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council continues to grow in membership. In May 2004, following tornado and flood events, the Council was instrumental in providing debris and basement clean up to impacted citizens. The Council held weekly conference calls to discuss response actions taking place by each voluntary agency or group. During these calls the Council tried to identify and discuss any unmet needs involving seniors and persons with disabilities. As needs were identified, the Council tried to identify resources that could impact those needs.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)


The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a program of Citizen Corps, was created to harness the power of individuals to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to threats of terrorism, crime, and disasters of all kinds. CERT trains people in basic disaster response skills and helps citizens learn to take a more active role in emergency preparedness. Twenty-seven counties in Iowa currently participate in the CERT program. For more information, visit the Citizen Corps Website.

Volunteer Amateur Radio Service Operators (HAMS)


Volunteer Amateur Radio Service Operators (HAMS) work with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division, National Weather Service, American Red Cross, and other emergency response organizations to provide another avenue to get messages in to, or out of, areas where normal communications are overloaded or have been damaged. Amateur Radio is an organization that encourages two-way communications so officials can assist their local communities in disaster preparedness and public service. For more information, visit the American Radio Relay League Website.

Neighborhood Watch Program


The Neighborhood Watch Program incorporates terrorism awareness and education into its existing crime prevention mission and serves as a way to bring residents together to focus on disaster preparedness and training. It provides a unique infrastructure that brings together local officials, law enforcement and citizens to protect our communities. For more information, visit the Citizen Corps Website.

American Red Cross


The American Red Cross has opportunities to volunteer or to take CPR and First Aid training through local chapters. To find your local chapter visit the Red Cross Website. Many local Red Cross units have websites that provide information on volunteer and training opportunities.