Disaster Volunteers

Disaster Volunteers

Recruiting and Managing People Who Want to Help

1st Edition - January 21, 2020

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  • Author: Brenda Phillips
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128138465
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128138472

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Volunteer work can make a difference to those harmed by natural, technological, and human-induced disasters if it is done well. Disaster Volunteers provides readers with information on why people volunteer, the benefits gained by volunteers and recipients, and how to leverage such good will. Learning from a variety of past disasters, readers will gain realistic insights into the challenges of disaster contexts. Equipped with evidence-based best practices, Dr. Phillips organizes and illustrates necessary steps to recruit, train, manage, reward, and retain volunteers throughout the life cycle of disasters. This important resource walks both organizations and individuals through the entire process of volunteer engagement from recruiting and training to managing as well as rewarding and retaining volunteers and provides an engaging and informative set of useful and evidence-based chapters. Disaster Volunteers fills an existing gap in books on volunteer disaster management by incorporating research, generating sound recommendations, grounding ideas in a disaster context, and offering an inviting set of examples from which readers can learn.

Key Features

  • Includes sample materials for use by emergency managers, emergency managers, civic and faith-based
  • Provides case studies offering first-hand experiences that help bring the content to life
  • Includes stepwise advice to recruit, train, and retain a diverse set of disaster volunteers


Emergency management professionals concerned with how to manage large numbers of spontaneous as well as affiliated volunteers. Emergency Management education/degree programs

Table of Contents

  • 1. Why do people volunteer?
    2. Who manages disaster volunteers? Why manage volunteers?
    3. What to expect with volunteers
    4. Recruiting and training disaster volunteers
    6. Managing spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers
    7. Affiliated disaster volunteers
    8. Managing international volunteers
    9. The benefits of volunteering
    10. The future of disaster volunteerism

Product details

  • No. of pages: 208
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2020
  • Published: January 21, 2020
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128138465
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128138472

About the Author

Brenda Phillips

Brenda D. Phillips, Ph.D., is the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Indiana University South Bend. Previously, she taught emergency management at Oklahoma State University and has served as a subject-matter expert, consultant, and volunteer for multiple agencies, communities, educational institutions, and voluntary organizations. She is the author of Disaster Recovery, Mennonite Disaster Service, and Qualitative Disaster Research, the co-author of Introduction to Emergency Management, and the co-editor of Social Vulnerability to Disaster and co-author of the forthcoming Business Continuity Planning. She has written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles in the discipline of emergency management and disaster science with direct experience in researching hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and hazardous materials accidents, much of which has been funded by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Phillips has been invited to assist or speak at disaster programs in the United States, Canada, Mexico, People's Republic of China, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, and Australia where she has promoted evidence-based best practices for community safety. Dr. Phillips firmly believes in the extension of faculty expertise through volunteer service. With over thirty years of experience in the field of emergency management education, Dr. Phillips has volunteered for local emergency management planning committees and voluntary organizations, especially for high risk populations. She has served as an unpaid reviewer of city and agency emergency management plans and assisted with planning around disaster-time domestic violence, safety for people with disabilities, and elderly evacuation. She has led business continuity planning at multiple academic institutions and businesses. Her most meaningful volunteer activities have helped to rescue animals and rebuild homes (and docks that support sustainable livelihoods) after disasters.

Affiliations and Expertise

Indiana University South Bend, Indiana, USA

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