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How to Become an International Disaster Volunteer - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128044636, 9780128045084

How to Become an International Disaster Volunteer

1st Edition

Author: Michael Noone
eBook ISBN: 9780128045084
Paperback ISBN: 9780128044636
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 27th February 2017
Page Count: 140
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How to Become an International Disaster Volunteer discusses the immense value an experienced water systems engineer, trauma surgeon, or communications specialist could bring to a disaster stricken community, while also explaining how their professional educations do not prepare them for the logistical, psychological, and physical demands of traveling to, and functioning in, an international catastrophe with little water or electricity, limited sleep and food, a chaotic working environment, and with team members from diverse backgrounds and with different personalities.

This book provides a step-by-step guide for the entire process, including self-evaluating tactics, fitness measurements for volunteering, how to research disaster relief organizations, how to gain appropriate training and applicable experiences, the best practices during deployments, and the personal recovery process upon returning home.

Each chapter focuses on one aspect of the progression, but also includes case studies of disasters, profiles of relief organizations, and checklists for each stage.

Key Features

  • Presents tactics from an emergency manager who has extensive international disaster volunteer experience
  • Includes proven strategies that will help readers stand out to organizations
  • Provides practical advice on how to prepare for chaotic disaster conditions


Emergency managers, disaster relief workers, public health workers, social workers, and others who would like to apply their skills in international relief work on a volunteer basis. Students interested in breaking into the international humanitarian aid sector and who want to try volunteering first

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Is Disaster Volunteering for You? The Rewards and Demands

  • Abstract
  • Five W’s and an H
  • Potential Benefits
  • Disadvantages
  • Conclusion

Chapter 2. Finding and Choosing the Right Volunteer Organization

  • Abstract
  • Start Your Research
  • Personal Readiness

Chapter 3. Developing Relevant Training and Education for Deployments

  • Abstract
  • Brief History of Disaster Response
  • Recommended Training

Chapter 4. Preparation and Practice

  • Abstract
  • Preparing and Practicing for Your First Deployment
  • Traveling
  • Luggage
  • Tents and Mosquito Protection
  • Summing Up

Chapter 5. Predeployment Preparations

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • International Travel
  • Insurance, Documents, Phone, Medical Concerns
  • Small Group Operations and Volunteering

Chapter 6. Psychological Readiness

  • Abstract
  • Mental Resiliency—Anticipate, Plan, Deter
  • Conclusion

Chapter 7. On Deployment I: Setup, Operations, and Self-Care

  • Abstract
  • The Call … and the Tactical Pause
  • Team Building
  • Housing, Unpacking, Escape Route, and Rally Plan

Chapter 8. On Deployment II: Continued Operations, Winding Down, and Getting Back to the “Real World”

  • Abstract
  • Transportation and Recordkeeping
  • Self-Care
  • Building Relationships With Your Local Partners
  • Packing Up, Lessons Learned, Leaving Stuff

Chapter 9. Postdeployment

  • Abstract
  • Coming Home


No. of pages:
© Butterworth-Heinemann 2017
27th February 2017
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:

About the Author

Michael Noone

Michael Noone has more than 20 years’ experience in emergency response, with international deployments to the Dominican Republic, Haiti following the catastrophic 2010 earthquake, the Philippines following Super-typhoon Haiyan, and multiple US deployments with the federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) CA-1. He currently works to coordinate public health disaster response for five counties in Southern California with a population of 15 million, and was previously the Emergency Coordinator with the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Affiliations and Expertise

Public Health Disaster Response Coordinator


"What makes this book unique is that the author endeavors to include everything an individual would need to know about international volunteering in one publication.

The author successfully creates a practical guide for current international disaster volunteers and those who are interested in becoming volunteers." --Security Management

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