How to Become an International Disaster Volunteer

How to Become an International Disaster Volunteer

1st Edition - February 27, 2017

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  • Author: Michael Noone
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128045084
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128044636

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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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 140
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2017
  • Published: February 27, 2017
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128045084
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128044636

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

Ratings and Reviews

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  • Marcus B. Mon May 14 2018

    The Book Everyone Wishes They Had Read

    As an ED nurse with dozens of deployments, this is the book I wish I could have read before I started my passion of working as an International Nurse volunteer! Everyone considering working as a disaster volunteer NEEDS this book!