Maximizing volunteer support when disaster strikes
Earth’s natural and unpredictable climate presents serious challenges for global communities, as wild weather threatens lives, homes, schools, workplaces, and infrastructure.
From severe snow blizzards to devastating bushfires, natural disasters are an uncertain risk for community leaders and one that is difficult to plan for. We saw this unfold recently in Texas, when sub-zero temperatures wreaked havoc on the state and left homes and hospitals without power or water.
What is certain though is that in the wake of a disaster, the more hands on deck to help out, the faster the recovery. Volunteering plays an important role in this – be it through delivering food or clothing donations, assisting at a community centre, cleaning up, or re-building.
Fortunately, difficult times often do bring out the best in communities and we see large numbers of people who are very keen to offer their support.
However, volunteer efforts can be severely hindered by a lack of technology to efficiently manage registrations and the allocation of volunteers for appropriate activities.
Skedulo to the rescue
With Skedulo already working with states in multiple countries on COVID-19 vaccine scheduling, community leaders have begun considering the vast benefits of scheduling to address other potential challenges.
One of these challenges is disaster relief initiatives, where Skedulo enables careful planning and management of volunteer involvement en masse.
Some of the benefits of using Skedulo to assist with scheduling volunteers include:
- Ability to attract more volunteers with simple sign ups
- Allocation of tasks to people with appropriate skills or qualifications
- Effective utilization of volunteers based on availability
- Elimination of risks such as overcrowding at certain sites
For example, imagine a tornado destroys homes and buildings in multiple communities within a state. After surveying the damage, hundreds of locals who were unaffected wish to help out their friends and neighbours. However they have no idea how to help, who they should talk to, and where their time would be best spent to make the biggest impact.
Organizations can direct aspiring volunteers to a website where they would use Skedulo to sign up for shifts where volunteers are most needed – such as supporting the now-homeless at the local community centre, sorting donations, or clearing wreckage.
To get involved, volunteers simply:
- Visit the website to see available shifts and locations
- Enter their contact information
- Select shifts that match their requirements and skills
- Receive a text message or email confirmation with all the necessary information
- If needed, return to the website to cancel or reschedule their shift using their confirmation code
A key advantage of Skedulo’s solution is that volunteers can lend a hand regardless of whether they wish to help out once, or as much as they can.
Importantly, Skedulo can also assist with tracking resources and supplies. For example, you can input a total number of supply kits into the system and Skedulo will automatically deduct resources as they are used so you always know what you have on hand.
Thinking ahead with volunteer scheduling
While the world remains focused on a public health crisis, natural disasters are a fact of life that will continue regardless of whatever else is happening in our communities.
Thinking ahead to the proper planning and management of disaster relief initiatives, such as managing mass volunteer sign ups, is one way to reduce the long term impact these disasters have on residents and communities as a whole.
Be it hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or bushfires, Skedulo is proud to offer a valuable tool for harnessing community spirit and generosity at a time when people need it most.
To learn more about how Skedulo can assist with volunteer sign ups in the event of a disaster, contact us to book a free demo.