CaliforniaVolunteers today announced new Volunteer Coordinator Guidance Documents as part of California’s emergency management system.  These tools will help emergency managers across the state to better coordinate volunteer resources during disaster response operations.

“These first-in-the-nation guidance documents will allow more volunteers to be used more efficiently during disasters,” said Chief Service Officer, Karen Baker.  “These materials will help begin to professionalize volunteerism by formally integrating volunteer assets into emergency management planning and implementation.”

“I commend CalVolunteers for their continuing efforts to work with Cal OES to incorporate the numerous benefits of volunteerism into emergency management and disaster recovery programs in California,” said California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Director Mark Ghilarducci.

The Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) Advisory Board approved the new guidance today, after more than 25 meetings and workshops were held to solicit feedback from hundreds of stakeholders across California, including local government, state agencies, nongovernmental organizations and tribal governments.  The concept for the documents is based on the principles of SEMS, following the resource request process.  CaliforniaVolunteers will work to provide key training to help emergency managers develop volunteer coordinators within their own jurisdictions.

Together, these resources will provide guidance on the roles and responsibilities of a Volunteer Coordinator at all levels of the emergency management system and will help increase the use of volunteers for disaster response and recovery efforts.