General Disaster Services Information
Serve Kentucky has pledged to grow so to assist with statewide preparedness for, response to and recovery from disasters. We are working to coordinate our available resources for managing unaffiliated volunteers during times of disasters in Kentucky. In addition to disaster volunteer management, Serve Kentucky can provide disaster assistance utilizing the network of national resources in Kentucky, as needed.
AmeriCorps programs can play a role in helping prepare for and responding to disasters. However, Kentucky AmeriCorps programs cannot self-deploy. All disaster deployments (outside approved program design) must be coordinated and approved by Serve Kentucky. When a disaster occurs, Serve Kentucky will coordinate with the Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) to determine the need to request and deploy national service resources. Serve Kentucky focuses on long-term disaster recovery efforts.
AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams (A-DRTs)
A-DRTs are current AmeriCorps programs that focus on disaster services and serve as nationally deployable resources. The AmeriCorps Disaster Services Unit (DSU) oversees and implements the A-DRT program. All A-DRTs follow a standard, established protocol in the field when deployed by the DSU and are under the management of the AmeriCorps Incident Command System. These members can deploy to nearly any disaster and provide:
- AmeriCorps Command Team (ACT)
- Volunteer management
- Donations management
- Mucking/gutting (post-flood)
- Debris management
- Call center and data management
- Mass Care (sheltering, feeding)
- Long term recovery development
Volunteerism During Disasters
When disaster strikes, unaffiliated/spontaneous volunteers who want to help will often travel from all over Kentucky and the country to assist their neighbors, friends, and even complete strangers. Yet without a plan, these much-needed volunteers can cause complications with rescue response efforts. A flood of
unorganized volunteers immediately following a disaster can actually cause more issues than help.
Serve Kentucky is a member agency of the
Kentucky Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (KY-VOAD) and can provide resources to help emergency managers develop a plan and train community members to mobilize and manage these volunteers to meet needs and ensure safety.