As veteran emergency managers will tell you, coordinating the availability of emergency personnel is operationally critical to delivering resources and services. It’s just not that easy, especially for agencies who rely heavily on volunteers to support their response efforts.
And those organizations are becoming the norm as volunteer ranks are swelling: not just formal organization volunteers, but also spontaneous volunteers converging on disasters sites even before established organizations can arrive. No doubt, this class of emergency worker can bring a lot to the mission, but they also raise clear operational questions. None more important than, will my volunteers reliably show up?