Disaster Response Volunteer Job Description [Updated for 2024]

disaster response volunteer job description

In the face of unforeseen calamities, the need for Disaster Response Volunteers has never been greater.

As global catastrophes increase, the demand for skilled individuals capable of providing immediate help, support, and relief during these trying times continues to rise.

But what does it really mean to be a Disaster Response Volunteer?

Whether you are:

  • A compassionate individual seeking to understand the core of this role,
  • An organizer trying to identify the perfect volunteer,
  • Or simply curious about the intricacies of disaster response,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we present a flexible Disaster Response Volunteer job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or volunteer recruitment sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Disaster Response Volunteer Duties and Responsibilities

Disaster Response Volunteers play a vital role in assisting communities during and after various types of disasters.

They provide immediate relief, support, and care to those affected by the disaster.

Their main duties and responsibilities include:

  • Responding to emergency situations quickly and efficiently
  • Assisting in the distribution of essential supplies such as food, water, and medical supplies to affected individuals
  • Providing first aid and basic medical care if qualified and necessary
  • Helping in evacuation procedures, ensuring safety and security of disaster-stricken individuals
  • Participating in the planning and implementation of disaster recovery programs
  • Collaborating with other volunteers and disaster response agencies to ensure an effective and coordinated response
  • Supporting in cleanup and rebuilding activities after the disaster
  • Working closely with trained professionals in the field such as search and rescue teams, medical personnel and other emergency services
  • Providing emotional support and counselling to victims, helping them cope with trauma and loss
  • Recording and reporting the needs of disaster victims and any changes in the situation to the relevant authorities
  • Participating in training and preparedness programs to stay updated on disaster response strategies and protocols


Disaster Response Volunteer Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a dedicated and compassionate Disaster Response Volunteer to provide immediate support and relief during natural and man-made disasters.

As a Disaster Response Volunteer, your responsibilities will include on-the-ground assistance, providing first aid, distributing essential supplies, and supporting affected individuals and families.

Our ideal candidate is resilient, highly adaptable, and has a strong desire to help others in times of crisis.

Previous experience in disaster response or relevant fields is highly desirable, but not required as training will be provided.



  • Provide immediate on-ground assistance during disaster situations
  • Assist with the distribution of food, water, and other essential supplies
  • Administer basic first aid and medical aid when required
  • Support in setting up emergency shelters and temporary housing
  • Assist in evacuation procedures when necessary
  • Work closely with local emergency services and other relief organizations
  • Participate in disaster preparedness training and awareness campaigns
  • Provide emotional support to disaster victims
  • Help in recovery and clean-up operations post-disaster



  • Commitment to volunteering in disaster situations, often in challenging conditions
  • Physically able to work in disaster-stricken areas and handle heavy equipment
  • Basic knowledge of first aid and CPR (training will be provided if needed)
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and make quick decisions
  • Ability to work well in a team and follow instructions
  • Willingness to undergo necessary training and skill development
  • Must be 18 years old or older



  • Opportunities for skill development and training
  • Experience in emergency management and humanitarian work
  • Satisfaction of making a real difference in people’s lives
  • Opportunity to work with a diverse team
  • Recognition for volunteer service


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Disaster Response Volunteer
  • Work Environment: Field work in disaster-stricken areas. This role requires physical resilience and the ability to work in potentially challenging and high-stress conditions.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Disaster Response Team Lead or Emergency Management Coordinator.
  • Location: National and potentially international travel may be required.
  • Employment Type: Volunteer
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity organization and value diversity on our team. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your volunteer application form and any relevant certifications or training details to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Disaster Response Volunteer Do?

Disaster Response Volunteers are vital figures in times of crisis, often employed by humanitarian or non-profit organizations, though many also work on a self-driven, individual basis.

These volunteers are primarily responsible for providing immediate assistance to people and communities affected by natural or man-made disasters.

This includes hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, forest fires, or industrial accidents.

Tasks performed by Disaster Response Volunteers vary greatly and depend on the nature and scale of the disaster.

They can range from providing first aid and emergency medical care, distributing food, water, and other essential supplies, to setting up temporary shelters for those displaced.

They often work in challenging, high-stress environments and must be able to quickly assess situations and determine the most effective methods of assistance.

Disaster Response Volunteers also assist in clean-up and recovery efforts after the immediate crisis has passed.

This can include clearing debris, assisting with rebuilding projects, and providing emotional support and trauma counseling to victims.

Additionally, they play a key role in liaising between affected communities and relief organizations, helping to coordinate aid and ensure that resources are distributed effectively and equitably.

Education and preparedness are also major aspects of their role, as they conduct training sessions and awareness programs to help individuals and communities better prepare for future disasters.

This can involve teaching first aid skills, creating disaster readiness plans, and guiding communities in building safer, more resilient infrastructures.


Disaster Response Volunteer Qualifications and Skills

A Disaster Response Volunteer should have the skills and qualifications that align with the role, including:

  • Exceptional communication skills to relay information accurately and clearly, between victims, team members, and other officials during an emergency.
  • First aid and CPR certification to provide immediate medical aid to disaster victims before professional medical help arrives.
  • Team working skills to function effectively within a diverse team of volunteers and professionals.
  • Physical fitness and stamina to be able to work long hours in challenging conditions and perform rescues if necessary.
  • Problem-solving skills to make quick and effective decisions under pressure.
  • Emotional resilience and stress management skills to handle the emotional and physical toll of disaster response.
  • Knowledge and understanding of disaster management procedures and emergency response protocols.
  • Awareness about personal safety and security to ensure one’s own safety while assisting others during a disaster.


Disaster Response Volunteer Experience Requirements

Disaster Response Volunteers often come from diverse backgrounds and may not have direct experience in disaster response.

However, some form of related experience or training, such as CPR certification or Emergency Medical Training, can be beneficial.

Volunteers with at least one to two years of experience in emergency management, public safety, or a related field are often preferred.

This experience can be gained through prior volunteer work, roles in the military, police, firefighting, or other first responder roles.

Those with additional experience, often 3 years or more, may have worked in disaster-prone regions or have specific expertise in areas such as search and rescue, emergency medical response, or disaster planning.

Volunteers with more than 5 years of experience in disaster response or related fields may have leadership experience and could take on roles as team leaders or coordinators in larger disaster response operations.

They might have undergone advanced training in emergency management or have specialized skills relevant to specific types of disasters.

Regardless of prior experience, all Disaster Response Volunteers will generally undergo specific training upon joining a disaster response team to ensure they are well-prepared for the types of situations they may encounter.


Disaster Response Volunteer Education and Training Requirements

Disaster Response Volunteers come from all walks of life and may not need any specific educational qualifications.

However, they do require specialized training which can be provided by the organization they volunteer with, such as Red Cross or FEMA.

Basic first aid and CPR certification is often required, or at least strongly recommended, for disaster response volunteers.

These skills are essential in emergency situations where immediate medical attention may not be available.

In addition to first aid, many organizations offer disaster response training programs.

These programs cover essential knowledge and skills such as disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction, psychological first aid, search and rescue basics, and how to provide support to victims of a disaster.

Volunteers may also be required to complete Incident Command System (ICS) training, which is a standardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency response.

Many organizations also require background checks for their volunteers to ensure the safety and trust of the communities they serve.

Continual learning and retraining are key as disaster response techniques and best practices evolve over time.

Volunteers may also choose to pursue further qualifications in fields like emergency management or disaster response, to increase their skills and effectiveness in the field.

No matter the background or education, the most important attributes of a Disaster Response Volunteer are a willingness to help, the ability to work well in high-stress situations, and the physical stamina to work in potentially challenging conditions.


Disaster Response Volunteer Salary Expectations

As a Disaster Response Volunteer, one is typically not paid as it’s a volunteer position.

They offer their services willingly without any financial expectation.

However, some organizations may provide a stipend to cover basic expenses such as food, transportation, and accommodation during the disaster response deployment.

The main reward for such a role is the satisfaction of helping others in times of need and contributing to the community’s safety and recovery.


Disaster Response Volunteer Job Description FAQs

What skills does a Disaster Response Volunteer need?

Disaster Response Volunteers need to have strong communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and be able to work well under pressure.

They also need to be physically fit as the role may involve heavy lifting and long hours of work.

Basic first aid knowledge, crisis management skills, and understanding of disaster management protocols are also beneficial.


Do Disaster Response Volunteers need any specific qualifications?

While no specific qualifications are typically needed, having a certification in First Aid or CPR is usually beneficial.

Many organizations offer disaster response training for volunteers.

The volunteer should also be physically fit and able to handle stressful situations.

Experience in fields like medical, social work, logistics, or construction can also be advantageous.


What should you look for in a Disaster Response Volunteer’s application?

Look for experience in disaster response or relevant fields such as medicine, social work, or construction.

Training in CPR, First Aid, or disaster response is a plus.

Consider their physical fitness and their ability to work under pressure.

References that can vouch for their reliability, team-work, and dedication are also valuable.


What qualities make a good Disaster Response Volunteer?

A good Disaster Response Volunteer is calm under pressure, resilient, and has excellent problem-solving skills.

They are able to work well in a team, are compassionate towards those affected by disasters, and are physically fit.

They should also be committed, reliable, and ready to work in challenging and sometimes hazardous conditions.


What kind of training is provided for Disaster Response Volunteers?

Organizations usually provide an orientation and basic disaster response training for volunteers.

This can include First Aid and CPR certification, safety procedures, disaster response protocols, crisis management, and sometimes specialized training based on the volunteer’s role, such as search and rescue, or water safety.

The training aims to equip the volunteers with the skills and knowledge to effectively and safely respond to disasters.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve given you a glimpse into the true nature of being a disaster response volunteer.

And guess what?

It’s not just about providing immediate help.

It’s about being a beacon of hope and recovery during the darkest times.

With our comprehensive disaster response volunteer job description template and real-world examples, you’re all set to take the next step.

But why stop there?

Dig deeper with our job description generator. It’s your key to creating precise, tailored listings or polishing your resume to shine brighter.


Every act of assistance is a part of a larger recovery effort.

Let’s build a safer, more resilient future. Together.

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