In Rhode Island, there are several volunteer opportunities for people who want to help with emergency preparedness or disaster response and recovery efforts. Most programs require some type of training ahead of time so that individuals are prepared and remain safe while they are volunteering during a response or recovery effort.

If you are looking for a local volunteer opportunity, contact your local EMA Director.

American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter

The American Red Cross has volunteer opportunities for every age and ability. Join as a disaster responder, shelter support, distribution of food and relief items and much more. Licensed mental health and medical professionals (nurses, CNAs) are especially needed. Hours and time commitments can vary to fit your needs and schedule. Training is comprehensive and free.

Visit redcross.org/ri/volunteer for additional information and to sign up to volunteer.

Community Emergency Response Team

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

For more information visit ready.gov. If you are interested in joining or establishing a Community Emergency Response Team in Rhode Island, visit riema.

Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team & Rhode Island Medical Reserve Corps

The primary focus of the Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team (RIDMAT) and the Rhode Island Medical Reserve Corps (RIMRC) is to provide clinical evaluation and/or medical care during a public health emergency or disaster response. While the majority of RIDMAT and RIMRC volunteers are clinicians, non-clinical individuals interested in providing administrative or logistical support are always encouraged to join. Volunteers are required to complete an online application and New Member Orientation before participating in training events and emergency activations.

Questions or comments: info@riresponds.org; 888-549-3335

Rhode Island Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

The Rhode Island Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is the State chapter of the National VOAD. The RI VOAD consists of volunteer organizations active in disaster response throughout the State. The purpose of the RI VOAD is to bring organizations together in order to share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle – preparation, response, and recovery – to help disaster survivors and their communities.

To contact the RI VOAD for volunteer opportunities, click here.

Serve Rhode Island

Serve Rhode Island is an organization that assists with connecting people with various volunteer opportunities. Serve Rhode Island works with many corporations, colleges, local schools and faith based organizations in emergency preparedness, response or recovery assistance or project related activities.

For more information and to search for a volunteer opportunity visit: serverhodeisland.org.

United Way 2-1-1 of Rhode Island

A free and confidential 24-hour information and referral helpline, United Way 2-1-1 identifies the needs of Rhode Islanders and connects them with food, shelter, medical care, job-skills development programs, and other critical resources. In 2013, United Way 2-1-1 of Rhode Island handled more than 213,600 calls.

For more information visit 211ri.org. If you are interested in volunteering with United Way of Rhode Island, visit uwri.org/volunteer.

Rhode Island Volunteer Organizations