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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

Administration’s Serve.Gov Site Offers Search Tool/Widget For Volunteer Opportunities To Help In Oil Spill Recovery

July 3rd, 2010 · No Comments

Through Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson’s Twitter feed, I learned that the federal government’s Serve.Gov website for volunteer opportunities has set up a search page for citizens interested in helping on the Gulf oil spill recovery.

Serve.Gov has created a widget (above — to post the widget, click on the “Get Widget” icon) on its “Gulf Oil Spill: How You Can Help” page. The search function allows the user to look for volunteer opportunities by zip code. However, the page notes that at present there is not a high demand for untrained personnel due to the “complex nature of oil cleanup, coupled with health and safety concerns”. At this point, I think it is more useful for interested volunteers to visit the impacted states’ individual citizen Oil Spill pages which are also listed on the widget (several of those sites offer information on citizen training and are collecting names for when/if a number of untrained personnel will be needed).

Florida’s Volunteerism Commission’s website, for example, offers a county-by-county rundown of volunteer needs and offers the overview (below) of the situation for citizens interested in helping out:

There has been a tremendous amount of support from volunteers who have prepared Florida’s coast for the oil spill. As of Monday, June 28, 3,250 volunteers have served 19,467 hours on oil spill response activities.

Volunteers are still needed for other meaningful activities throughout Florida’s communities. Volunteer Florida encourages everyone to get connected with a local organization. Volunteers can support these organizations throughout the oil spill and beyond through appropriate activities such as Coast Watch, pre-oil landfall beach cleanups, fundraising, and meeting other needs of responding organizations.

Volunteers can also receive training as a member of a Community Emergency Response Team, a 211 operator, or a volunteer manager. Even though volunteer opportunities with the oil spill are limited, volunteer opportunities in the local community, not connected with the oil spill, are limitless. This website features volunteer activities happening in your own backyard as well as links to other websites with volunteer opportunities.

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Tags: Volunteer Opportunities · Volunteering

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