During this unique and extended emergency situation, our County must work together as a united community to weather the crisis. Citizen volunteers will have an important role in supporting our communities. However this is not a “typical natural disaster” like a hurricane or snowstorm. Everyone, including volunteers, must stay mindful that the pandemic requires constant attention to "social distancing" and other measures to mitigate the spread of contagion. Thank you for seeking to help others!
Answers to Common Questions
- What can I do at home?
Volunteering begins at home. With many families remaining at home, organize your household so that all family members contribute as a family team. Prepare to shelter-in-place by working as a family to follow the basic preparedness steps found in the Citizens Guide to Emergencies.
With schools closed, your children can "volunteer" to help with household chores, cooking, or managing pets. And take special care with aging or disabled family members who may need extra assistance. If a family member may have been exposed to the coronavirus, follow guidance from our County Department of Health.
- How can I help my neighbors?
All citizens should take this opportunity to meet their neighbors, if they haven't yet done so, and work together as a neighborhood. Volunteer to keep an eye on neighbors who may have chronic illnesses or disabilities, older individuals who may be isolated, those with large families, or those temporarily without an income during the crisis. Community, homeowner, or condo associations are good places to start taking stock of potential needs and assess neighborhood capabilities.
The Guide to Emergency Planning for Communities can help neighborhoods self-organize for this and future emergencies.
- What about my workplace?Check in with your supervisor to see if your company, agency, or college has an effort to assist fellow employees or the community. Some companies are organizing teams to collect and ship items that may be needed during the emergency. Actions as simple as telephone, email, or social media “buddy checks” can be done from home, are reassuring, and potentially identify those who may be in need.
- How might I help the larger community?If you are a member of a house of worship, civic association, or organized volunteer group, reach out to their leadership to see how you may be able to assist during the emergency. Most houses of worship either have an existing community volunteer effort, such as a food pantry, or are organizing to support their own congregations. Several churches have offered their services to provide volunteer support to the County. Many civic groups and non-profits are organized to help their members or the community as a whole.
- How may I assist Anne Arundel County as a citizen volunteer?
Disaster volunteers in direct support of Anne Arundel County government must be 18 or older and affiliated with an established disaster volunteer service organization that has a vetting, training, and leadership procedure. Most volunteer organizations can accommodate citizens with access and functional needs and many have rapid training programs.
Please note that Anne Arundel County does not accept volunteers in support of emergency management functions if their service is court-ordered, but non-profit organizations not directly associated with the County may welcome the support. Please follow the links below for more information on established disaster volunteer organizations in support of our County:
Anne Arundel/Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) – The County and City of Annapolis dedicated emergency volunteer team
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) – Open to all FCC-licensed amateur radio operators interested in providing disaster supplemental communications support
American Red Cross (ARC) Disaster Services – Just-in-time training for Disaster Relief Teams and on-call Disaster Action Teams
Maryland Responds/Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) – The Health Department’s medically-oriented disaster volunteer team (medical certification not required)
Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (MD VOAD) – Over two-dozen established non-profit, non-governmental, and faith-based disaster volunteer organizations providing support in the County and across Maryland
The Anne Arundel County Volunteer Firefighters Association may also be accepting both qualified operational personnel for training as well as support volunteers
- May I register as an individual volunteer?
The Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management is organizing a Volunteer Mobilization Center to coordinate a collaborative effort to provide centralized support for volunteers and volunteer groups during this crisis situation. If you are already a member of an established disaster volunteer group, please check-in with them first.
If you are age 18 or older and would like to be placed on a list for consideration to serve as a volunteer during this crisis, please email the County Emergency Operations Center at [email protected]. Provide your name, community, telephone, email, vocation, and any special training or qualifications you may have. If you speak a language other than English (including American Sign Language), please include that information as well, as it could be very helpful in this emergency.
- What if I would like to volunteer outside of Anne Arundel County?Please visit https://governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites/