Now we are hearing stories about people volunteering to help and just popping in out of the blue, and some reporters are claiming they are being turned away for political or other seemingly stupid reasons.
It is frustrating for the kind people who made preparations and traveled that far and are turned away, but there are many reasons. Even usually reliable news sources don't always get the whole picture.
Are the volunteers even qualified? Do they know the codes for the area? Are they insured? Did they bring all of their own equipment and materials? Do they have a place to stay or eat or bring their own fuel and water? If not, they become part of the problem.
I have so many horror stories to tell about good intentioned people who didn't get clearance or plan ahead at all. I was at one tornado site where a guy showed up in flip flops and shorts. Right. Broken glass all over the place, chainsawing to be done. We had gloves, boots, hard hats, and were trained. Yes, it was 100 degrees out, but you keep hydrated and take lots of breaks. Fewer people get sick from the heat than get hurt by no or little safety gear.
Also, the fake charities and shoddy shady repairmen are coming out of the woodwork. I hope the homeowners are aware, and that the kind souls who want to donate cash look into the percentage of the donation that goes into the charity.
Hugs and prayers, again, for all survivors, and admiration for your strength. Thank you for keeping up with your personal stories.
I agree, and I think that's true re volunteers in even non-emergency situations.
Even in a non-emergency situation (such as people who are eager to volunteer at a hospital, library, museum etc.) - someone has to co-ordinate, organise and supervise all these people. So yes, there can be such a thing as "too many" volunteers. In a situation where volunteers must be heavily supervised (such as a hospital or nursing home) - you (generic you) just can't have people wandering around all over the place - you have to know who they've been interacting with, what they've been doing, etc. In an emergency situation - all the more so. Eagerness is not enough - do they have any real training, are they familiar with the equipment, etc.? The real-rescue team can really do without volunteers who will quite possibly end up having to be rescued themselves.
Many towns (mine, for example) offer free frequent courses - such as two evenings, perhaps - for neighbourhood preparedness in situations such as earthquakes or major storms. (And no, I haven't taken it........
- okay, one brief session at the library about 15 years ago but that doesn't really count; many people have taken the more comprehensive course). These are the people who should be responding in a emergency situation, rather than well-meaning individuals who figure that someone in authority will give them a task. It just doesn't work that way. I read about the cancellation of the NYC marathon this morning and figured that this would be a terribly unpopular decision. However, I think it was the right one.
And I too have many good thoughts to the people who have lost loved ones, as well as those who are living with minimal amenities these days.