Seniors as Emergency Response Volunteers
Seniors are a valuable resource in our community. Many can help with emergency preparations and respond as volunteers or leaders.
Volunteers may help provide services during emergencies. These services can include:
- Emotional support resources
- Crisis information
- Reuniting families
How can I become a volunteer?
In British Columbia, the provincial government’s Emergency Support Services provides immediate, short-term assistance to residents displaced from their homes due to fire, floods, earthquakes or other emergencies.
To register as a volunteer, contact an Emergency Management BC regional office in your area: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/contact-us.
How can I manage stress while volunteering?
Being a volunteer in disasters and emergencies can be very stressful. You may help or work with very upset people. You may also work long hours in difficult situations. At the same time, you may have more stress coping with your own personal response to an emergency. You may face trauma, the loss of property and displacement. This is the time to keep track of your physical and mental health. Seek support and advice from your supervisor if you feel you are not able to continue to volunteer.
Should everyone volunteer in an emergency?
Everyone has a different reaction during emergencies or disasters. Relying on volunteers during and after an emergency can place more stress or burden on those affected in your community. You may not be able to help others at such times. Some people choose to focus on their own or their families’ needs.
For More Information
For more information on becoming a Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/volunteers.
For more information on emergency preparedness, visit PreparedBC: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc.