10 Do’s and Don’ts for Disaster Response Volunteers

Here are the ten keys to conduct successful and productive volunteer activities.

No.1 Don’t overwork!

It is important to arrange your volunteer activities so that they fit in your daily life at a level you can manage without overworking.  Start with something familiar to you.  When you think the activity is beyond what you can handle, think about another way to do it or decline it.

No.2 Do seek volunteer activities needed!

It can be burdensome to the people you are trying to help if you offer your support when it is not asked for.  Try to listen and understand their needs first.  It also is important to communicate with the people and organizations involved such as the Council of Social Welfare to make clear your role in the whole activity.

No.3 Do keep promises and secrets!

Keeping promises and secrets is crucial to establish a rapport with the people you work for.  This in turn makes your activity better and more productive.  When you cannot keep a promise or secret for some reason, let the other person know before you start to work on the activity.

No.4 Do keep learning and educating yourself!

It is essential to keep trying to learn about volunteer activities.   You should obtain an extensive knowledge – from techniques and strategies in volunteer activities, to the system of social welfare or current affairs.  At the same time as you are putting your knowledge and techniques into practice, keep trying to learn new things by attending workshops and lectures.

No.5 Do make friends who share your goal!

Small individual volunteer activities can become more successful and productive by being discussed and organized among a group of people that is working toward the same goal.

No.6 Do act positively with respect!

Volunteer activities are achieved based on your will to help others and you may need to push your limits to solve a wide variety of issues. However, your modesty is also essential. Always keep in mind that volunteering should not be an opportunity to simply show off your abilities, but to cooperate with others to assist people who need help.

No.7 Do take clear responsibility for the activities!

Once activities are on track, we tend to be too easy and lenient. Also, borrowing/lending money may cause serious consequences. Always be responsible for what you are doing.

No.8 Do keep track of your activities

You may get to a point where your activities need to be reviewed due to changing demands and in order to stay on the right track, keep record of activities and review with others once every month or two.

No.9 Do ask for support from your family and colleagues at work!

Volunteering cannot be achieved only by yourself. Deep understanding from your family and colleagues at work is essential for you to keep volunteering.

No.10 Do pay attention to safety!

To be able to conduct activities safely, you should try reviewing plans and your work area as well as checking your physical condition before starting your work.  Also, you should enroll in an insurance plan for volunteers in the event of an accident.

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