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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Looking to Help

If you are interested in providing supplies or in volunteering to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey, connect with community organizations that are involved in the response. The National Voluntary Organizations Active In Disasters can assist you. In addition to the national organizations, the Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Texas VOAD) has a list of vetted disaster relief organizations providing services to survivors. Texas VOAD represents more than three dozen faith-based, community, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.

Because of austere conditions on the ground in disasters, volunteering through organizations is safer and more effective. Vetted disaster relief organizations coordinate with emergency managers and can connect volunteers with food, water, and safe places to sleep, all of which may be difficult for people acting on their own to find.

Now is also a great time to get involved so you are ready to assist in the next disaster.

The Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) is a national network of state-based volunteer registration programs which HHS/ASPR created for disasters and public health emergencies. ESAR-VHP volunteers include primarily health professionals; however, other public health and non-health professionals also can register and fill vital positions. The program verifies health professionals’ identification and credentials in advance, saving valuable time in emergency situations. Join the more than 278,000 volunteers registered across the country.

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a program in HHS/ASPR which supports a national network of community-based groups of volunteers—medical and public health professional and others—who assist their communities in activities that promote and strengthen public health, emergency response, and community resiliency. There are nearly 1,000 MRC units with almost 200,000 volunteers across the country, and several Texas-based MRC units are activated and providing support there in Texas already.

  • This page last reviewed: August 30, 2017