Volunteer Reception Center

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In the event of a future disaster, Schoharie County Office of Emergency Services has asked SALT to stand up and coordinate a VRC.  SALT’s Preparedness Committee has developed VRC Standard Operating Procedures and identified five locations throughout the county that have agreed to be VRC sites.

What is a VRC? To Learn more watch our video and read our FAQ below.

A location where spontaneous, unaffiliated disaster volunteers can come and register, and from where they are referred to local agencies to assist with relief efforts.

How can I get more involved with SALT?

There are multiple ways to volunteer with SALT:
1.) Register as a volunteer on the SALT website, or come to the SALT office at 256 Main Street, Schoharie and fill out a paper form

2.) Join the Preparedness Committee to help with emergency planning and programming in Schoharie County

3.) Receive the appropriate training and commit to fill a staff position at the Volunteer Reception Center

4.) Encourage your community group to “adopt-a-job” and get everyone trained and ready for a specific position at the VRC

What will volunteers do at a VRC?

Volunteers will fill out a volunteer form; they will be interviewed about why they want to volunteer and what their skills are; they will be assigned to a specific job site; they will receive a brief safety training; they will receive directions to their site, as well as local maps and a sign for their car window if necessary.

What is the difference between a spontaneous volunteer and an affiliated volunteer?

A spontaneous volunteer is someone who is not registered or affiliated with another organization. An affiliated volunteer is someone who has received training or is licensed, and is registered with an organization like the Red Cross, Medical Reserve Corps, or CERT( Community Emergency Response Team).

What volunteer positions are available at a VRC?

The following positions are available at the VRC: Greeters, Registration Coordinators, Interviewers, Volunteer Placement Coordinators, Safety trainers, Identification Coordinators, Data Entry Coordinators, Phone Bank Coordinators, Runners, Security Officers, Health & Safety Officers, and Behavioral Health Representatives.

How often will I be called to volunteer?

There are four phases of Emergency Management: Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. Generally, volunteers are expected to serve during the Response phase. The length of each phase varies and volunteers can be called at any time.

What is the host site’s responsibility as a VRC?

The primary responsibility of the host site is to provide enough space so that there is room for the following: registration/orientation, sitting/waiting area, interview station, placement of a dry erase board, supply area, staff rest area, volunteer placement, data entry, a phone bank, safety training, ID station, an exit interview station, and a space for snacks and/or meals. Chairs, tables, printers, computers, and computer paper that we may be used as well.

How long will a host site/building host a VRC?

The use of a host facility occurs during the Recovery phase of Emergency Management and may vary.

Is a host site responsible for breaking down equipment or cleaning up the area once the recovery phase ends?

No. All break down and clean-up will be handled by volunteers and the VRC Staff.

If a site has any issues with the VRC staff who should they contact?

If any issues occur between a host site and the VRC staff, the point of contact would be the VRC Director.

There is a host site available but there is not enough parking space. Is that workable?

Should the need for parking become an issue, we will inform our volunteers to please access public parking lots where available.

How many volunteers are expected to come to a VRC?

It is unknown how many volunteers will arrive. The goal is to have a large enough space so that everyone who is interested in volunteering is accommodated.

What organizations will be working out of the VRC?

In Schoharie County, the following organizations will be in collaboration before, during and after a disaster: SALT, Schoharie County Offices of Emergency Services, the Red Cross, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Mohawk Valley Regional Volunteer Center. However, SALT will be managing the VRC.

Does the host site need to supply any office materials?

The host site does not need to supply any office materials, but if are willing to donate some to the VRC it would be greatly appreciated.

When will the VRC be open?

The hours will range from 8:30-4:30, with possible exceptions depending on projects.