FD2666 - Considering the role of convergent volunteers during major floods

Theme:Policy, Strategy & Investment
Project status:Completed
Start date:01/04/2013
End date:01/06/2015


The research focuses on the role of spontaneous volunteers in flood situations who directly support the emergency responders. It details the aspects that emergency managers need to consider when developing a local plan for how to manage spontaneous volunteers. 

The research involved data collection at 3 case study locations and interviews with stakeholders such as: national and local government representatives, Category 1 responders, academics, organised volunteers and spontaneous volunteers. An Advisory Board, consisting of experts from national and local government and the voluntary sector, was also established.

Key  Findings:
 - The project highlighted the risks associated with incorporating spontaneous volunteers in to the official flood response such as untrained persons and legal issues associated with who takes ownership of individuals.

 - A range of management issues were identified such as the resources required to both monitor and coordinate spontaneous volunteers. Social media played a significant role in coordinating the volunteers however it could also be a source of misinformation.

 - Building awareness around an individuals need to help and better understanding these emotional responses to determine why an individual wants to help and the reasons which lead to them taking action.