You can help your community prepare and help with recovery. After a disaster, people come together to help. The first responders in many disasters are people who live and work in a community. Some ways to be involved in your community include:

  • Meeting your neighbors: This will create a community network to share updates on events and emergencies in your area. It will also help create awareness of who needs assistance during an emergency. After a disaster, check on your neighbors to make sure they are safe.
  • Stay in touch: Teach loved ones how to text and use social media before a disaster strikes.
  • Be the help until help arrives. Take training in first aid, CPR, Stop the Bleed, and how to use an Automated External Defibrator (AED).
  • Donate blood

Learn how you can help your community before, during and after a disaster or emergency.


During a disaster response, affected communities depend heavily on local and national volunteer organizations to provide trained volunteers and much-needed donated supplies.

Wisconsin Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) consists of both locally-based organizations and local representatives of national organizations. Wisconsin VOAD member organizations cover a broad range of missions and technical expertise, and adhere to the 4 Cs: Cooperation, Communication, Coordination, and Collaboration.

Learn more on how to be involved in Wisconsin VOAD:

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during a disaster situation.

Since 1993, CERT trains the public in basic disaster response skills such as team organization, disaster medical operations, fire safety, and light search and rescue. The ability for CERT volunteers to perform these activities frees up professional responders to focus their efforts on more complex, essential, and critical tasks.

Learn more about CERT:


Responding to Emergencies and Disasters with Youth (READY) Camp is a Wisconsin summer camp that provides training to middle and high school youth, age 13 – 18. READY Camp helps prepare youth to respond in unexpected situations that require immediate action until additional help arrives.

READY Camp is held in collaboration with Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin Emergency Management, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, UW Health, American Family Children’s Hospital, UW Med Flight, Project ADAM, and various fire, EMS, law enforcement, health care, and injury prevention professionals. 

Learn more about READY Camp:

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