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ISO 22319:2017 Security and resilience - Community resilience - Guidelines for planning the involvement of spontaneous volunteers

This International Standard provides guidelines for planning the involvement of spontaneous volunteers (SVs) in incident response and recovery. It is intended to help organizations establishing a plan to consider whether, how and when SVs can provide relief to a coordinated response and recovery for all identified hazards. It helps identify issues to ensure the plan is risk-based and can be shown to prioritize the safety of SVs, the public they seek to assist and incident response staff.

ISO 22319 is intended for use by organizations with responsibility for, or involvement in, part or all of the planning for working with SVs. It is applicable to all types and sizes of organizations that are involved in the planning for, and management of, SVs (e.g. local, regional, and national governments, statutory bodies, international and non-governmental organizations, businesses and public and community groups). Coordinating the participation of volunteers who are affiliated to voluntary or professional organizations to provide relief is not within the scope of this document.

A spontaneous volunteer (SV) is an individual who is not affiliated with existing incident response organizations but who is motivated to contribute unpaid work during and following incidents. The range of tasks performed by SVs can require only basic planning (e.g. for people who are first on the scene), or a plan that is more complex (e.g. for people who travel to the affected area to volunteer)

SVs might have expressed their interest in volunteering before or during an incident and might therefore be called upon to participate depending on the incident’s needs and their specific skills. SVs can volunteer as individuals or as groups, they can arrive at the incident to volunteer in person or contribute remotely, and they can be self-deployed professionals (e.g. retired emergency responders), digital volunteers, or any other skilled or unskilled members of the public.


Duncan Shaw (UK), the project leader responsible for writing ISO 22319, explains:

"SVs can provide a significant resource of timely labour, skills and abilities to enhance the capacity of incident response organizations, provide valuable local knowledge and personalize the response and recovery in an area by members of its local community. However, in large numbers, SVs can overwhelm incident response organizations, interfere with operations and create additional risks. SVs who provide relief outside of the official operations can put themselves in danger, as well as those they aim to help. It is important to understand and implement best practices for involving and mobilizing SVs, and the integration of SVs into response and recovery activities needs to be carefully managed.  

This document provides guidance for the involvement of SVs in incident response and recovery, so that both official and unofficial resources are used effectively. It considers the preparatory measures for organizing the involvement of SVs in the different stages of an incident, including planning for the selection of SVs, safely involving SVs in an operational response, and continuing the involvement of SVs over the longer-term."

Spontaneous offers of help during and following incidents are a growing phenomenon. While many people are willing to join a voluntary organization, they are now also likely to make short-term offers to assist without committing to an individual agency. In addition, as a result of media attention, the widespread use of social media and the desire to help those in need, an increasing number of SVs are coming forward in all regions of the world. 





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8PoXnA8M9c (in Spanish)

ISO 22319:2017, Security and resilience - Community resilience - Guidelines for planning the involvement of spontaneous volunteers, is available from ISO national member institutes. It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, respectively through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department. 

ISO 22319 in media

Organising disaster relief volunteers: how to be prepared  - The Guardian