Instructions for stake and ward leaders of relief volunteers

On behalf of everyone in the affected areas, we thank you for your service. Please read these general instructions carefully so you can be prepared upon arrival. These instructions link to three important documents in Adobe PDF format. Download each by right-clicking the link and choosing "Save Target As...."

Before arriving at your assigned staging area
  • Distribute as early as possible to each volunteer the document “Preparing to volunteer for disaster relief” by email or hardcopy. Add specific local instructions including meeting location and time.

    • Invite all able-bodied adult priesthood holders to attend. Unless otherwise directed, these other groups are also welcome:

    • Sisters over 18 years old.
    • Mature youth of sound judgment above the age of 14, if accompanied at all times by a named adult sponsor.
    • Less active members, for whom this can be a pivotal experience.
    • Non-members, who should be asked to comply with basic Church standards during their service.

    • Divide your volunteers into “crews” of about 10 people. Each crew may be working at great distance from other crews, so it should be self-contained in terms of transportation, equipment, supplies, and ability. Create each crew around one of these specific functions:

    • Chain Saw crews - able to clear trees and heavy brush
    • Carpentry crews - able to do roof repairs, window shuttering, etc.
    • Clean Up crews - volunteers without the skills listed above

    Most crews might be "clean up.” There is plenty of clean up work after a disaster. Individuals with pick-up trucks should be assigned to chain saw or carpentry crews so they can haul equipment. For safety reasons DO NOT place elderly persons, those younger than 16 years old, or those with a fear of heights on chain saw or carpentry crews.

    • Assign one person on each crew as “crew chief.” Instruct your volunteers that, during their time in the area, each crew will follow the direction of their crew chief and will communicate with site coordinators via their crew chief. Crew chief is an important leadership role. You might preside over the crew chiefs, but only the crew chiefs communicate with site coordinators.

    • Assign each crew chief to fill out a Disaster Relief Crew Roster. List the name and all other information for every volunteer assigned to that crew. It is usually necessary for the crew chief to contact each volunteer or pass the roster around to get all the information. (Mobile phone service will be spotty, so the more volunteers carrying mobile phones, the better.)

    When you arrive at your assigned staging area

    • Hold all volunteers together, away from the registration desk and supply areas, until crew chiefs are briefed by site coordinators. To maximize efficiency, do not unload work equipment or set up tents until your crew chiefs receive direction from site coordinators.

    • Send all crew chiefs to the registration desk to submit their completed Disaster Relief Crew Rosters and to receive work instructions and instructions for camping and/or using resources at the staging area.

    Work, and then return and report

    • Each crew chief will be given a packet of information, including:
    • Pre-assigned Hurricane Check and Report Forms for each home to be visited
    • Blank Hurricane Check and Report Forms for additional homes found to be in need of work
    • Maps to help navigate the area
    • Dashboard permit to enable access to restricted areas (if required)

    • Crew chiefs should ask any questions they have of the site coordinators, brief their crews, gather up enough equipment/food/water for a full day, and go to work. Prepare food and supplies sufficient to be away from the staging area for a full day.

    • During the day, crew chiefs should write down the condition of the homes they check and work on, and complete the Hurricane Check and Report Forms as directed. These Hurricane Check and Report forms are the primary record of the relief efforts and must be carefully filled out and protected. Be sure to fill out a new Hurricane Check and Report Form for each house that you work on.

    • At the end of the day, or when additional Hurricane Check and Report forms are needed, crew chiefs should return to site coordinators and report on their efforts. Site coordinators will collect completed Hurricane Check and Report forms, gather any additional information, and give further instructions. As always in the Church, the return and report step is vital. Please allow adequate time, be patient with site coordinators, have paperwork ready, and take this assignment seriously.

    In case of injury or medical emergency
    A first aid station will be set up at the staging area for minor injuries (cuts, bruises, rashes). For more serious injuries, seek immediate medical attention at local hospitals. Although 911 service might not be available in affected areas, it should be your first call in a medical emergency.