HandsOn Disasters

When disaster strikes, HandsOn Network Affiliate Action Centers serve the critical role of organizing and leading volunteer response efforts in communities around the world.

Action Center Updates

A Message About the Winter Storm Hitting the Northeast

The Northeast is bracing for a severe winter storm. Most deaths during winter storms are related to traffic accidents and hypothermia due to prolonged exposure to the cold. Please keep yourself and family safe by following the guidelines below:

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • Make a family communication plan.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.
  • Keep dry.
  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive, travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts; keep an emergency kit in your car that includes food and water.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

For more information on what to do before, during, and after a winter storm please visit www.ready.gov/winter-weather and www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/pdf/extreme-cold-guide.pdf.

A Message About the Ebola Outbreak

Right now is the largest outbreak of Ebola in history. There is a lot of misinformation and fear about the disease. Learn more about the symptoms, transmission and prevention by clicking here.

Medical workers and other volunteers need your help to combat the spread of this disease and save lives. Donate to nonprofits responding to the needs of Ebola victims. Ebola has called for a global strategic response.

As with any disaster please do not self-deploy or donate goods that are not specifically being requested by an agency working in the field. Stay safe and educate your friends and families with accurate information about Ebola. 


HandsOn Network Affiliate Action Centers are critical resources in communities when disaster strikes. In partnership with local government and other entities, they coordinate local response efforts and serve as a central access point for volunteers.

HandsOn Network’s work focuses on the fact that “all disasters are local.” Our strength comes from the efforts of our Action Centers in three distinct areas:

  • Spontaneous unaffiliated volunteer management (SUVs) and in managing Volunteer Reception Centers (VRCs) in times of disaster
  • Defining nonprofit needs in times of disaster and matching volunteers to those needs
  • Large-scale project execution as part of long-term recovery


Together with our partners, HandsOn Network has developed a robust library of resources to guide local response efforts. HandsOn Network Affiliates can log into the Affiliate Member Center for access to more helpful tools and resources.