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 Recent Tornadoes in Oklahoma

Severe thunderstorms produced dangerous tornadoes March 25 in Oklahoma. There was one fatality was reported and nearly 75,000 people were without power Wednesday night. Multiple vehicles were overturned causing interstate 35 to be shut down according to the National Weather Service.

Points of Light is coordinating with HandsOn Network affiliates in the affected areas and connecting with Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) chapters across the U.S. to access the situation and offer support. 

HandsOn Network is the local expert in volunteer engagement and often the lead in managing spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers throughout the response and recovery effort.

If you would like to support the recovery effort, here’s what you can do to help:


  • Don’t self-deploy at this time. The situation is still critical and travel is extremely difficult or impossible throughout much of the affected area.
  • Don’t bring supplies or donations to fire stations, police departments, etc. First responders need to focus on immediate needs and emergency situations.


  • Do donate to help Points of Light and HON network affiliates support the mobilization of volunteers in ongoing response and recovery efforts.
  • Do register your interest to volunteer on www.allforgood.org and check this page often for the latest updates on how you can help.
  • Do be prepared! As the devastation caused by these tornados reminds us, disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. Please take steps now to help your family and community recover more quickly from disasters. Visit www.goodandready.org to download an emergency preparedness checklist and create a disaster readiness plan for your family.

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.