How to Volunteer For PODS

Kevin McCoy

A few people have asked me how to help out now that we are moving to recovery phase.

As Greg said:  "There are many ways that ARES member can help; not just using a radio. Pitch in your local communities to help in recovery; do health and welfare checks, turn off water; etc. Pitch in wherever you can." 

If you are a CERT member or other qualified volunteer in a voluntary organization active in disaster, you are good to go.  If however you are having trouble finding these opportunities or getting deployed, here is a good way.

Assisting at Points of Distribution

As you may be aware transportation improvements are allowing the movement of water from government warehouses, and we are receiving shelf stable meals. Fuel and goods deliveries are starting to reach stores in many areas.  Points of distribution are being set up and many organizations are asking for volunteers to assist.  You do not have to be a Red Cross volunteer to do this, but you do have to be qualified and trained as an “Event based volunteer”.

Take care of your own needs first, but if you are looking to reach out to the community and aid this process then one good way is:

First, we ask that you create a profile to become an Event Based Volunteer:

·         Go to

·         On the main screen, scroll down to the link and words that says ‘Apply Now’

·         Complete the 5 steps to become a volunteer

o    Contact information

o    Terms and Agreements

o    Background Check

o    Then make sure you click through all of the links to verify/authorize background check.

o    Submit/Authorize background check.

·         Within a matter of minutes, the background check is complete.

 I know background checks have been an issue in the past.  This is a criminal background check not a financial check. 

Then, you will have access to the landing page at will register for volunteer shifts at

It will show you all the opportunities to engage with local Points of Distribution within 50 miles of your location.  click the “Sign up for Shifts” in the first column, second row.


Kevin KF5FUZ
DST Lead DR 717-21 Central and South Texas 2/21 BLI
American Red Cross of Central and South Texas