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Hands On Nashville is the named partner for volunteer activation and management in Metro Nashville's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. When disaster strikes, we work closely with the Nashville Office of Emergency Management and other relevant organizations to effectively and efficiently lead and support volunteer activities that bolster disaster relief and recovery efforts. Learn more about HON's disaster-response activities here.

How to support disaster preparation and relief

Anyone with a account can browse and sign up for volunteer opportunities that arise in the aftermath of a disaster. However, to be notified when Hands On Nashville needs disaster-response volunteers, make sure your account is designated as a disaster volunteer account. You will find instructions below on how to do so for new accounts and existing accounts. Keeping the skills section of your profile up-to-date can be very helpful when we need skilled support. 

Create a volunteer account     

Update your volunteer skills profile

Sign up to be a Disaster Volunteer Leader (DVL) with Hands On Nashville (HON)


Instructions for new accounts

  • Visit the registration page to set up a new volunteer account.

  • Be sure when filling out your information that you check "yes" when prompted about disaster volunteerism. This will add you to our database of disaster volunteers. Be sure you whitelist so you can receive email alerts when disaster volunteers are needed!

screengrab: look for the question about disaster volunteerism when you sign up for a account


Instructions for existing accounts

  • Log in to your account.

  • Hover over the "Manage My Account" menu item in the top right, then hover over "Overview," then click "Personal Information."

  • Scroll down and hit the plus sign in the blue bar labeled "Demographic and Volunteer Options."

screengrab: hit the plus sign in the blue bar that says demographic and volunteer options to toggle your disaster preferences

  • Select "yes" where it says "Please check if you want to help in a disaster." Be sure to hit save! This will add you to our database of disaster volunteers. Be sure you whitelist so you can receive email alerts when disaster volunteers are needed!

  • It is super helpful to us if you some time updating the other areas of your profile, including your location and your skills, so that we can more easily identify those who can help with certain tasks or in certain locations.



Notes on volunteering in the aftermath of a disaster

  • Officials ask volunteers to not self-deploy during a disaster, as unexpectedly showing up to communities affected by disaster creates an additional burden for first responders. Many volunteer opportunities require specialized training, and we want to ensure all volunteers are safe during recovery operations. 

  • Sometimes disaster-response volunteerism requires specific skill sets. Log in to your account and record your skills in your volunteer profile, which will make it easier for HON to contact you about recovery projects related to your specialized skills, and to more quickly and appropriately fill needs in the community.

  • We encourage you to be patient as you wait for notification of an opportunity to volunteer in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Often, when disaster strikes, the first several days are critical for first responders, and an influx of volunteers can complicate their work and even be dangerous, if conditions have not been cleared for volunteers. The need for volunteers will continue for weeks, months, and possibly years after the disaster.



HON is part of the region's disaster-response network

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Hands On Nashville is a proud member of Nashville Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster. Follow VOAD on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.


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