Recent experience with large scale disasters has consistently shown that an effective response requires that volunteers be pre-credentialed and deployed through a coordinated effort. Well meaning but unaffiliated volunteers who spontaneously present to disaster sites are often unable to be assigned. With limited time and resources to process volunteers, often only those with known credentials are permitted access to the disaster response. By registering with MA Responds, you can be part of an alert system and respond, when activated, to a significant disaster or public health emergency. Participating volunteer organizations in Massachusetts have recognized that a statewide system will improve data management and alerting programs. MA Responds will serve as an asset to local volunteer groups and will improve volunteer coordination during a public health emergency.
MA Responds is Massachusetts's initiative to pre-register, manage, and mobilize existing clinical and non-clinical volunteers to help in responding to all types of disasters. The volunteer management system is part of a nation-wide effort to make sure that volunteer professionals can be quickly identified and their credentials checked so that they can be properly utilized in response to a public health emergency or disaster. This system is a partnership of local Medical Reserve Corps units (MRCs), unaffiliated state volunteers and other volunteer organizations in Massachusetts, coordinated administratively by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).