In the event of a disaster, such as a fire or flood, one of the biggest needs is to provide evacuation shelters for affected residents. Staffing the shelters requires many volunteers, including healthcare professionals such as Registered Nurses (RNs). If shelters are needed for more than a few days, Nevada County will quickly exhaust its available internal healthcare staff. The Nevada County Public Health Department is attempting to remedy this situation by having healthcare professionals sign up before a disaster occurs.
Disaster Healthcare Volunteers (DHV) is a database of healthcare professionals that can be drawn from and put into action in case of an emergency. Volunteers sign up and their licenses/certificates are reviewed and verified through the database. Then staff from the Public Health Department approve the volunteer to be included in the list of people who can be called on in the event of a crisis.
Having a pool of volunteers to draw from in advance allows disaster relief coordinators to understand in advance how many volunteers/resources are available in a crisis. It also provides caring local citizens an opportunity to utilize their knowledge and skills during a time of crisis. During an emergency, local County officials determine which healthcare skill-sets are needed and contact volunteers from the DHV database to serve.
The DHV is operated and managed by the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) in partnership with the California Department of Public Health. Funds for the DHV are provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Become a Nevada County Disaster Healthcare Volunteer and sign up now to be better utilized when disaster strikes: www.healthcarevolunteers.ca.gov.
For more information about our local DHV efforts, please contact Patti Carter, Public Health Coordinator, at 530-265-7174.