Serve Illinois has pledged to assist with statewide preparedness for, response to and recovery from disasters. Serve Illinois will provide disaster assistance utilizing the network of national service resources in Illinois, as needed and called up by the local, state and federal emergency management officials. National Service programs can play an integral role in helping prepare for and respond to disasters. Illinois National Service, especially those AmeriCorps*State programs who are direct grantees of the Commission will be participating in disaster response and recovery. Illinois AmeriCorps*State programs are required to commit one member to the Illinois Disaster Corps program. It is acceptable for AmeriCorps*State members to receive hours towards their term of service for participating in local, state, and national level disaster deployments and training.
Disaster Corps members will, in the event of a disaster, be running the Volunteer Reception Center (VRC). A VRC is where a large number of unaffiliated volunteers can be efficiently processed and registered to volunteer around the affected community. The aim of a VRC is to affiliate spontaneous volunteers with requesting agencies/service sites by:
- Registering and interviewing potential volunteers
- Assigning them to a volunteer opportunity that best meets their needs and skills and the needs of the community
them safety training and job training as necessary
- Issuing them a temporary volunteer ID
- Covering liability based upon requests of the county
A VRC serves as the administrative branch and liaison between volunteers and affiliated organizations. The overall goal of the program is to assist a local unit of government with this service until the administrative function can be administered with local resources.
Disaster Corps Member Manual
Disaster Corps Member Manual [PDF, 1.5MB]
Disaster Corps Coordinator
Training for Disaster Corps
Disaster Corps members will be trained to a baseline level to include the following:
Online courses, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Independent Study (IS)
- IS 244.b (Developing and Managing Volunteers) 4 hours
The online course can be found at
FEMA IS 244.b
Classroom Courses, Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA)
- Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Volunteer and Donations Management-8 hours
- Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Volunteer Reception Center Management-16 Hours
Serve Illinois staff or the American Red Cross as the leadership component of the program will travel to the disaster site and bring the supplies needed to set up the VRC. Once joined by AmeriCorps and/or trained community members, the VRC will be operational.
The Serve Illinois Commission will incur all travel costs related to the IEMA trainings.
Upon deployment, members must travel to the disaster site in their own vehicles. They will be reimbursed for their mileage.