Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

Fall 8-2014

Abstract

Disasters come in many forms from natural to technological, and can occur without warning. A disaster causes loss of property, loss of life, and disrupts daily life. In the aftermath of a disaster, there are many organizations that step in to assist those affected. One such organization is the American Red Cross, which trains disaster responders to assist in relief efforts. Disaster services volunteers with Red Cross are trained in a variety of functions, some of which deal more directly with victims of disaster than others. In an effort to understand the unique experiences of volunteers in disaster relief, a series of qualitative interviews were conducted with ten American Red Cross volunteer disaster responders. This study explores how they became interested in volunteering, what they have accomplished since the first time they volunteered for disaster work, what skills they believe they have gained from their work, their perceptions of the persons that they help, and their overall satisfaction with the volunteer experience.

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