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Turning Disaster Recovery Volunteer Skills Into Marketable Job Skills

If you're a job seeker facing high unemployment rates, volunteering for disaster recovery efforts could turn a dead-end job market into a new career path. Disaster recovery volunteers develop a wide range of marketable skills in the job market. 

With the rise of social enterprises and paid volunteer work, more job opportunities are opening for experienced disaster volunteers. While doing volunteer work, you can develop the most in-demand competencies by employers.


The frequency and severity of natural and manmade disasters, from hurricanes to forest fires, are increasing each year. Disaster volunteers working cooperatively as teams have played a crucial role in getting communities necessary food and shelter, and helping them to return to normal daily lives as soon as possible. 

In the workplace, teamwork is one of the most sought after skills by your future employers. If you excel on a team of disaster recovery volunteers in an emergency situation, employers can be confident of your ability to:


A disaster recovery situation is the most challenging demonstration of leadership skills. The types of disasters and their needs vary widely. Once onsite, the scope, scale, and community impact of the disaster can quickly escalate. Since the demands of the situation may exceed your resources, highly creative and ingenious leaders excel in these challenging work conditions. 

As a leader of disaster recovery volunteers, you will develop:

Strategic Planning 

The disaster recovery operations planner must be able to think on his or her feet. The best-laid plans can and often are, disrupted. While helping to plan and execute operations plans, you will learn the skills to:

International Experience 

Many aid organizations provide disaster volunteers with opportunities to work overseas as part of a disaster recovery team. Many also provide volunteer training for onsite disaster recovery operations. These volunteer positions are invaluable opportunities to develop cultural awareness skills while gaining a professional certification, such as a Disaster Management or Emergency Management Technician certificate.

While performing volunteer work and developing new skills, many online training opportunities allow you to study and complete certifications. 

To learn more about disaster recovery volunteers contact an organization near you.