IRUSA Disaster Response Team | FAQs - Islamic Relief USA

What kind of Disaster Deployments does Islamic Relief USA conduct?

Response and Recovery. (go into detail)

GENERAL

What kind of Disaster Deployments does Islamic Relief USA conduct?

Response and Recovery.

  • Response – is done with urgency and occurs immediately after a disaster. Some activities that fall under the Response category of Disaster Deployments are disaster assessments, in kind distributions, and muck outs and debris removal.
  • Recovery – takes place in the months and years after the immediate disaster response. During short term and long term recovery projects volunteers are often participating in different activities pertaining to repairing and rebuilding homes in impacted communities.

Who is responsible for travel expenses when it comes to the volunteers of the Disaster Response Team?

When it comes to Disaster Response deployments, Islamic Relief USA covers all travel related costs to the disaster stricken area including flights, lodging, and food. Whereas with Disaster Recovery deployments like helping rebuild homes, IRUSA does not cover travel expenses to the site, only the lodging and food for the duration of the trip. Ground transportation from the airport to the site is always provided by IRUSA Staff.

The volunteer deployment you sign up for will determine what IRUSA will cover related to the travel costs for that trip.

How long are the disaster deployments?

Deployments can vary in length dependent on the type of disaster or assignment, ranging from one day to one week. Our Long Term Recovery projects like helping rebuild homes are generally one week long. Whereas pack outs, disaster assessments, and in-kind distributions are much shorter.

What should I bring to the assignment?

You should be prepared with any necessary clothing, toiletries, and personal care items. It is important to be mindful that some assignments may require more frequent changes of clothes, so pack extra clothes you are comfortable with getting dirty. We suggest long or short sleeve shirts, a jacket, long pants, and comfortable closed toe shoes. Staff will provide you with blue Islamic Relief Volunteer shirts as well. For long term recovery projects, volunteers are expected to bring blankets, sheets, pillows, and a towel.

Where do volunteers stay during disaster deployments?

Islamic Relief USA is dedicated to providing safe, comfortable housing on all disaster deployments based on location and assignment. Volunteers may stay in volunteer housing, churches, schools, hotels, etc. that will be coordinated by the IRUSA Disaster Team and our partners.

Will Islamic Relief USA be providing food during our disaster deployment?

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner will be provided for projects based on the duration. Snacks and water will also be available to volunteers during each shift. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide appropriate meals based on dietary restrictions. Due to the nature of certain disaster deployments, not all accommodations are made possible. When Halal/Zabiha options are unavailable, alternative vegetarian options are provided.

When should I arrive?

Due to the varying nature of disaster projects, the arrival date and times will be provided in confirmation emails prior to the event. For Recovery projects, it is required to arrive the Sunday prior the start of the project to ensure everyone is prepared adequately for the first day of the deployment.

What if I do not have experience in disasters?

We do not require any specific experience! Islamic Relief USA and our partners will provide hands-on training on each site depending on the type of job you will be supporting. Some training we have provided to our volunteers include installing sheet rock and flooring, debris removal, and collecting data for disaster assessments.

Will I be able to work or participate in classes for school on the deployment?

During the volunteer deployment, it is not recommended that you work or attend classes during your required shifts. You may complete any personal tasks after the assigned shifts. Islamic Relief ISA cannot guarantee consistent internet access. However, we do our best to accommodate the needs of our volunteers.

What if I am feeling sick?

If you are feeling unwell, please let staff know as soon as possible by phone or email. We want to keep you as safe as possible. If you become ill during the deployment, staff will have you assessed by a medical professional and seek immediate medical attention if and when required.

What are the steps after I express interest to become a volunteer?

Islamic Relief USA Staff will reach out to you to discuss interest further and conduct a vetting call within two weeks of expressing interest. All potential volunteers will have to participate in these calls in order to be accepted as a volunteer for Disaster deployments. Volunteers are not confirmed until background checks are passed and approved by IRUSA.

Do I have to undergo a Background Check to Volunteer?

Yes, all Islamic Relief USA Volunteers are required to undergo and pass a background check. After your vetting call is completed, the Volunteer department will ask for information to complete this process.

Can I bring my child/sibling/friend/coworker even though they have not registered?

Please do not bring any guests, only vetted and background checked volunteers will be able to participate in Disaster deployments. No one under the age of 18 is able to volunteer for disaster deployments.

How can I find out more about Disaster Response volunteer activities?

All Disaster deployment opportunities are posted on volunteer.irusa.org. Registered volunteers will also receive volunteer opportunities via Email as they are posted.

Travel

What airport do I fly into?

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)

What are the travel days?

Sunday before deployment

Flying: What time should I arrive?

Sunday before by 2 pm

Driving: What time do should I arrive and where?

We will be meeting at Windsor NC Dormitory.

Can I work during the deployment?

From 8 am to 6 pm, you will be volunteering. Personal business should be conducted outside of these hours.

Can I leave early or come midweek?

No, the commitment is 5 days of volunteering and 2 days of travel. This can not be adjusted.

Will the food provided be halal?

Yes, we only purchase halal food to cook and serve.

Will I have time to pray?

Yes, the volunteers and staff will pray together.

Dorm rooms will be shared spaces

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