If you have read any of my writings on volunteer management, you will take away that I am strongly in favor of organized disaster response volunteer efforts. My feeling is that Spontaneous Unregistered Volunteers (SUV's in the biz) are dangerous to themselves and the operation (kind of like my feelings on unsolicited donations, but that's a different blog post). In 2012 coming out of a response in Malaysia I wrote this about People want to help .
As I watch & listen to things unfolding in Texas (Its not just about Houston) following Hurricane Harvey, I have been thinking maybe
Case in point- The Cajun Navy - they came out of Katrina response, Citizens with boats. It seems no special organization or response structure, but boy did they make a difference, and virtually no one tried to turn them away. I spent several days on Zello listening to them operate. They not only brought boats, but they also brought "dispatchers". And I was amazed, proud and happy they were there saving lives. Listening to their professionalism and drive often brought me tears as I listened to them drop people off and ask for an other rescue.
So, maybe we still have spontaneous unregistered volunteers, people with no plan but to help; and a third group - Informal Ad-hoc Volunteers IAV? But with no office or 501c3 how to write them into your plan?
Maybe you write a space in your plan for them? I don't know, now that I have seen a successful operation by a not organization? I need to think of a way to account for this and utilize, support and help them help us.
Good work Cajun Navy