Volunteer Programs

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

CERT CERT educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. Using their training, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event and can take a more active role in preparing their community. The program administered by Department of Homeland Security.

Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)

MRC The MRC strengthens communities by helping medical, public health and other volunteers offer their expertise throughout the year as well as during local emergencies and other times of community need. MRC volunteers work in coordination with existing local emergency response programs and also supplement existing community public health initiatives, such as outreach and prevention. The MRC program provides volunteers with training in the Incident Command System 100 and 700 courses augmented with field exercises.

Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES)

Administered by local, county, and state emergency management agencies or emergency management departments within a sheriff's, police, or fire agency. It is part of the Amateur Radio Service that provides radio communications for civil-preparedness purposes, during periods of local, regional, or national civil emergencies such as fires, floods, and earthquakes. For information about the Orange County Sheriff's RACES unit, visit http://www.ocraces.org or call 714-704-7979.

Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)

Volunteers in Police Service VIPS works to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement to utilize volunteers. VIPS serves as a gateway to resources and information for and about law enforcement volunteer programs. Funded by DOJ, VIPS is managed and implemented by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Citizen advocates can assist local fire departments in a range of activities including fire safety outreach, youth programs, and administrative support. Fire Corps provides resources to assist fire and rescue departments in creating opportunities for citizen advocates and promotes citizen participation. Fire Corps is funded through DHS and is managed and implemented through a partnership between the National Volunteer Fire Council, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

USAonWatch (UOW)

USA on Watch Neighborhood Watch works to provide information, training and resources to citizens and law enforcement agencies throughout the country. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Neighborhood Watch programs have expanded beyond their traditional crime prevention role to help neighborhoods focus on disaster preparedness, emergency response and terrorism awareness. USAonWatch Neighborhood Watch is administered by the National Sheriffs’ Association in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.

Fire Corps

Fire Corps Fire Corps promotes the use of citizen advocates to enhance the capacity of resource-constrained fire and rescue departments at all levels.

South Orange County Volunteer Programs: CEPA – Citizen Emergency Preparedness Academy promotes and educates residents to become self sufficient during a disaster.


OneOC strengthens our communities by mobilizing volunteer action and accelerating nonprofit success. In times of disaster, OneOC mobilizes individuals, groups and corporations immediately by posting on their website volunteer opportunities which government agencies and other organizations active in disasters have asked to help them fill. Volunteers may visit the website at www.OneOC.org or call 714-953-5757 to be directed to where they are most needed. OneOC updates these service opportunities daily or as new needs arise.