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SERV Arkansas Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register?

Registration is simple and easy.  Go to: www.healthy.arkansas.gov/serv to register.

What kind of information do I need to register?

You will need to provide personal background information and any professional licenses or certifications you have.

What will be expected of me?

Every disaster is different.  Many factors affect the conditions that a person may face during deployment.  Hours worked can be long, and sometimes both physically and mentally challenging.  Persons recruited for an assignment must be physically capable of performing the duties for which they are selected. 

If a person chooses to accept an out-of-the-country deployment, he or she must also be current in his or her vaccination status.  These include: tetanus/diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).  Specific additional vaccinations may be necessary depending on the area and nature of the emergency and the conditions present at the time of deployment. 

As part of the registration process, volunteers are required to fill out a Volunteer Fit for Duty Survey (Appendix B).  This will help SERV AR employees match credentials with deployment requests.  It is important to note that volunteers will be properly matched to a deployment based on their individual skills and abilities. 

It is the volunteer’s responsibility to make all arrangements with his/her employer, as well as for childcare or other personal needs before accepting a volunteer assignment with SERV or MRC. 

How will I be contacted if I’m chosen as a volunteer?

Volunteers will be deployed in the event of a public health emergency or other disaster via email or phone request. 

If I’m already part of a volunteer team, do I need to register with SERV?

Yes.  If you are part of a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) team or other volunteer group, you will need to register with SERV so that you will be properly credentialed as a volunteer in the state of Arkansas. 

What if I am called to deploy and am unable or unwilling to volunteer?

It is your decision to either accept or decline a deployment request.  It is understandable that volunteers have lives, with families, jobs, etc., and declining to volunteer will not exclude you from being called to volunteer in the future.  All volunteers are welcome. 

Will I be compensated for volunteering?

SERV and MRC volunteers will not be compensated for services during an emergency or disaster. 

What will my role be in a large-scale disaster or emergency?

Volunteers’ skills, competencies, licenses and/or credential level will be matched with assignments for large-scale disasters or emergencies. 

Who will have access to my information?

Your information will be kept in a safe, secure electronic database housed in the Preparedness and Emergency Response Branch of the Arkansas Department of Health.  Access to this database will be limited to ensure confidentiality.

How would I be deployed?

When a disaster or emergency occurs in Arkansas, the SERV AR Coordinator will receive a request for volunteer assistance.  The coordinator will then determine what skills, credentials and training are needed from volunteers in the response and match volunteers to specified needs.  Volunteers will then be contacted by email or phone.  If individuals agree to volunteer, they will be given further information on the disaster or emergency, including the type of assignment, length of service, who to contact and where to report. 

What personal items should I bring if I am deployed?

The basic rule is 2-3-4.  Each volunteer should deploy with two bags, three days of food and four quarts of water.  Based on the disaster, volunteers will be told what type of items they need to bring with them.  Appendix C in the Volunteer Handbook offers a checklist of the types of items you should bring with you.