The Louisiana Serve Commission is helping mobilize and train volunteers in response to the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Here are guidelines for volunteers wishing to help in this event:
An aggressive cleanup operation is under way to secure the source of the spill, recover the spilled oil, and protect environmentally sensitive sites. Oil is a toxic substance and dangerous if handled improperly. Only specially trained responders may clean it up or dispose of it. Avoid any site where the spill has made landfall and keep children and companion animals safely away. The initial response will aim at stopping the leak and containing the spill. It might appear to the public that a response has not been initiated but these sequential steps minimize the risk that areas already cleaned might again be contaminated.
If you are interested in receiving updates, please register at www.volunteerlouisiana.gov or call 2-1-1 (out of state: 800-755-5175) for information on any volunteer opportunities as they are identified. Volunteers must register before participating in any oil spill response. Volunteers must be trained to rescue and care for the injured wildlife. Unauthorized individuals can, even with the best of intentions, harm irreparably the affected animals, some species of which are not accustomed to any kind of human interaction.
Only the Unified Command has the legal authority to decide upon the use of volunteers in an area impacted by a spill. Its decisions are contingent upon the type of oil spilled, the location and size of the spill, the appropriate clean-up strategies, and safety considerations.
Possible roles for registered and trained volunteers might include:
Facility and Site Maintenance
Administrative and Support
Pre-impact Beach Cleanup
Positions at the Command Post or Volunteer Reception Center