Requirements for Participation


Basic Requirements

In order to participate in Crisis Cleanup, an organization must:

  • Have a physical presence in the area ("boots on the ground" or a call center)
  • Interact directly with survivors
  • Perform property assessments or remediation (assessments, debris removal, muck-outs, rebuilding, etc.)
  • Have organizational capacity to be responsible (e.g. no clubs, Facebook groups. However, emergent organizations and scout troops are OK, as long as they have capacity)
  • Be a reputable organization (Incorporation is not always necessary, but individuals may not join independently).

Additional requirement for for-profit organizations:

  • No pecuniary interests in recovery work (E.g. If you earn money doing disaster relief work, you may not have access. Contractors and insurance adjusters are not allowed even if they promise to volunteer. However, a for-profit company volunteering their employees are OK).

Crisis Cleanup has a bias for inclusion—that is, any organization that meets all four requirements should be allowed to participate, absent some extenuating or unforeseen circumstance.

For full access, all four elements are required, which means that not every organization will be allowed to participate. For example, the American Red Cross and county offices of emergency management (OEM) are certainly reputable, and always has a physical presence in the area, but do not usually perform the type of cleanup work that Crisis Cleanup facilitates; therefore, the Red Cross and emergency management would typically have lesser access, unless they meet all requirements. Similar restrictions apply to local governments, unless they play a direct assessment or active coordination role in disaster recovery.

Non-VOAD and spontaneous grassroots organizations that can demonstrate reputability and capacity are encouraged to join Crisis Cleanup.


Levels of Access

Crisis Cleanup helps organizations that interact directly with survivors, as they fix damaged property after a disaster. Crisis Cleanup is designed to be used by people who carry shovels and wear boots, not suits. Making sure that the system remains useful to workers and team leaders on the ground, as well as maintaining the trust and respect of the participating organizations are the project's top priorities.

As a side-effect of normal usage, Crisis Cleanup becomes a repository of valuable data to other relief and government agencies. Our goal is to respect the privacy of clients while while sharing de-identified disaster information with as many organizations as possible, to promote the public welfare and a speedy recovery efforts. To that end, in the future (BUT NOT CURRENTLY), Crisis Cleanup will permit multiple levels of access to organizations that meet some (but not all) of the basic requirements above.

Level of Access Typical Examples Description
Recovery Access:
Complete access to client database and maps.
United Way 2-1-1, LDS Church, Team Rubicon, Samaritan's Purse, UMCOR, Habitat for Humanity, Mennonite Disaster Service, Long Term Recovery Groups. Your organization interacts directly with survivors to assess, muck out, remove debris, rebuild, etc.
Coordination Access:
Full access for client data and maps claimed or reported by affiliates. Redacted access to other survivors' information.
HQ office of a national organization with regional affiliates in the field. Your organization does NOT interact directly with survivors in this capacity, but DIRECTLY oversees organizations that do.
Situational Awareness/ PDA Access:
Access to Preliminary Damage Assessment and situational awareness data, but not personally identifying information (PII).
State & County Offices of Emergency Management, FEMA, American Red Cross, State VOADs or COADs Your organization does NOT interact directly with survivors in this capacity, but only needs general situational awareness and statistics.
Public Access:
Access to de-identified public maps and data.
Website visitors and other members of the public Members of the public who may benefit from basic, de-identified disaster information.


Government Access

Can government access Crisis Cleanup? The answer is one "No" and five "Yeses."

No, if you don't qualify: Most government entities do not directly interact with disaster survivors and remediate private property. Consequently, they do not qualify for access.

Yes, if you qualify: In the unusual event that a government agency meets all of the requirements above (including actually performing muck-outs or needs assessments, etc.), it will be given Recovery Access.

Yes, if you ask locals: If a government entity needs detailed survivor information, they may request it directly from recovery organizations. Local relief organizations are authorized to share any information they deem appropriate.

Yes, if you are invited: To promote survivor confidentiality and preserve the trust of participating organizations, a government entity may have access if invited/requested by a state or regional VOAD. Thus, government entities should first get buy-in from relief organizations on the ground. Currently, only Recovery Access is available.

Yes, you can look at the public map: Any member of the public (or government agency) may visit the Public Map. This map provides high-level situational awareness information. The personal information has been removed, and the location has been blurred to approximately 1/4 mile.

Yes, you can help develop the site: If a government entity wishes to fund development of Situational Awareness Access, then the whole discussion becomes moot.

Unless a government entity falls into one of the exceptions above, Crisis Cleanup adopts the Federal Government's access policy to the Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN). Federal, State and Local governments may have access to Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) information to promote general situational awareness, but does not provide direct access to client identifying information.

Note to the occasional aggressive EM: Please do not waste your time and ours by threatening, bullying, or demanding unfettered access to Crisis Cleanup. We don't feel that the data is ours to give to you, and bullying won't help your case. If you need more data, don't waste your time trying to convince us; talk to your local VOADs and relief organizations. They are authorized to release any information they deem appropriate.


Establishing Reputability

The most common, and preferred method of establishing reputability is to be a member of National VOAD, a state VOAD, or local COAD, or obtain a recommendation from a VOAD member or government agency. Organizations without VOAD links that can demonstrate a track record of post-disaster property remediation are also considered reputable. In some instances, upstart or grassroots organizations provide substantial assistance to disaster survivors, and cannot always establish working relationships with VOAD members in the "heat of battle." In those rare circumstances where a recommendation is not possible, grassroots organizations may establish reputability by demonstrating that they do quality work, typically through interviews with people they have assisted or demonstrating a track record of disaster response. Recommendations are always preferred.


The Local Coordinator

Each incident has one or more Local Coordinators, or a local agency that administers the Crisis Cleanup system for that incident. With vital field insight, the Local Coordinator is responsible for vetting and approving new organizations. The Local Coordinator doesn’t necessarily have veto rights, but will help determine whether each organization meets the criteria above. Each Local Coordinator will receive special training, and should be prepared to devote 2-5 hours per day to manage the Crisis Cleanup system at the height of cleanup efforts, and 2-5 hours per week during long term recovery.

The Local Coordinator is not "in charge" of the disaster, nor the participating organizations. The Local Coordinator simply vets new organizations. The Local Coordinator does not need to do anything else; there is no official incident information portal to maintain, no work orders to assign, no oversight functions, and no reports to file.

Policy Effective: November 1, 2013. Last Updated: June 4, 2014 (Clarified that Red Cross and local governments may have full access if they meet all requirements); May 8, 2014 (Clarified Reputability may be established by establishing a track record; call centers servicing an affected area satisfy the physical presence requirement); February 6, 2015 (Clarified role of Local Coordinator by changing name from "Local Admin" to "Local Coordinator"); November 24, 2015 (Clarified Local Coordinator's time commitments diminish during long term recovery); May 25, 2017 (Clarified conditions under which government may have access); September 12, 2017 (Clarified for-profit organization policy); October 28, 2018 (Added Organizational Capacity).


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  • 0
    Jim Rodgers

    Mr. Titus;
    I am the domestic missions coordinator for North Parkersburg Baptist church and we have both disaster relief and recovery teams with years of experience. I created this account but I can not find out how to register our teams. It looks like this would be a site that would prove very helpful during a disaster but I am unable to look into it except for the "demo" site. How do I access the "real" site? Thanks in advance and may God bless.

    Jim Rodgers

  • 0
    Esther Dunlavy

    This sounds like an awesome system. I am going to present it to our local VOAD. How do you get training to become a Local Coordinator?

  • 0
    Aaron Titus

    We have not yet designed any Local Coordinator-specific training material. However, picking it up has not been difficult for anyone. The Local Coordinator receives an email each time a new organization applies to the incident, and the Local Coordinator clicks the link to review. After review and investigation, the Local Coordinator can approve or reject the new organization.

  • 0
    Neal Barncard

    I want to register as my LDS Stake contact person and claim some projects to help at.  I have Volunteers that wish to help in Cleanup.   I'm having some difficulties in getting on the website.  I could use some assistance.[Redacted] is my cell phone to get to me............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

  • 0
    adrian king

    I am the director of Kinston Area Recovery Efforts (KARE) based in Kinston, NC. Founded in 2017 following Hurricane Matthew. KARE is a non profit organization, designated by the Internal Revenue Service, and created by the Lenoir Association of Congregations.We provide manpower to provide construction and repairs to homes damaged by disaster, we provide a range of what we describe as Unmet Needs, such as furnishings, appliances, bedding, mattresses, assistance for housing, utilities, etc. All these services are provided at no cost to clients. KARE's Client Selection Committee acts on recommendations of two case managers who interview potential clients and recommends approval or not, and agrees to cost to the service. We are an active member of the NC VOAD program, and our programs and projects are often covered by the local/area media. Since the organization was founded, we have earned the support of approximately 300 volunteers who have come from all over the US' eastern seaboard, and have raised in excess of $500,000. from area individuals, foundations, churches, the NC Department of Public Services, Emergency Management enabling us to provide our services without charge to more than 100 households in Lenoir County, NC. We are also at this time serving as the fiscal agent for a neighboring Long Term Recovery agency, Jones County RISE based in Trenton, NC. We meet all the requirements for participating with Crisis Cleanup.

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