Volunteers are the life blood of all communities. Emergencies and disasters create opportunities to put empathy into action through helping neighbours, volunteering with relief organizations, becoming a spontaneous volunteer or contributing remotely. Volunteering builds social capital, the glue that holds communities together. After a disaster, social capital, unlike other forms of capital, does not wear out but gets stronger.

This issue tells stories of this strength: an interview with Darlene Yellow Old Woman-Munro on how she went from being a nightshift volunteer to creating the Dancing Deer Disaster Recovery Centre for the Siksika Nation in Alberta and a story from Christy Schaefer and her experience receiving help from volunteers in Calgary. Explore some of the best international examples of volunteer organization: the changing nature of volunteer management in Australia and a video with Jason Pemberton, a co-founder of the Volunteer Army in Christchurch, New Zealand, which mobilized thousands of students to help after the devastating earthquakes. Learn from the 2013 Southern Alberta floods with key lessons learned shared by city staff, the NGO Council of Alberta, the Canadian Red Cross, federal research agencies, and much more.

Read the issue: HazNet Spring 2016, Vol. 8 No. 1