Role of Serve New Mexico During a Disaster

In partnership with the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and other state and local emergency management organizations, Serve New Mexico works to strengthen the state’s readiness for and ability to respond to large-scale disasters.

Volunteering During a Disaster

When a major disaster occurs in New Mexico, information will be posted here on how you can help.

If you are not already trained and pre-registered, but you have special skills that can assist an ongoing relief and recovery operation, contact your local volunteer center.

Be sure to find out where and when you will be needed, how to dress appropriately and what supplies you will need to bring. This may include food, water and personal protective equipment. Keep in mind that during a disaster first responders and disaster relief organizations may be working at capacity and an unexpected arrival of hundreds of volunteers may negatively impact their relief and recovery efforts. During a disaster, do not self-deploy to a disaster site unless specifically requested to do so by a qualified emergency response organization.

Donating During a Disaster

If you are interested in donating, you will have the opportunity to donate to various 501(C)(3) organizations that actively accept donations during and following a disaster.

During a disaster, all donation information posted about 501(C)(3) organizations is provided for information purposes only. It does not constitute a request by the State of New Mexico, the Governor or First Lady for donations to any particular organization.

Serve New Mexico strongly encourages potential volunteers or donors to investigate unfamiliar organizations before donating money, goods or services.

If you are a company or an organization with access to large volumes of items and would like to make in-kind donations at any time, please contact your local volunteer center.

Disaster Preparedness

  1. Identify Risks - Identify dangers where you live and work, and where your children go to school. Find out what natural or man-made disasters pose a risk for you and your family. Do you live or work in a flood plain, or in a high fire danger area?

  2. Create a Family Disaster Plan - WE Prepare by creating a family plan.

    • Designate a meeting place outside of your home. This is where family members can go if you have to evacuate.
      • Identify an out-of-state “family contact.” It is often easier to call long-distance following a disaster.

    • Know and understand your plan. Involve all members of your household in the creation of your plan, especially children.

    • Learn how to get important information in your community and how to talk to family members, if you become separated.

    • Take care of your family pets. Store food and water for them in your disaster supply kit and keep their tags up-to-date.

  3. Practice Disaster Plan - After working with your family to develop your plan — practice it. Start by having family members meet at a designated spot outside your home. Know how to respond in a disaster — whether to stay put indoors, or whether to evacuate your neighborhood.

  4. Build a Disaster Supply Kit For Home and Car - In order to be self-sufficient until help arrives, you need to have a disaster supply kit. Your home kit should have at least the following items and be kept in containers that can be easily carried such as backpacks, plastic totes or wheeled trash cans. Carry a smaller kit in your car.

    • Have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable and canned food, and water for all family members. Replace water every six months. Don’t forget to restock food items.

    • First aid kit.

    • Battery-powered flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries. Replace batteries on a regular basis.

    • Change of clothing and footwear, and one blanket or sleeping bag for each family member.

    • Extra set of car keys, a credit card and cash.

    • Extra medications.

    • Sanitation supplies (such as soap, cleaning supplies, shampoo, toilet tissue, etc.).

    • Extra prescription glasses.

    • Keep important family documents in a waterproof container.

  5. Prepare Our Children - The more informed and involved children are in disaster planning, the more prepared they will be. Talk to your kids about risks and what your family will do if disaster strikes. Empower your children to help develop your family plan, build your disaster supply kits and lead practice drills.

  6. Keep in Mind Unique Needs - Remember to prepare for unique needs that you or your family members have. Do you have small children or are there seniors or individuals with disabilities in your family? Make sure you have infant supplies, medications or durable medical equipment that you or your family members may need. Have enough supplies to last at least three days. Contact the National Council on Disability at for more information.

  7. Learn CPR and First Aid - Contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross today and get trained on first aid and CPR. Your training could save the life of a loved one or neighbor following a disaster.

  8. Secure Space at Home and the Workplace - Secure the contents of your home or office to reduce potential dangers, especially during shaking from an earthquake or an explosion. Strap large electronics, anchor tall furniture, secure cabinet doors and overhead objects such as ceiling fans and pictures. Find out how you can make your home fire safe by contacting your local fire department.

  9. Understand Threats of Man-Made Disaster - There are many types of disasters. Some are natural occurrences, such as earthquakes and floods. Others are man-made and can range from chemical spills and power outages to terrorist attacks. WE Prepare by understanding and being ready for both types of disasters.

  10. Serve - In New Mexico, one way to Prepare is by helping others. There are many ways you can get involved to help make sure your community is ready for disasters. Log on to and Volunteer Now! In the search by interest box select Public Safety & Disaster Preparedness to find out where to donate blood or how to join a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the American Red Cross, Fire Safe Council or other volunteer organizations in your area.