Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Developing voluntary agencies in emergency management: The United States and Korea

Kyoo-Man Ha, PhD, CEM, Ji-Young Ahn, MD


The purpose of this article is to develop policy implications after comparing the roles of voluntary agencies in the United States and Korea with the ultimate goal of contributing to emergency management in both countries. The stipulation is that voluntary agencies can substitute for the lack of government roles. Also, the underlying driver of US voluntary response is more for monetary contributions, whereas the Korean voluntary response is more altruistic in nature as a product of Korean culture. After comparing each country’s (1) volunteers, (2) organization, (3) strategy, and (4) other issues, the article found that the two national voluntary systems have developed very different approaches to voluntary promotion in emergency management. In short, the major tenet of this article is that US voluntary agencies have relied on a bottom-to-top approach, while Korean voluntary agencies have relied on a top-to-bottom approach in emergency management.


voluntary agency, United States, Korea

Full Text:



Hall D: Life-saving skills for accident scenes. Registar Pulse. 2003; April: 74-75.

Kozeny G: In the wake of Katrina . . . Intentional community members in actions. Communities. 2006; 130(Spring): 75-76.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency: The Role of Voluntary Agencies in Emergency Management. Washington, D.C.: FEMA, 1999.

McCracken B: New Mexico helps organize Katrina relief efforts. Policy Practice. 2005; December: 17.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency: Developing and Managing Volunteers.Washington, D.C.: FEMA, 2006.

Bartley AG: Confronting the realities of volunteering for a national disaster. J Mental Health Counsel. 2007; 29: 4-16.

Perry RW: Disaster exercise outcomes for professional emergency personnel and citizen volunteers. J Conting Crisis Manage. 2004; 2: 64-75.

Ha K-M, Ahn J-Y: A study on the establishment of civil network for emergency management (Written in Korean). Proceedings for 2006 Fall KAPA Seminar. The Korean Association for Public Administration, 2006: 725-739.

Comfort KL: Self organization in disaster response: The Great Hanshin, Japan Earthquake of January 17, 1995.Available at Accessed December 12, 2007.

Lee HK: Women and philanthropy in South Korea from a nonwestern perspective. In McCarthy KD. (ed.): Women, Philanthropy, and Civil Society. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001: 287-311.

Fiala J: AVMA frustrated by bureaucracy that hinders emergency response. DVM Newsmagazine. 2005; November: 12.

Blaikie P, Cannon T, Davis I, et al.: At Risk: Natural Hazards, People’s Vulnerability, and Disasters. London and New York: Routledge, 1994.

Kim PS, Lee JE: Emergency management in Korea and its future directions. J Conting Crisis Manage. 1998; 6: 189-201.

Kim J-Y: A study of the embedding of youth volunteer program (Written in Korean). J Adolesc Welfare. 2004; 6: 55-67.

Clark J: Democratizing Development: The Role of Voluntary Organizations.West Hartford: Kumarian Press, 1990.

Chae K-S: Dasan’s emergency management. Korean J Government Studies. 2006; 12: 87-110.

Roger JR: Disaster response and the mental health counselor. J Mental Health Counsel. 2007; 29: 1-3.

Rosenstein DL: Decision-making capacity and disaster research. J Traumatic Stress. 2004; 17: 373-381.

Look L: Critical incident stress debriefing: Some perspectives. Fire Eng. 2004; December: 57.

McEvoy K: Psychological first aid: Replacement for critical incident stress debriefing? Fire Eng. 2005; December: 63-66.

Harrison S: Money and volunteers needed. Nurs Stand. 2005; 19: 9.

Ku B-Y, Kim J-S: A study on the voluntary service activity of public fields—A case study of anyang area (written in Korean). Korean J Commun Dev. 1998; December: 199-222.

Kim SH: Chapter 9: Democracy in korea and the myth of civil society. In Chaihark H, Bell DA (eds.): The Politics of Affective Relations: East Asia and Beyond. New York: Lexington Books, 2004: 201-214.

American Red Cross: Donating to the American Red Cross. Washington, D.C.: American Red Cross, 1991.

Frabotta D: Planning to volunteer: Commanders must know capabilities prior to an event.DVM Newsmagazine. 2006; August: 28.

David M:ARRL’s role in rescue offers lessons for future. Electron Design. 2005; 13(October): 19.

Vijayan J: IT pros aid in search for Katrina victims. Computerworld. 2005; September(19): 8.

Martinette CVB: Exodus of senior employees: Potential problems. Fire Eng. 2004; August: 83-88.

Mabe PR, Lengacher CA: Redesigning emergency care: Financial and cost analysis of services provided. Nurs Econ. 1998; 16: 75-82.

Waldo D: The Enterprise of Public Administration. Novato: Chandler and Sharp Publishers, 1980.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Journal of Emergency Management