Though the Centers for Disease Control has been a little confused about dealing with Ebola, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness has guidelines for volunteers who want to help. 

Some are obvious. If you deal with Ebola patients, quarantine yourself for a little while. People in the bowling alley don't need to know right now that you were with Doctors Without Borders and that you just got back from helping overseas.

Common sense is needed, though The World Health Organization has asked for more volunteers to aid in the outbreak. More is not better if they are not trained and prepared, so it is best to have trained emergency response clinicians instead of medical students and trainees. 

As has become obvious, experience matters most. The authors recognize that volunteers serve at great personal risk but they need to know that the chance of medical evacuation is low, despite the cases widely reported by the media. 

The authors ask volunteers to consider the following:

  • Time commitment (more than 2 weeks)

  • Personal and organization health insurance, medical evacuation insurance, disability and life insurance
  • Family circumstances
  • Organization and individual emergency response experience
  • Personal, mental and professional readiness
  • Comprehensive pre-deployment training
  • Proper personal protection equipment (PPE, often provided by organization) and medical supplies
  • Return-to-work considerations
  • Organization contingency plans for evacuation or ill/injured staff

Article: "Sign Me Up: Rules of the Road for Humanitarian Volunteers during the Ebola Outbreak",  Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health