Experience from recent crises strongly suggests that involvement of ordinary individuals or groups of people in emergency response is a critical contribution to large-scale disaster relief, especially at the beginning of the crisis. While not meant to displace response from trained authorities, they should not be regarded as a liability but as immediately available assets. Instead, the issue is to find ways to support these emergent groups in the middle of a large-scale disaster, when formal responders have yet to arrive at the scene and information is scarce, confusing, depressing, and not informative enough to support rescue work. In this paper, we investigate theoretical foundations that explain the motivational basis, group dynamics and information and communication needs of a helping community. Given the central role of information and communication technologies (ICT), we suggest how critical information should be gathered, presented and disseminated using a workflowbased template design to assist emergent groups to help others.