Here’s how you can help hurricane survivors
When disaster strikes, it is the people who come together to help who bring hope to the survivors. Hurricanes Fiona and Ian left catastrophic destruction, uprooting the lives of millions. The recovery will be long, trying and costly. It will take the efforts of countless people to help affected communities recover – from all levels of government to non-profit organizations to generous individuals like you.
Although it may be tempting to immediately travel to affected areas to offer assistance, this may unintentionally create problems or extra work for responders. To get the most out of your efforts and create a lasting impact, follow these guidelines instead.
Make a cash donation
Financial contributions to recognized disaster relief organizations are the fastest, most flexible and efficient method of giving.
Cash donations allow these organizations to respond quickly to urgent or emerging needs. When you make a cash donation, it also affects the economy of the affected regions. Supplies are purchased from local sources and local people are paid to help with the reconstruction. This type of cash flow helps the economy recover faster.
Although you may wish to donate in another way, keep in mind that unsolicited goods may not meet the needs of disaster survivors. Sending other donations to affected areas can also complicate the work of staff, who now have to sort through these unsolicited goods instead of helping the community. Check what might be needed and where before sending supplies.
Donate your time
Another great way to help is to choose an organization to volunteer with. Trusted organizations operating in affected areas know where volunteers are needed and can help you find the best place to lend your efforts based on security, as well as your training and skills. When volunteers work under the direction of these types of organizations, they can be extremely helpful in helping survivors find their new normal.
For opportunities in areas affected by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian, visit these state-specific sites:
Think long term
The recovery lasts much longer than the media attention. There will be needs for volunteers and donations for many months, if not years, to come. Explore the list of volunteer organizations active during a disaster to see how you might be able to help in the future.