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Posted on: August 30, 2017

How to Help Victims of Recent Hurricanes

Texas National Guard soldiers assist residents affected Hurrican Harvey, Aug. 27, 2017. National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West
If you'd like to help victims of recent hurricanes, we encourage you to make a FINANCIAL DONATION. A financial donation ensures organizations can purchase the items most needed for victims and enables them to purchase items within the vicinity of the disaster, thus boosting local economies.

To Donate To Relief Efforts

• The most effective way to support communities impacted by the storms is to donate money and time to trusted, reputable non-profit charitable organizations. Cash donations offer these non-profit agencies flexibility to address urgent needs. These organizations can obtain needed resources nearer to the disaster location, not only getting needed supplies to those rebuilding after the storm, but also providing economic aid that helps local businesses from which these emergency supplies are purchased to recover faster.

Donate through a trusted organization. At the national level, many voluntary-, faith- and community-based organizations are active in disasters and are trusted ways to donate to disaster survivors. Individuals, corporations and volunteers can learn more about how to help on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) website at https://www.nvoad.org/current-disasters/werespond/.

National VOAD Members (NVOAD) that have specific information on their respective sites about how to support their organizations disaster relief efforts. NVOAD Members: https://www.nvoad.org/voad-members/national-members/

Do not donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, household items, medicine, or perishable foodstuffs. When used personal items are donated, the helping agencies must redirect their staff away from providing direct services to survivors in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.

• The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) is encouraging people to make financial donations, as unsolicited or independent donation sites can become a disaster within a disaster and in most cases, the receiving state will not take those donations because they come from an "untrusted - designated place."

To Volunteer In The Disaster Areas

Texas is asking volunteers not to self-deploy. Unexpected volunteers showing up will create an additional burden for first responders. The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) says the situation may not be conducive to volunteers entering the impacted zone and individuals may find themselves turned away by law enforcement.

• Potential volunteers are asked to register with a voluntary or charitable organization of their choice, many of which are already in Texas and supporting survivors on the ground. The National and Texas VOAD websites are offering links to those who wish to register to volunteer with community- and faith-based organizations working in the field.

• To ensure volunteer safety, as well as the safety of disaster survivors, volunteers should only go into affected areas with a specific volunteer assignment, proper safety gear and valid identification.

• Volunteer generosity helps impacted communities heal from the tragic consequences of disasters, but recovery won’t happen overnight. There will be volunteer needs for many months, and years, after the disaster, so sign up now.


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