Gulf Coast States Assess Needs for Isaac Relief Efforts
Hurricane Isaac was downgraded to a Tropical Depression Thursday afternoon, meaning that the worst of the damage is behind us. Relief agencies through the Gulf Coast region are currently assessing the damages, figuring out what they will need to provide the best relief they can to the victims of the hurricane. All the States in the storm’s path have preparations in place and participate in the National Donations Management Network®, powered by Aidmatrix, so that they can instantly communicate with the public regarding items needed for the relief efforts.
FEMA has published “Tips for Donating and Volunteering Responsibly” for those wishing to aid in the Isaac relief efforts. Please read the following to learn how you can help too.
Tips for Donating and Volunteering Responsibly
Remember “Cash is Best”
Financial contributions to voluntary agencies can be used to purchase specific needed items on scene which helps the local economy and prevents voluntary partners from having to transport items at great expense. See the links below to donate cash to the active voluntary agencies working in the state of your choice.
Collecting Goods Is Not Favored
Clothing, household items, and food are best provided by well-funded voluntary agencies and not through the expensive process of collecting, sorting, packaging, transporting, receiving, sorting, and distributing of goods. But if you do host a collection, know the facts: (1) what is needed, (2)where it is needed, (3) who will receive and distribute it, and (4) how they want it packaged and shipped. Speak to voluntary agencies working the disaster to determine what the specific needs are before you collect. Better yet, post an offer of goods at the links provided below for the state of your choice. Voluntary partners and emergency management will review your offer and advise you if it is needed.
Volunteering Your Time
The best way to volunteer after disaster is through affiliating with a recognized disaster-related voluntary agency. Unconnected volunteers who show up at disaster sites are called “spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers” and often require the support of already busy agencies and officials. It’s better to volunteer through an organization, a church, or at a minimum, by connecting with the volunteer coordination offices in the state of your choice.
To donate or volunteer, go to one of these state sites: