Hurricanes, fires, floods, tornados and other natural disasters can leave damage, devastation and ruin in their wake. Whether at home or abroad, it is natural to want to pitch in and help, particularly for disasters close to home or in some of the most impoverished regions around the world. While many people want to help, however, they don’t always know how. Here are 5 ways you can help with disaster relief.
1. Give money
As much as you might want to personally help out and volunteer (and you should) the #1 thing most relief organizations can always use is money. While you might feel more comfortable donating supplies, your dollars will go far further in the hands of a relief organization that can combine your dollars with someone else’s and get huge discounts on much-needed materials and supplies. In addition, when you donate supplies or materials, they still have to transport those materials in order to be used.
2. Raise money
You may not have a lot of money to give personally, but starting a fundraiser is almost as good. There are lots of ways to raise money for disaster relief. You can do something fun like hosting a charity games night, set up a Go Fund Me page or even run a fundraiser directly through social media.
If you live close to the area where the disaster occurred, you can participate in rescue and recovery efforts. If you’re going to do that, however, be sure and contact a relief organization in advance to learn how you can help. Even if you are far away and can’t show up in person, however, there are other ways to help. Thousands of animals are also displaced in natural disasters and need transportation and fostering. You can even volunteer with a local chapter of a major relief organization. When a major disaster happens, it is generally all hands on deck for most relief organizations, no matter where they are located.
4. Help with ongoing recovery
While the initial few weeks after a disaster are the most critical, large natural disasters can take years of recovery efforts. If you aren’t able to travel to the area immediately after the disaster, you can still travel several months later to help with cleaning and rebuilding. At that time, there is a huge need for all kinds of services ranging from medical to construction to child care to basic manpower.