When a natural disaster strikes, it can be difficult to know what to do. This is especially true if you are not from the area that has been affected. Here are some tips for donating and volunteering in the aftermath of a natural disaster. You’ll also find information on where to find help if you are personally affected by the disaster.
URGENT NEED: Hurricane Ian Relief
Hurricane Ian is a natural disaster that has caused significant damage in Florida. Many people have lost their homes and need assistance. If you would like to help, there are a few ways you can do so. The most impactful thing you can do is donate money to organizations providing relief.
Here are a few organizations to donate to:
- World Central Kitchen
- Rebuilding Together: Tampa, Central Florida, and North Central Florida
- CORE Response
- All Hands and Hearts
- Feeding Tampa Bay
- Habitat For Humanity
- Direct Relief
How to Help During a Natural Disaster: Tips for Donating and Volunteering
In the event of any disaster, if you’re looking to donate money but don’t know where to start, here’s our list of great organizations that always put the money to good use and focus on disaster relief. They have all been vetted on Guidestar, the world’s largest and most trusted non-profit database, so you can be confident your money will make a difference.
One of the most popular places to donate, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health, and mental health services to victims of natural disasters. They also help with long-term recovery efforts.
A veteran-led disaster response organization, Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.
A California-based organization, CORE provides natural disaster relief through medical brigades, rebuilding efforts, and clean water projects.
The Humane Society helps animals affected by natural disasters through rescue, transport, and emergency placement. They also work to help prevent animals from becoming victims of future disasters.
Founded by Chef Jose Andres, World Central Kitchen provides meals to those affected by natural disasters. They have responded to natural disasters worldwide, including Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the 2018 California Wildfires.
These are just a few of the many organizations that provide assistance in the aftermath of a natural disaster. When choosing where to donate, make sure to do your research to ensure that your money is going to a reputable organization. We always recommend using GuideStar as a reference.
There are many ways to volunteer in the aftermath of a natural disaster, whether you are near or far. Here are some ideas:
- Donate blood or plasma to your local blood bank.
- Help with cleanup efforts.
- Serve food to victims, first responders, and volunteers.
- Provide child care or pet care.
- Help with long-term recovery efforts such as rebuilding homes or businesses.
- Collect and donate supplies (clothes, food, water, etc.) – please partner with a non-profit and find out what they actually need before you start your collection. Even though your heart is in the right place, sometimes donating goods creates more harm than good, so always contact the non-profit first.
- Offer your professional skills or services pro bono (legal, accounting, marketing, etc.)
There are many ways to help, so find an opportunity that best suits your skills and interests. You can also contact local organizations to see what specific needs they have.
How to Get Help After a Natural Disaster
If you are personally affected by a natural disaster, there are many organizations that can help you.
Here are some resources:
- FEMA: The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides assistance to those who have been affected by natural disasters.
- The Red Cross: The Red Cross provides shelter, food, health, and mental health services to victims of natural disasters. They also help with long-term recovery efforts.
- Salvation Army: The Salvation Army provides assistance to those who have been affected by natural disasters.
- Catholic Charities
- Lutheran Disaster Response
- Episcopal Relief & Development
- Jewish Federations of North America
- United Way
- Local government agencies
- Insurance companies
- Local Charities
Natural disasters can have a ripple effect on entire communities, leaving many people in need of help. Many organizations provide assistance in the aftermath of a natural disaster, so it is essential to do your research before donating money or volunteering your time. We always recommend using GuideStar as a reference when researching non-profit organizations.
Additional Helpful Links: