Hurricane relief: Find out what can be done

Sep 22, 2016 6:22:00 PM / by Gaurav Bhattacharya

Hurricane Relief Efforts

Hurricane relief is the buzzword this season with the eastern seaboard of the USA and the island nations off of the coast having seen unprecedented destruction due to the multiple hurricanes forming over water and hitting land as category 4 and 5 storms.

The destruction wreaked on homes, infrastructure, economies, and lives is massive, and it will take many, many years for the affected areas to be back to normal. Many organizations are going all-out to help the victims.

From food to shelter, rehabilitation, healthcare, legal and psychological counseling, there is much that the victims of a hurricane need and relief organizations need funds, goods, and manpower to provide it.

As individuals, there is much that we can contribute to hurricane relief. Whether cash or in-kind, there is something that everyone can give.

Donate goods.

Non-perishable and long-life food items are the obvious first choice for people looking to donate in-kind, followed by personal hygiene items and apparel. However, plastic sheets for waterproofing, ducting tape, etc. are all equally important.

Donors should know the effort involved in opening, sorting, re-packing and then re-distributing the goods often means that a lot of manpower and time is wasted, which is something relief organizations are already grappling with.

So if you do decide to go the in-kind donations way, make sure the items you’re donating are in good condition and usable. Mark the packages clearly with the contents, seal it well and label it clearly on all sides. Avoid packing multiple items in one box.

For this type of donation, it would be best to contact local church groups and food banks to ask what is needed and then supply those items.

Donate cash.

All organizations working in the hurricane-hit areas prefer cash donations, as they know best where to spend the money to help the victims. Whether it is bedding for shelters or medicines or household items needed to resettle the affected persons, the organizations are on-ground and best able to manage the purchase, delivery, and distribution of supplies for hurricane relief.

Donate time and skill.

If you have a particular skill set that will be useful in hurricane relief, by all means, volunteer your time to use that skill for the victim’s benefit. However, it would be the best use of your time and skills to sign up with a relief agency that will know where to place you.

Many organizations are working to provide hurricane relief. American Red Cross, Convoy of Hope, Team Rubicon, J.J. Watt Foundation, Feeding Texas, Feeding Florida and The Salvation Army are just some of them. You can choose to donate online through their websites or contact them to know what help they need.

If you’re looking to verify the authenticity of the charities and organizations operating in disaster zones, you can do so on the Federal Trade Commission, Charity Navigator and GuideStar websites.

Are you looking to create a volunteer group within your company? Read our blogs on How To Jumpstart Your Skills Based Volunteering Program and How To Start A Volunteer Group Within A Company.

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American Red Cross

Convoy of Hope

Team Rubicon

J.J. Watts Foundation

Feeding Texas

Feeding Florida

The Salvation Army

Federal Trade Commission

Charity Navigator




Topics: Hurricane Harvey

Gaurav Bhattacharya

Written by Gaurav Bhattacharya

CEO and Co-founder @ InvolveSoft. Passionate about technology impacting the world.