It is natural to want to help after a disaster. Whether you want to donate cash, goods, or services to assist in the disaster response, make sure you do so responsibly, and avoid scams. Here are some guidelines:
- Cash is the most efficient method of donating. Cash offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover.
- Donate through a trusted organization. Find trusted national and state-level agencies to donate or volunteer from the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
- Affiliate with existing non-profit organizations before coming to the disaster area. Contact and affiliate with an established organization to ensure that you receive training to respond in the most effective way.
- Be safe. Do not self-deploy. Wait until it is safe to travel to volunteer sites and authorities identify opportunities to help.
- Be patient. There will be volunteer needs for many months, often years, after the disaster.