After the disaster, what can you do to help? The three top organizations out there to help with Hurricane Sandy are The Red Cross, The Salvation Army and FEMA. The Red Cross by far has the easiest website to navigate for assistance. Here is the site: FIND HELP - RED CROSS The Red Cross also has excellent information listed on their twitter feed and on their Facebook page. Red Cross Facebook Page
The other two organizations also have easy to follow directions to find help. For the Salvation Army, select a state and then follow the directions for shelters or emergency assistance. I found the best up to date information was their twitter feed as well as their Facebook page. Both provided excellent information that was posted at least every 12 hours. Salvation Army Facebook Page
Information listed on FEMA’s page has great resources for shelter services: To find a shelter, individuals can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, or call 1-800- RED CROSS (1-800-733-3767) or check our local media outlets. Other things you can do is to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
FEMA’s distribution centers have an overall inventory of more than 5 million liters of water, 3 million meals, 900,000 blankets and 100,000 cots. FEMA and the Department of Defense have established Incident Support Bases in Westover, Mass. And Lakehurst, New Jersey to pre-position supplies including water, meals, blankets and other resources closer to potentially impacted areas.
Other great information is found here: www.ready.gov and www.listo.gov The FEMA mobile site (http://m.fema.gov) , smartphone app (www.fema.gov/smartphone-app), and text messages (www.fema.gov/text-messages) also provide regular updates. Sharing information using social media tools is also a good way for residents to stay informed. Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog , www.twitter.com/fema, and www.facebook/fema and www.youtube.com/fema
I hope I have given out information that can be helpful if you are in need, but if you would like to help with establishing shelters, giving food, or emergency medical assistance here are your resources. Interestingly on FEMA’s website, the easiest way to volunteer and help is to provide a financial contribution to a recognized disaster relief organization. As you can imagine, this allows the organization to fund response and recovery efforts, obtain goods and services locally, and provide direct financial assistance to disaster survivors to meet their own needs. If you need help with deciding which organization to give to, a National Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster website has a list of major non-profits that are active in disaster work.
If you are interested in giving a hand- here is your best bet: Volunteer with a local organization to help with the disaster victims. Ideally if you volunteer, register and are trained in disaster relief you are able to provide it when the next big event occurs. Many organizations and faith-based groups in your community have active disaster response programs that are always looking for volunteers.
The following groups are a list of suggestions for disaster volunteerism:
Lastly, if you are unable to physically help, or financially help, organizations will always take in donated goods such as clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable food.
We are praying for those affected by the hurricane and pray that aid and help comes quickly to those in needs. Please keep them close in your heart and prayers.
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