How Can I Help?
When a disaster strikes, people want to help. One thing those affected by the disaster don't need is the logistical nightmare that is created when a surge of unsolicited donations pour into their communities and overwhelm those tasked with recovery. This phenomenon is often referred to as the "second disaster."
Cash is best. It doesn't need to be sorted, stored or distributed, and cash allows the receiving voluntary agency to direct the donation to where it is most urgently needed.
The FEMA Donations Management Network (AidMatrix) helps connect donors with members of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster as well as additional organizations active in disaster relief. Click here to view a list of possible donation recipients, where you can link directly to their websites and give locally.
Using your mobile phone, text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation supporting Red Cross disaster relief efforts for those affected by disaster in the U.S. and around the world.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead federal agency in the U.S. when it comes to responding to international disasters. According to USAID,the most efficient way to help those affected by an overseas disaster is to make a monetary donation to a humanitarian organization that is implementing relief programs in the affected region. Visit the Disaster Assistance page on their website for information and updates on response efforts.
If you'd really like to get involved, here are some ways to do so:
Visit the Volunteer Iowa website. Here, potential volunteers find opportunities by first registering, and then searching for available work. When you register, the Iowa Commission on Volunteer service can automatically email you about new opportunties that match your interests.
You may also visit the American Red Cross website for other volunteer opportunites.
For More Information
For information on other ways to help those touched by disaster, visit FEMA's website.