Hurricane Dorian is getting stronger and expected to pound South Florida and South Georgia as a category 4 storm Monday or Tuesday before moving up the East Coast. However, no one can predict with certainty weather patterns for its destructive reach when such a natural disaster is about to hit. The only thing that you can count on is those devastated by its impact will need plenty of help. Therefore, here are the best ways to help after a natural disaster strikes.
If you’re lucky enough to be safe and not in this storm’s path, the sights of its aftermath will move you to donate. Despite this, not all items you may think of sending victims will be suitable. For instance, you clean your closets and box up assorted clothes and shoes. This is a kind gesture, but relief workers at the other end waste time sorting the items by size and type of piece for men, women, children to laundering before suitable to box up again and send those that need it. In fact, used shoes that you might be thinking to send like stilettos or some smelly sneakers are inappropriate or considered bad luck that may harbor voodoo in some cultures.
A better alternative to make use of those designated clothes would be to sell them at a garage sale and later donate the proceeds to a trustworthy charity such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army. You can always get your neighbors involved for a street sale to raise even more money to donate.
Cleaning out your pantry and kitchen cabinets for non perishable food and pet items is not always helpful. All that you’re doing is creating extra work if you send those boxes on your own to help after a natural disaster strikes.
Send those food donations to your food banks. They are better at allocating those donations. The Feeding America network works with many of these local food banks to send emergency truckloads of food and supplies in the event of a disaster.
Regardless being over the counter or a prescription medication, this type of donation is not good to send. They can be tampered with, expired or cause problems for relief workers touching, handling and disposing of them.
Wait until relief agencies publically announce specific items they need such as blankets or towels. Otherwise, the best help you can give after a natural disaster may strike is donating money to a charity you can trust. Use a resource like The Charity Navigator that has a huge list with type and ratings to help find the right one to appropriate your money.
Our weather is changing and not for the better due to global warming. Unfortunately, the likelihood of another natural disaster is happening more frequently. For this reason, you may also want to start preparing in case an emergency situation affects you as well by reading my earlier post. Hopefully, those in power will finally open their eyes to scientific evidence before it is too late for ALL of us.