How to Help Your Community After a Natural Disaster
In the aftermath of a natural disaster or violent weather event, entire communities can be displaced, destroyed, and in need of help. We’ve seen over the years the effects of massive hurricanes such as Hurricane Harvey in Texas, or Hurricane Michael in Northern Florida, and more recently the violent Tornados tearing through Missouri.
When the weather subsides, and the damage is done, reality sets it for those who have suffered through it. Survivors and those effected first hand by these acts of mother nature need help, both near and far. From simple donations such as food and water, to medical and psychological care, and more, we can help rebuild and help others get back to their normal lives in the wake of adversity.
If you want to help your community in the aftermath of a natural disaster, here are some things you can do:
Send Funds or Crucial Supplies Usually the most effective way to help victims of a natural disaster or emergency is to donate to a disaster relief organization. With proper planning and such these organizations can then use the financial stimulus to help their efforts immediately and long term over the coming months and years of rebuilding. If you donate goods be sure that they are needed or part of a list of donatable items. Storing and sorting unnecessary or an overabundance of goods can be very costly and time consuming for relief efforts.
Volunteer to Help When you see the destruction and aftermath of a disaster with your own eyes, you may feel the need to lend a hand to rebuilding efforts. There are many ways you can help volunteer for disaster relief and doing something that you are efficient in is the best way to help your community. For direct help in the most affected areas look into American Red Cross Disaster Training. For other ideas, think about helping communities in ways that deal with shelter, nutrition, and emotional support. Local nonprofits need all the help they can get in these situations and any assistance you can provide can go a long way in the rebuilding process.
Donate Blood If you’re eligible and able, giving blood is one of the best ways to help save lives following a disaster. Hospitals have historically shown an increased demand for blood after disasters and due to the short shelf life, they can’t just stock up months ahead of time to alleviate the future demand. Contact the American Red Cross or local relief efforts to see if and where you can donate.
At Cyalume, we’ve seen time and time again how natural disasters can extract a heavy toll on communities. By playing our part in helping, together, we can bring normality back to those most effected.