As recovery efforts rev up in Hurricane Ian's hardest hit areas, people in Missouri and across the country will seek opportunities to provide support. Effective disaster responses follow recommended guidelines for donating items or volunteering time. The Eureka Fire Protection District encourages all community members to get involved in helping others after an emergency. Here are four ways to ensure your assistance makes a positive difference in the wake of a crisis.
1. Give a Cash Donation to a Trusted Relief Organization
Following a disaster, people commonly choose to donate clothing, blankets, and food, but in reality, money is the most practical gift. Cash contributions to recognized disaster relief organizations are fast, flexible, and effective. Monetary donations enable disaster relief organizations working on the ground to purchase the supplies they need amid ever-changing needs.
2. Have a Plan for In-Kind Gifts: Confirm What, Where, and When to Give
In-kind donations of items such as food, clothing, toiletries, and diapers are often not as useful as money, but they can be helpful in certain circumstances. Knowing what to give, where to give it, and when is the key to making your donations count. Before collecting, remember these important considerations:
Not everything is needed. Used clothing is never needed.
Bulk donations are best. Pallet loads of a single item, sorted and boxed.
Timing is important. Too soon or too late, and no one wins.
Arrange for transportation. Determine where your donation is going, how it will get there, who will unload it, and how to distribute it.
3. Connect with Trusted Volunteer Organizations
Volunteering after a disaster is a noble act. Before setting out on your mission to help, you should connect with trusted organizations already operating in the impacted area. They can share valuable safety and training insights and tell you where your help is most needed.
4. Be Intentional to Make a Positive Difference
Yearning to help after a disaster is praiseworthy. Yet, it's important to channel the impulse by adhering to proven ways that make a positive difference in helping others cope after a tragedy.
About the Author:
Eureka Fire Protection District is an EMS, Fire, and Rescue service provider located in Eureka, Missouri. Staffed with nearly one hundred volunteer and career Paramedics, EMTs, Firefighters, Junior Firefighters, and administrative teams, the department provides its local community with fire prevention, education, safety resources, and emergency relief. Eureka Fire Protection District maintains a reputation as a well-run, high-performing fire department by keeping up to date with the latest in life-saving training and technology.