The Corporation for National and Community Service understands that many of us want to help the residents of Texas experiencing Hurricane Harvey right now. They've provided some reminders about what to do when disaster strikes that they encourage you to take to heart and share with friends and relatives.
- Do not self-deploy as a volunteer to a disaster area. We know you want to help, but food, water, shelter, and transportation are at a premium and the first priority is making sure that first responders and local residents can get what they need.
- Sign up before you show up. If you are able to volunteer, make sure to find an organization and sign up. Capacity is stretched during disasters and you need to make sure that you can be utilized.
- Donate cash. What most communities need is cash, not things. Find a reputable organization that is supporting the disaster response and recovery and contribute. They can buy what they need and not have to worry about sorting and storing donations, especially when storage facilities may be damaged or being used to shelter people. Here are some national disaster response organizations you may want to consider.
National Service organization can stay up-to-date on information on volunteer opportunities at NationalService.gov/Harvey.
Ways you can help right now:
- Donate Cash: Your cash donations to the Red Cross or other organizations prepared to deploy and assist hurricane victims are especially helpful right now. (You can also text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross.) To find organizations already working on flood relief in Houston, check out this list. Donating to Community Action Agencies in the affected areas is also a wonderful way to help.
- Donate Blood: Search for blood donation sites and drives near you at http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood.