Five Ways to Help

Disasters such as the earthquake that divested Port-au-Prince, on January 20, 2010, create an immediate need that the compassionate heart wants to fill. Telethons, benefits, and other fund raising organizations respond quickly. How can you and I help? Bascombe J. Wilson, Emergency Response Director of DERA International recommends five ways to help disaster victims.

1. Cash donations allow relief agencies to purchase the supplies that are needed. It is best not to try to guess what might be useful, giving cash expedites critical needs. Un-needed shipments will slow down the handling of needed shipments.
2. Confirm what items are needed. If you are for example, a bottle water supplier and are able to donate water, confirm with an active agency in the area that water is needed before shipping. Chances are that water, or other such resources, are not needed.
3. Donate only items that are requested. Keep in mind that warehousing unneeded donations costs relief agencies.
4. Volunteer your skills. Relief agencies are looking for qualified volunteers such as doctors, nurses, firefighters, morticians, engineers, and police officers. Join a training program for Community Emergency Response Teams. You will be prepared when the next disaster hits.
5. Help long term recovery and restoration efforts. Contact local relief agencies and get involved.

Photo provided by World Vision

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