Most of the things we do in life are planned. Life is monotonous, but when something happens that interrupts our routine our lives get turned upside down. The comfort of having a routine is lost along with the tangible things that we may lose when disaster comes our way. This is where the community can reach out and provide disaster relief. In the short term helping may be defined as donating or giving items to individuals or families who have lost their belongings in the disaster. In the long term, it may be defined as providing resources or referrals to people who can help the survivors of the event.
Short Term Strategies
The community can provide family emergency assistance by donating requested items to organizations like the Salvation Army. It is important to look for instructions about what is needed before making a donation and this is especially true with clothing donations. Items that may be asked for include: toiletries, water, non-perishable food, baby food, batteries, and more. Money is often requested and it is usually the best thing to donate.
Long Term Strategies
As time passes the needs of a survivor change. If the individual or family was displaced and lost their home, they may need information for homeless shelters in their area. Family and Social Services can find resources for survivors and provide counseling to people who have had their lives interrupted by disaster. People in the community can help by volunteering with aid organizations and churches who want to help with disaster relief. Children can help by volunteering or raising funds to donate to NGOs. If the survivor has lost their vehicle they may need to a ride or a way to get to work. Giving a ride to disaster victim in one easy way to help in the aftermath. You may not have gone through the disaster, but doesn’t mean you can’t relate on some level.
There are many ways to help when disaster strikes and these are just a few ideas. Needs change over time and lessen in the days, and months after the disaster.