Turn on the news today and you’re likely greeted with a heartwrenching story about another natural disaster. Indeed, rising global temperatures have contributed to the likelihood of these dangerous events occurring. With more heat rising, stronger storms can develop overhead. Wildfires ignite and tear through dried-out brush. Rising temperatures have melted glacial ice, pushing water levels higher and causing flooding. Then there is the humanmade violence that can easily be classed as disasters, too.
One way to reduce the distress you feel in watching such damaging events is to help those affected. It’s not always easy to choose where or how to provide aid — you want to help without being a burden, and you want to make sure you’re supporting the right causes. To make that task easier, here are four of the most practical ways you can do just that:
It’s not always easy to choose where or how to provide aid during a natural disaster. Here are four of the most practical ways to provide support without being a burden.
1. Give Blood
During certain disasters, the American Red Cross will put out a bulletin asking for blood donations to aid the survivors. In this case, it’s easy to see where your help is needed. After filling out forms to confirm you’re eligible, it takes only 8 to 10 minutes to provide a donation. Not only is it a quick way to help in the face of a disaster, but it’s also one you can continue even without such an event in the headlines. The Red Cross takes — and needs — blood donors year-round.
In the immediate wake of a disaster, inexperienced volunteers can do more harm than good sometimes. You don’t want to get in the way of those trained to handle such a situation, so avoid taking part right away. After the initial push has subsided, though, there are likely to be places where you can help.
For instance, you might be able to help restore or rebuild a city after it has suffered a major disaster. Let experts perform the skilled jobs, such as fire-damage restoration or mold removal, but give a hand with more minor projects. Plus, once the news cycle about the initial disaster has ended, these areas tend to get less help. Waiting and providing aid later will be greatly appreciated.
3. Host a Food Drive
A natural disaster can wipe out an area’s supply of viable food sources. In your neck of the woods, though, the grocery store remains packed with nonperishable items. If you live close enough to a disaster site, it could be helpful for you to round up cans and bottles of sustenance from donors and drive them to the area in need.
You can also find an organization active in disaster relief where you can donate all the food you’ve gathered. If you’re not sure where to start, ask your local food bank or pantry — they’re likely to have contacts who know precisely where your wares will be needed.
4. Donate Cash
Of the many ways you can help in the wake of a disaster, donating cash might be the most useful of all. Money incurs no additional cost to send, while shipping supplies from your home to another state or country will be pricey. The money you waste on shipping could instead be part of a larger donation.
With more cash, relief organizations can provide more help. Those on the ground know better what to do with money and resources — they’ll make sure your donation goes to good use. Just make sure to research the places you’ll send your cash. You want to choose a reputable charity that will utilize your funds in the best possible way. Then, you can feel good about helping, rather than feeling swindled by a dishonest donation bank.
Help the Right Way
Your heart’s in the right place, and now your head’s there, too. You can help in the wake of a natural disaster, no matter where you are. Now, you know how to do so in the best possible ways.
What are your suggestions for ways to help in a disaster?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.
About the Author
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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