Many of the tips in the OEM website are designed to help you and your household. Here's what you can do to help others recover from all kinds of emergencies.
BECOME A VOLUNTEER
- It is best to affiliate with a recognized disaster volunteer organization before a disaster happens.
- After a disaster, before going directly to volunteer at a relief organization, hospital or a disaster site, wait for instructions from local officials, or check with specific organizations.
- Be patient. In the immediate disaster response period there are often many people waiting to volunteer. There may be a greater need for volunteers during the recovery period, weeks and months after disaster strikes.
To learn about additional disaster volunteer opportunities:
Tampa Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.)
American Red Cross Volunteering
The Salvation Army
MAKE A DONATION
Making a financial contribution to a volunteer agency involved in disaster relief is often the most sensible and efficient way of helping people in need after a disaster:
- Relief agencies will often spend the money in the local disaster area.
- Cash donations avoid the complicated, costly, and time-consuming process of collecting, sorting, packing, transporting, unloading, resorting, storing, repackaging, and distributing donated goods.
- Cash donations allow relief agencies to make purchases that precisely meet victims' needs or to provide vouchers for people to purchase what they need.
- Cash donations to recognized relief organizations are tax deductible.
Before donating any goods, including food or clothing, wait for instructions from local officials or check with a specific organization. Unneeded items overwhelm the recovery effort and may go to waste.
INTERNATIONAL DISASTER RELIEF
Many of our citizens often support relief efforts in the wake of international disasters. The City encourages those who want to help international victims of disasters to make monetary donations to established charities, which will distribute donations to appropriate relief agencies.
The following websites offer excellent information about making donations to such organizations: