Americans are always at their best when they are helping others. This is especially true in times of disaster. We find ways to help each other and restore devastated communities. This summer, our country has experienced dangerous and devastating wildfires, flooding and tornadoes. Now the Gulf Coast is bracing for Hurricane Harvey and the rains that are expected to accompany it.
As the storm approaches, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps are preparing to help with shelter operations, volunteer mobilization and recovery when the time is right.
Here are some reminders about what to do when disaster strikes that we hope you will take to heart and share with your 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.
We will keep NationalService.gov/Harvey updated regularly as new information about volunteer opportunities and other needs develop.