Doing Your Part in Disasters

It’s all over the news and has been hitting home at the national level more than ever this season. From hurricanes to flooding and tornados. You, personally may not have been affected by some of these forces of nature, but we all, as a collective have a role to play. If you would like to help, but don’t know where to start, here are some suggestions:

Typically there are numerous avenues in which you can donate from a monetary standpoint. The American Red Cross is frequently used in this capacity, but there are numerous organizations to work through. Any amount counts. Maybe you’re financially at the $5 – that’s okay! Every bit helps. Some reputable donor links you can use are: American Red Cross, Give.Org, The Salvation Army, UNICEF

Maybe you’ve seen the pictures of the electrical trucks from all over the nation, heading to Florida to help with power outages. Trucks and skilled labor are just one form of donating your resources and expertise. The most important thing to remember, is to ask what the needs are. It may not be clothes, but something even more basic items, like water. The point it that you are helping to provide for a real need and not a perceived one. Maybe the need is time. Can you help by simply distributing food at shelters? People who owned boats donated not only their time but their actual boat to help recover people and animals in Houston. 

It’s up to each of us to teach compassion and empathy to younger generations and it’s important not to turn a blind eye to those in need. Pause and take time to help your child understand what has happened during a disaster and choose at least one way that you or your family can help those in need. Perhaps you’re a first responder and can take 30 minutes in a classroom to help youth understand the importance of addressing immediate needs in emergencies and disasters. It’s up to all of us to pitch in and help and we need to demonstrate this through action and education!

Disasters don’t care about your background, how you were raised, age, ethnicity or wealth. They can destroy lives in an instant. Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Maybe this is literal and you’re covered in mud, as you help people from their homes to safety or maybe you have an ability to comfort and empathize with those who are broken, stressed and terrified or experiencing the loss of a loved one. Don’t underestimate the value of meeting victims and situations right where they’re at. Sometimes that means the actual muck.

Whatever you do, don’t turn a blind eye. Every effort counts. If we all pitched in, even a little, the world would be a brighter place, even during disasters.