Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Relief: How You Can Help Make a Difference
As relief operations continue in the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey on the Gulf Coast of Texas, Hurricane Irma throughout Florida, and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (EMHSA) is monitoring the impacts of both events, will continue to maintain situational awareness, and will remain in contact with local partners and resources, if local assets are requested to aid in the disaster efforts.
To bolster relief efforts, cash donations are kindly being requested. A financial contribution is the most effective way to help ensure a steady flow of important services is available to those in need, as cash is flexible enough to meet the rapidly developing needs of disaster relief. Hamilton County EMHSA urges potential donors to ensure and confirm that all contributions are administered by a reputable organization. A list of organizations who are responding to the hurricanes through which donations are being coordinated, please visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Website at: https://www.nvoad.org/voad-members/national-members/.
An additional way to help support the disaster effort, is to volunteer time with a recognized relief and recovery organization such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Matthew 25. These non-profit organizations are some of the organizations that provide necessary training to equip volunteers with the knowledge and ability to assist in a safe and helpful manner following a disaster. It is important to note that people wishing to volunteer or donate their resources should not self-deploy to the disaster effort, but instead route their efforts through organizations already engaged in disaster relief. If interested in joining the relief effort as a volunteer, please visit www.nvoad.org/current-disasters/hurricane-irma-information or www.nvoad.org/currentdisasters/hurricane-harvey-information.
Although monetary donations are preferred, non-perishable food items with a pull top opening mechanism; ready-to-eat dry goods (nuts, peanut butter, dried fruits); bottled water; unopened personal care products; cleaning supplies; paper products; infant and baby supplies; and first-aid items will also be accepted. One example of a local organization that is accepting volunteers, financial donations as well as supplies is Matthew 25 Ministries. Information is available online at http://m25m.org/disaster/harvey17/.