How Can the Public Help Following a Disaster
When disaster strikes, people everywhere want to help those in need. To ensure that this compassion and generosity are put to good use, the media can highlight these facts:
- Financial aid is an immediate need of disaster victims. Financial contributions should be made through a recognized voluntary organization to help ensure that contributions are put to their intended use.
- Before donating food or clothing, wait for instructions from local officials. Immediately after a disaster, relief workers usually don't have time or facilities to setup distribution channels, and too often these items go to waste.
- Volunteers should go through a recognized voluntary agency such as the United Way of the Lowcountry (843-524-4357). They know what is needed and are prepared to deal with the need. Local emergency services officials also coordinate volunteer efforts for helping in disasters.
- Organizations and community groups wishing to donate items should first contact local officials or the United Way of the Lowcountry to find out what is needed and where to send it. Be prepared to deliver the items to one place, tell officials when you'll be there, and provide for transportation, driver, and unloading.