How Should You Respond to a Disaster?
Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) www.nvoad.org/. National VOAD’s Members and Partners are disseminating the following message related to Hurricane Florence and other natural disasters:
Do not self-deploy.
- It’s not safe for you to go. The infrastructure in the areas have never seen this amount of rain, we have no idea how roads and structures are going to react as water recedes. You risk getting yourself hurt, which takes medical assistance away from those in the area that were hurt during the disaster.
- Resources are limited. There is limited food and water in the area and that should be reserved for those that are from those areas and are trying to restore their property and lives and to the first responders and specialized volunteers. By nature of being a human, you will be taking some of those resources and these areas can’t afford that right now.
- We shouldn’t presume what is needed. The reality is that after natural disasters, lots of volunteers show up and lots of donations are made that go unused or are not needed. In the early stages of the response phase, most organizations are unable to accommodate any material goods. Unsolicited donations create a challenge of storage and sorting when focus is needed on response and recovery. Monetary donations continue to be the preferred manner of contributing to disaster relief and can be done so through a roster of VOAD National Organization Members.
What can I do today?
- Join Citizen Corps, https://www.ready.gov/citizen-corps. The Citizen Corps program includes a national network of over 1,200 state, local, and tribal Citizen Corps Councils bring together local government, business, and community leaders who work to prepare their communities for disaster and to make them more resilient. Councils harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the hazards and threats facing their community. Citizen Corps asks you to embrace the personal responsibility to be prepared; to get training in first aid and emergency skills; and to volunteer to support local emergency responders, disaster relief, and community safety.
- Contact the Center for Civic Engagement about tentative plans to provide hurricane relief work in the impacted areas over spring break, 402.472.3755 or firstname.lastname@example.org.