HURRICANE HARVEY DISASTER RESPONSE
As Texas continues to battle the flooding and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Long Island Volunteer Center is in communication with Points of Light, our national network, and partners about response needs and ways we can help. http://www.pointsoflight.org/blog/how-help-communities-affected-hurricane-harvey
While the disaster is still unfolding, it is already evident that donations of cash and time will be needed in the weeks and months to come. Please read the information from FEMA below for guidance on how to give. LIVC will post relevant updates about needs as they become available here. For questions, please email email@example.com.
From FEMA Intergovernmental Affairs Advisory:
HOW TO HELP DISASTER SURVIVORS IN TEXAS
Release Date: August 29, 2017
WASHINGTON – The compassion and generosity of the American people is never more evident than during and after a disaster. It is individuals, non-profits, faith- and community-based organizations, private sector partners, and governmental agencies working together that will most effectively and efficiently help survivors cope with the impacts of Tropical Storm Harvey.
Please follow a few important guidelines below to ensure your support can be the most helpful for Tropical Storm Harvey disaster survivors.
TO DONATE TO RELIEF EFFORTS
The most effective way to support disaster survivors in their recovery is to donate money and time to trusted, reputable, voluntary or charitable organizations.
Cash donations offer voluntary agencies and faith-based organizations the most flexibility to address urgently developing needs. With cash in hand, these organizations can obtain needed resources nearer to the disaster location. This inflow of cash also pumps money back into the local economy and helps local businesses recover faster.
Please do not donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine, or perishable foodstuffs at this time. When used personal items are donated, the helping agencies must redirect their staff away from providing direct services to survivors in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
Donate through a trusted organization. At the national level, many voluntary-, faith- and community-based organizations are active in disasters, and are trusted ways to donate to disaster survivors. Individuals, corporations, and volunteers, can learn more about how to help on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) website.
In addition to the national members, The Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Texas VOAD) has a list of vetted disaster relief organizations providing services
TO PERSONALLY VOLUNTEER IN THE DISASTER AREAS
The State of Texas is asking volunteers to not self-deploy, as unexpectedly showing up to any of the communities that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey will create an additional burden for first responders.
The National VOAD has also noted the situation may not be conducive to volunteers entering the impacted zone and individuals may find themselves turned away by law enforcement.
To ensure volunteer safety, as well as the safety of disaster survivors, volunteers should only go into affected areas with a specific volunteer assignment, proper safety gear, and valid identification.
At this time, potential volunteers are asked to register with a voluntary or charitable organization of their choice, many of which are already in Texas and supporting survivors on the ground.
Most importantly, please be patient. Although the need is great, and desire to help strong, it is important to avoid donating material goods or self-deploying to help until communities are safe and public officials and disaster relief organizations have had an opportunity to assess the damage and identify what the specific unmet needs are.
Volunteer generosity helps impacted communities heal from the tragic consequences of disasters, but recovery lasts much longer than today. There will be volunteer needs for many months, and years, after the disaster, so sign up now.
Tropical Storm Harvey is still dangerous, with the potential to impact additional areas of Texas and Louisiana. As the situation changes, needs may also change in these areas. Continue monitoring traditional and social media channels to learn more.
For additional information and resources:
About the Long Island Volunteer Center:
The LIVC is the resource center for volunteerism and community service initiatives throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. Established in 1992, LIVC operates year round and its services are provided free of charge. The LIVC collaborates with corporations and community organizations to address the needs of Long Islanders. LIVC is an affiliate of the HandsOn Network since 2008, connecting agencies seeking volunteers with individuals and groups looking for ways to serve their communities.
For more information, contact the Long Island Volunteer Center at 516-564-5482 or visit: www.longislandvolunteercenter.org