Reports of the damage and devastation caused by the recent hurricanes in Houston and its surrounding areas and Florida have been tragic. At the same time, stories of those who have stepped up to help in ways both big and small have been inspiring. If you are looking for ways to help with hurricane relief, here are a few ideas.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke has asked other federal agencies to contribute their staff to the DHS Surge Capacity Force for the first time ever. The group, which previously consisted only of DHS officials who work with FEMA, has been used to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies like the recent hurricanes that struck Texas and Florida. Currently, there are approximately 6,500 non-FEMA employees registered in the temporary program.
Encourage your co-workers and other employees within your agency to donate to reputable charities that are aiding in hurricane relief. The Red Cross has been present in both locations and, on average, puts 91 cents of every dollar donated towards helping those in need.
In addition to collecting money, you can also collect items to donate to those who have been affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Many of them have lost everything and have to rebuild their lives from the ground up. Non-perishable foods are always a necessity and therefore more than welcome. But other goods often go unconsidered, such as baby products, including diapers, baby wash, formula, and baby wipes; clean underwear and socks are usually in short supply even when donated clothes are plentiful; and animal companions need feeding, too, so bags of pet food are needed. You can coordinate with organizations such as The Salvation Army to find out exactly what supplies are needed and work out how to get them transported. Also consider that many schools were affected by the storms, some shutting down completely and teachers losing everything in their classrooms. You can look into connecting with classrooms and teachers in need to help rebuild those learning environments.