"Cash donations are especially helpful to victims," Brown said. "They allow volunteer agencies to issue cash vouchers to victims so they can meet their needs. Cash donations also allow agencies to avoid the labor-intensive need to store, sort, pack and distribute donated goods. Donated money prevents, too, the prohibitive cost of air or sea transportation that donated goods require."
Volunteer agencies provide a wide variety of services after disasters, such as clean up, childcare, housing repair, crisis counseling, sheltering and food.
"We're grateful for the outpouring of support already," Brown said. "But it's important that volunteer response is coordinated by the professionals who can direct volunteers with the appropriate skills to the hardest-hit areas where they are needed most. Self-dispatched volunteers and especially sightseers can put themselves and others in harm's way and hamper rescue efforts."
Here is a list of phone numbers set up solely for cash donations and/or volunteers. Donate cash to:
American Red Cross
1-800-HELP NOW (435-7669) English,1-800-257-7575 Spanish;
America's Second Harvest
Donate Cash to and Volunteer with:
Adventist Community Services
Catholic Charities, USA
Christian Disaster Response
941-956-5183 or 941-551-9554
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
Church World Service
Convoy of Hope
Lutheran Disaster Response,br> 800-638-3522
Mennonite Disaster Service
Nazarene Disaster Response
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Southern Baptist Convention -- Disaster Relief
1-800-462-8657, ext. 6440
United Methodist Committee on Relief
For further information: visit the website for the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) at: http://www.nvoad.org/.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.