Hurricane Sandy

Image by: Timothy Krause

Hurricane Sandy was the biggest Atlantic storm on record, and the destruction it caused, not only on the East Coast but also in Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas, was huge. Although it’s been three weeks since it hit New York, disaster efforts are still in full swing, and there are still many ways to help.

Even if you don’t have a spare $100 to donate, you can still get involved and help those who have lost their homes, jobs and almost every possession they owned. Here are 10 ways you can help out:

  1. Donate old clothes. All of us have clothes at the back of our wardrobes and drawers that we haven’t worn for years. Fill up bags with ones that are still in good knick, and take them down to your local disaster relief centre.
  2. Donate the basics. There are still those that don’t have the basics and are still without electricity, so donations of towels, bedsheets, blankets, non-perishable foods and practical items like flash-lights and batteries are greatly appreciated.
  3. Join the cleanup. There are many organisations now clearing up and rebuilding areas, so if you live locally head on down to your local cleanup area with your workboots on. Many cleanup operations need tools and equipment, so if you have any spare then donations of these are greatly appreciated too.
  4. Use your skills. Skilled workers in every area from computer technicians to medical professionals to builders are needed to volunteer to help people get back on their feet. If you have a skill you think could be handy, research local disaster relief operations to see if you can help.
  5. Donate your driving skills. If you have a car or van, charities are still in desperate need of people to pick up volunteers, food and other donations and drop them where they need to be.
  6. Volunteer. Relief centers are still overrun, so volunteering by cooking, serving food and distributing meals, clothing and other items can help hugely – especially now the weather is taking a turn for the worse.
  7. Open your home. Many disaster victims’ homes are still inhospitable or without power. If you have a spare room, or can simply provide at hot shower, a meal or some warmth, then see if you can help out people in need in your area, and put that 6-seater oak dining table to good use.
  8. Donate blood. Blood drives are still happening all over the East Coast, with O negative and rarer blood types being most in demand. It only takes an hour, and you can help make up for the shortage the hurricane has caused.
  9. Donate furniture. Many people have lost everything, so will be needing things to rebuild their home with. If you have any tables, chairs or other pieces you’re looking to get rid of, find your local relief centre that’s accepting furniture – some offer a pickup service if you can’t get that oak sideboard into your car.
  10. Cook some food. Ready-made hot food is still needed in many areas, so try whipping up a vat of casserole or such like to take to the most needy – bringing disposable bowls and cutlery may also be appreciated.

If you need help coordinating your relief efforts, try downloading the free Mobile Disaster Relief App which has been designed to match those that need with those that have.

What have you been doing to help after Hurricane Sandy?

Image Source | http://www.northamericanodyssey.com/pacific-northwest/