Click here to skip navigation

After Disaster Strikes

Wait For Instructions

  • Despite your generous instinct to "do something," it is easy to make matters worse by rushing to the scene (called "self-deploying") or collecting items for which there is no storage or distribution system.
  • Wait for instructions from those on the scene. Emergency response will determine what is needed both for skilled volunteers and supplies, then put out a call for assistance. This may take a few hours or a few days.

Be Ready to Volunteer  

  • Register as a Disaster Service Volunteer. Create a free on-line account and complete the Diasaster Profile indicating your skills, interests, and any certifications you may have.
  • Already registered? Log in and update your contact information and Disaster Profile with your skills, interests, and any certifications you may have.  
  • Are you a qualified medical professional? Go to to pre-register and prepare to help ensure people affected by a disaster will receive the public health and medical care they need.

Donate for Relief and Recovery

  • Cash is the preferred method because it offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover as well.
  • Remember, unsolicited donated goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs require helping agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing needed services in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.