Hurricane Sandy Info
How You Can Help
As images of the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy are viewed on the television and internet, people are motivated to help. Current challenges, including transportation issues, lack of fuel in the area, identifying volunteer housing and massive power outages make it difficult to get teams out to assess the need and scope projects.
If you are interested in volunteering in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, go to www.Serve.gov to connect with organizations coordinating volunteer efforts. Please keep in mind the following:
- Be patient: Recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention. There will be volunteer needs for many months, often years, after the disaster - especially when the community enters the long-term recovery period.
- Do not self-deploy - Wait until a need has been identified and the local community impacted has requested support. Wait until it is safe to travel to volunteer sites and opportunities have been identified. Once assigned a position, make sure you have been given an assignment and are wearing proper safety gear for the task.
- Affiliate with existing non-profit organizations before coming to the disaster area. Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the amount of generous people who want to help. Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained to respond in the most effective way.
You may also register with VolunteerMaine as a Disaster Service Volunteer. Complete the on-line application by indicating your skills, interests, and any certifications you may have.
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 services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.