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Hurricane Katrina
How You Can Help

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How You Can Help

National Guard trucks haul residents through floodwaters to the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
(Photo: Eric Gay/AP Wide World )

Guidelines for Helping

The Federal Emergency Management Agency asks that anyone wishing to help victims of Hurricane Katrina follow their guidelines for giving. Here they some of their suggestions:

Contributions of Cash—Often the Best Donation
Money allows relief organizations to buy exactly what disaster victims need. They also need to pay for transportation to give out the supplies.

Confirm the Need
Check with a relief organization before you donate or volunteer. They can tell you what they need.

Donate Through an Organization
Before starting a collection of goods to send to a disaster site, find a reliable relief organization that wants donations. If you send items directly to a disaster site there is often no place to unload the goods. To avoid this, pick a relief organization and work with them from start to finish.

Seal and Label Your Package
It's easier to use donations that are clearly labeled and ready for delivery. Tape lists of what's inside the package on the side of the box. Food items should be boxed according to instructions from the organization with which you are working.

Volunteers are always needed when disasters occur. But if you volunteer, it is important to register with an organization first.

Response and recovery work is often dirty and very tiring. Very little individual recognition is noted. Volunteers should expect to work in tough conditions and fit within plans coordinated by the volunteer agencies.

Many relief organizations have a special section for student volunteers. Check to see what they need and what they provide before you sign up.
Many government and private agencies are helping victims of Hurricane Katrina. You can help too.

Many of the people left homeless do not have the money to stay in hotels or eat in restaurants. Thousands of people have been left without food, clothing, or shelter. Michael Brown, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, urged people to make cash contributions to organizations. Donations are used to issue cash vouchers to victims.

The following agencies are helping with the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina:

Red Cross
The Red Cross is operating more than 250 shelters across seven states, providing a safe haven for nearly 42,000 evacuees—many who have been left homeless by Katrina. The first priority is meeting the urgent, critical needs of those people, which include providing emergency shelter, food, and water.

AmeriCares is sending an emergency response team to Mississippi to prepare for distribution of aid to people affected by Hurricane Katrina. They will assess the most important needs and begin to coordinate relief shipments of personal hygiene products as well as cleaning materials.

Episcopal Relief & Development
ERD immediately sent emergency funds to the Diocese of Mississippi. This emergency assistance will help people whose homes are destroyed or severely damaged. ERD support will help the diocese provide aid to community members through two mobile response trailers, which are equipped with supplies like chainsaws and generators to assist in the recovery.

United Methodist Committee on Relief
UMCOR Disaster Response executive Tom Hazelwood will arrive in Jackson, Mississipppi, Thursday to tour the coastal areas and to initialize the Mississippi Annual Conference disaster response efforts. UMCOR is committed to the most vulnerable people affected by this hurricane.

There is an urgent need for both health kits and flood buckets. These collections of everyday items help families recover during the early days after a major disaster. The health kits contain items such as a toothbrush, washcloth, and soap. The flood buckets contain items like gloves, household cleaners, and bleach to help people clean their homes to make them livable again.

Salvation Army
A $100 donation to the Salvation Army will feed a family of four for two days, provide two cases of drinking water and one household clean-up kit containing brooms, mops, buckets, and cleaning supplies.

Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities provide long-term recovery work in disasters. Long-term services include temporary and permanent housing, direct assistance beyond food and water to get people back into their homes, job placement counseling, and medical and prescription drug assistance.

Operation Blessing
Operation Blessing was among the first to respond. Truckloads of food and mobile kitchen equipment have been delivered by OBI to Salvation Army staging areas in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida.

After four mobile kitchens and dozens of mobile canteens from partnering groups are in place, OBI will be helping provide up to 310,000 meals a day to storm victims in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

America's Second Harvest
America's Second Harvest is in need of food and funds to respond to Hurricane Katrina. Currently, at least 10 food banks and hundreds of related agencies have been hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Adventist Community Services
After medical evaluation, those who have been rescued will receive blankets, new clothing, and personal kits, including toiletries, from ACS Disaster Response volunteers before they are transported to nearby shelters.

Christian Disaster Response
1-941-956-5183 or 1-941-551-9554
Choose a "Gift of the Heart" kit to prepare and send it to Christian Disaster Response. You can get a list of the items to put in “Gift of the Heart” kits on their Web site.

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
CRWRC has mounted an ambitious campaign to raise $2 million for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Donations will provide emergency relief food and shelter, deploy rapid response teams to get needs quickly assessed, clean up debris, purchase building materials and repair homes, and provide funding for long-term reconstruction in those areas hardest hit.

Convoy of Hope
Convoy of Hope officials began moving trucks of supplies as near to the hurricane-affected areas as possible on Monday. They are looking ahead to the Labor Day holiday weekend when they will mobilize trucks to bring in supplies.

Nazarene Disaster Response
Supplies and volunteers arrived from Nazarene Disaster Response from as far away as Washington State and Maine, with up to 250 people working per day.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
When rebuilding efforts begin, PDA will be lining up work teams for the region affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Southern Baptist Convention—Disaster Relief
1-800-462-8657, ext. 6440
Feeding units and locations have been set up in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.