How to Help People Displaced by Natural Disasters

t1Natural disasters are now frequent around the world. Statistics have shown that every second since seven years ago, natural disasters have displaced at least one person. In 2014, 19.3 million people were rendered homeless by various natural disasters. 17.5 million out of them were affected by weather-related disasters like floods, and geophysical perils like earthquakes displaced the remaining.

The numbers of natural disaster victims are quite much. The best you and I can do is to find ways to help them. I did a little research and came up with five important ways by which we can help:

  • Donate Money: This is one of the most important means to assist victims of natural disasters. They will need money to get a lot of things back in place. No amount you give will be too small. Each penny will eventually add up to make thousands of dollars.
  • Give Clothes: A lot of people who were displaced by natural disasters are likely to have lost their clothing due to the catastrophe. No human beings want to walk naked and neither do they want to be in tattered clothes. Go through your wardrobe and those of your family member and select some of your clothes for these needy persons.
  • Give Food Items: Natural disasters are often accompanied by the loss of a source of income. The tragedy is sometimes enough reason for some victims not to be able to work for a while. They will need to keep eating, irrespective of the circumstance. Your food donations will go a long way in easing their burdens.
  • Organize Charity Walks: As an individual, you can gather people in your locality and organize a charity walk. Your team can move from house to house to collect whatever people are willing to give. Some person may not realize they should give to the displaced until they see you and your team on the charity mission.
  • Plan Fundraisers: Organizing a fundraising program is also a superb way to help. By working together, people will be able raise a targeted amount to help the victims of the disaster.

First Five Things to Do During a Disaster

You have been doing things to help the victims of natural disasters or you probably just learnt how to help from the section above. Now, all the talk about the victims got you wondering what you should do assuming you are caught up in a natural disaster. You are right to think about such and here are the first five things you should do during a tragedy:

  • Stay Calm: This is the most important and the hardest part. You need to stay calm to come out of the disaster alive. When you panic, you will lose your sense of direction and judgment.
  • Move to a Safe Place: Now that you are in control of yourself, look around for the safest place for you to go. I cannot tell you the best safe place because everything will depend on the type of disaster and your immediate environment. So, in your calmness, locate a safe place and move there.
  • Get Others to Safety: Now that you are safe, it is time to help others. Some people may not be lucky to have read this post. So, their first reaction could have been a panic attack. Look around you; locate the people that need help. Get up and aid them without compromising your safety. Remember, the goal is for everyone to get to safety together.
  • Call for Help: The next thing to do is to ask for help. Check to see that you still have a means of communicating and getting help. You have to act fast on this before all lines of communication are caught off due to the disaster.
  • Locate Medical Supplies, Food and Water: Get people into teams and organize how to get medical supplies, food and water. Since you are not sure when help will arrive, as victims, you have to start by helping yourselves.

From the above, I am confident that you now understand what to do during a disaster. I think you should also know the names of some organizations that specialize in helping disaster victims.

International Organizations That Offer Disaster Relief

These are the bodies that you can reach out to for help if you are a victim of natural disasters or if you want to donate towards helping the victims. Some of these organizations include CARE, Caritas Relief Services (CRS-USCC), Doctors Without Borders, International Committee of The Red Cross (ICRC), International Rescue Commission (IRC), Lutheran World Federation, Mercy Corps, Relief International, US Committee for Refugees (USCR), World Vision International.

There are more relief organizations. A search on Google will help you locate the one of choice. Your knowledge about these organizations will enable you to know more about how to help people who are displaced by natural disasters.

How to Send Funds or Donations to a Disaster Relief Agency

The relief agencies cannot function alone. They need individuals like you to send in donations. Have you visited some of the websites listed above? I am sure you want to be part of the great work the agencies are doing. Let me educate you on some ways to donate to disaster relief agencies:

  • Research about Credible Charity Organizations: This is a fundamental approach to sending you donations to a relief agency. A lot of dubious individuals are out there claiming to be representatives of charity organizations. To be sure your funds and donations will get used for the intended cause, please take your time to locate a credible relief organization.
  • Contact the Nearest Local Voluntary Agency Liaison: In most states in the United States, there are liaison offices for relief agencies. You can communicate with the nearest one to you and take your donations them personally.
  • Visit the Website of Voluntary Organizations: Another way by which you can send your fund is by visiting the websites of voluntary organizations for disaster relief. Several of them do have instruction on how you can send relief materials and money. Follow the instructions, and you will be sure that your donations are going to the right channel.

Bottom Line

Victims of natural disasters are often caught unawares. Some had a few days heads-up. Either way, a natural disaster is never easy to its victims. Some lose their homes. Some may lose a loved one. They are in their most vulnerable state, and that is why you should help them. Don’t assist alone, encourage people you know to send their donations as well.

Photo Credit: Nj