WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging those who want to help people affected by the fires in California to make cash donations to nonprofit organizations that are active in disaster work. A list of national organizations involved in disasters can be found at www.nvoad.org and at the Network for Good's Web site at www.networkforgood.org.
Officials said that cash donations allow voluntary organizations to both obtain goods and services locally and for some to issue direct financial assistance to victims so they can meet their needs. They also allow agencies to avoid the labor-intensive need to clean, sort, package, label, and store donated goods. Donated money avoids, too, the expense of ground or air transportation that donated goods require.
People who want to help are urged to contact a registered relief organization to see if they can provide assistance through that organization. People going on their own to a disaster site can disrupt life-saving response operations. ?A good Web site to find organizations that are working in the disaster can be found at www.helpindisaster.org.
Voluntary organizations provide a wide variety of services after disasters, such as clean up, child care, housing repair, crisis counseling, sheltering and food. To find out what voluntary organizations are working in the impacted areas, and how to direct a cash donation to them, should go online at www.nvoad.org.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.