McALLEN, Texas -- The most effective way to help individuals or families in the wake of a hurricane or other disaster is to make cash donations to known organizations.
Officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management (GDEM) say this applies to the recovery for Hurricane Dolly in the Rio Grande Valley as well.
"There are voluntary organizations working to help people affected by Dolly," State Coordinating Officer Frank Cantu said.? "Contributing to a known organization can make a difference, especially for some who may not be eligible for state or federal disaster assistance."
In a federal-state disaster recovery operation, there is always a position for a Voluntary Agency Liaison - called the VAL.?
"Our VALs work directly with local community- and faith-based organizations to help with unmet needs and long-term recovery," Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman said.
Here are some reasons why cash donations to known organizations are more efficient and effective than donations of material goods:
Cash donations provide flexibility to help victims of disasters in situations that may be changing rapidly.
Cash donations minimize problems involved in transportation, delivery and storage. This is especially important for areas where bridges, roads, warehouses and other infrastructure have been destroyed.
- Cash donations keep relief workers focused on their work with survivors, instead of diverting their efforts to sorting, storing, tracking and distributing goods.
People wishing to make donations can find out more information on contacting the charitable organization of their choice by checking two Web sites: www.txvoad.org for member organizations of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for Texas or www.nvoad.org, the national site.
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.