Floods can be devastating. Depending on the severity, flood victims might lose everything they have: their homes, their jobs, even their loved ones. Whether it’s donating a dollar or volunteering to rebuild damaged houses, there are a several ways to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Find out where the flood happened. Chances are you already have a specific flood trajectory in-mind, but if you don't or aren't abreast with smaller-scaled floods happening throughout the world, the first step is to find out which regions have suffered floods and need help.Depending on where the flood occurred, different humanitarian organizations will be involved in coordinating relief efforts.If the flood occurred in the United States, chances are the American Red Crossand Salvation Army will be marshalling aid and leading relief efforts.If it is an international natural disaster, check to see if UNICEF or AmeriCares are providing aid in the affected area.Visit the organization's website or call to find out what kind of aid they are providing and how you can best get involved.Stay informed and up-to-date over time. As the needs change, so will the ways you can help -- some ways might be more inline with your abilities or resources over others.Different needs will arise at different moments in the crisis. For instance, there will be emergent needs in the immediate aftermath as well as long-term rebuilding needs for years to come.Sometimes an organization will reach maximum capacity with certain types of donations (like clothing), but have a deficit in another area. The best way to know what is most needed is to frequently check-in with the status of their aid efforts and need by calling or looking for updates on their social media accounts.
Decide how you would like to help. There are several ways to get involved, and each has their own pros and cons as detailed below in and in the following sections.If you have extra funds or goods, you might consider making monetary donations. If you have time, skills, or other supportive resources to offer in lieu of monetary donations, you can offer these to those in need.There are pros/cons for each this type of involvement: for donations, a pro is that you can act quickly and put resources in the hands of organizations who can decide how to best help the victims. A con to making donations is that you don't necessarily know if all of your money will go directly to the victims (be sure to research how organizations administer donations before you give to them). One of the biggest pros of volunteering instead of donating money is that you get to feel like you really providing hands-on helps while interacting with people. A potential con is the danger and risk of injury associated with traveling to flood zones.Make a monetary donation. Sending money is an easy and effective way to help.Be sure that you are donating to a reputable organization like The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, or UNICEF. Unfortunately, some sham organizations can crop up in the aftermath of disasters as ploys to steal well-intentioned donations.Ask if you can make a donation via text message. A recent trend among aid organizations is to provide a phone number and keyword for people to make a donations. The amount you give will show up on your next mobile phone bill. It’s as easy as sending a text message, and much more meaningful!