In the wake of a disaster, the people of Louisiana have always come together with compassion and courage to ask how they can help survivors.
Soon after a disaster people come forward to assist those in need. However, people often don’t realize there is still a great need a few weeks after the disaster. Currently, there is a shortage of volunteers, particularly in northern Louisiana.
If anyone would like to volunteer to help Louisiana disaster survivors, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests working through a local voluntary organization. Debris removal and rebuilding are two ways that volunteers can help.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Volunteer Louisiana online at http://www.volunteerlouisiana.gov or email firstname.lastname@example.org and be put in touch with a voluntary group in need. Volunteer Louisiana is a state-run organization.
Residents can learn more about volunteering and its benefits by viewing a video at http://www.fema.gov/media-libary/assets/video/112533.
If you are unable to volunteer your time or skills, recovery officials suggest making a donation to an organization involved in disaster recovery as an effective and efficient way of contributing.
Cash contributions to voluntary organizations make good sense for a number of reasons:
1. Financial contributions help ensure a steady flow of important services to survivors.
2. Local organizations spend the money in the local affected community, accelerating its economic recovery.
3. Cash donations, rather than unsolicited donated goods, avoid the complicated, costly and time-consuming process of collecting, transporting and distributing these goods.
4. Cash donations to recognized relief organizations are tax-deductible.
Volunteering and donating through existing channels, and making responsible decisions that do not hinder the recovery, is the best way to be of service.