Sunday, August 27, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
We at Blue Collar Prepping are thinking of theTexans affected by Hurricane Harvey. Whatever having "our thoughts and prayers are with you" accomplishes, know that you have them.

However, we also realize that in times of disaster, thoughts and prayers aren't enough. When it comes to making a difference, the three biggest helpers are Time, Talent, and Treasure.

The difference between "time" and "talent" is that talent is a specialized skill whereas time is "just being there to help" -- only surgeons can do surgery, but a lot of people can give first aid, and just about everyone can dig a ditch or fill sandbags or pass out food.

However, this does not mean you should get in your car or your boat and go to Houston to help out! Not only will you likely just put yourself in danger (the last thing we need is more victims), but you may end up diverting emergency aid from the residents there and/or contribute to the confusion.

Instead, help out from where you are:
  • Go to a hospital and donate blood
  • Volunteer at a local church, charity or food pantry to pack disaster supplies
  • Check in on friends (texts are more likely to go through than telephone calls) and let them know that if they need anything, you are there to help. Sometimes just know that people care is enough of a morale boost to get through the day. 
If you have a specific skill that can be of use without putting yourself in harm's way, do it. For example, HAM Operators are a communications lifeline during disasters. However, most forms of talent involve people being in site, which leads to the aforementioned problems of getting in the way of emergency crews. 

The "good news" about all this is that even if you can't volunteer NOW, your help will still be necessary in the weeks and perhaps months to come. Disaster recovery takes time, so wait until the authorities give the all clear before you head down to help. 

This is also known as "donating money" and it's the best way to ensure that those in need get what they require. Many well-meaning people think that donating clothes, food, blankets and such will help those affected by the disaster, but more often than not this just slows down the distribution of needed supplies. Instead, give money so that the "boots on the ground" agencies can get what is needed. 

I do however urge you all to be discerning with your donations. Some charities spend more on advertising and payroll than they do on helping those they claim to serve. These are the charities which I endorse, due mainly to fact that they spend most of their money in achieving their mission:

Local Charities
(copied verbatim from this Fader article; given that this is disaster response, I don't think they'll mind the plagiarism)
National & International Charities

Please give generously -- but please also give intelligently. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to