Arlington, Va (PRWEB) September 04, 2012
As the nation celebrated Labor Day, thousands of volunteers affiliated with National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) member organizations were on the ground working side-by-side residents of the Gulf Coast still recovering from Hurricane Isaac. These volunteer-based organizations are supporting families who have evacuated their homes due to flooding and other damage, or remain without power, by providing hot meals and sheltering, cleaning up debris, installing temporary roofing, making minor repairs and otherwise helping to put people’s lives back together.
National VOAD, is a national coordinating body for fifty-three (53) of the nations most respected community-based and faith-based disaster response organizations and 55 state and territorial affiliates, with hundreds of additional localized member organizations. National VOAD members focus on all stages of disaster: preparedness, relief, response, recovery, and mitigation. Working collaboratively with the private and governmental sectors, the members of National VOAD are the driving force behind disaster recovery in the United States.
“Since Hurricane Isaac requires a response effort spanning multiple states, we are working closely with our 53 national members and our Gulf Coast State VOADs to coordinate an effective use of resources provided for community recovery,” said Daniel Stoecker, Executive Director of National VOAD. “We would like people to remember that after the national TV cameras don’t have howling winds and rising waters to broadcast, our member organizations and their volunteers are working with survivors to restore lives, homes and neighborhoods.”
National VOAD member organizations are always in need of donations of support to help disaster survivors. The best way to help make a difference is to donate cash or volunteer hours. Below are useful tips on donating and volunteering after disasters.
Tips for Donating and Volunteering Responsibly:
o Cash is the most efficient method of donating – Cash offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and delivers money into the local economy, helping businesses recover. Remember, unsolicited donated goods, such as used clothing, household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuff may not be needed. Receiving agencies often have to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and redistribute items that can’t be used, redirecting valuable resources away from meeting the needs of disaster survivors.
o Donate through a trusted organization – Financial contributions to a recognized disaster relief organization is the most effective donation to make. If you need help in determining who to give to, please go to the National Donations Management Network http://www.ndmn.us
o Affiliate with existing non-profit organizations before coming to the disaster area. Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the amount of generous people who want to help. Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained to respond in the most effective way.
o Be safe. Do not self-deploy until a need has been identified and the local community impacted has requested support. Wait until it is safe to travel to volunteer sites and service opportunities have been identified. Once assigned a position, make sure you have been given an assignment and are wearing proper safety gear for the task.
o Be patient. Recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention. There will be volunteer needs for many months after a disaster - especially when the community enters the long-term recovery period.
Please visit http://www.nvoad.org for up to date information on Hurricane Isaac recovery and how to support and volunteer.
To schedule an interview with National VOAD or any of the partnering VOAD agencies regarding their roles in disasters, contact James McGowan, Associate Executive Director of Partnership, 703-778-5089.
National VOAD, or National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, is a national coordinating body for fifty-three (53) of the nations most respected community-based and faith-based disaster response organizations and 55 state and territorial affiliates, with hundreds of additional localized member organizations. National VOAD members focus on all stages of disaster: preparedness, relief, response, recovery, and mitigation. Working collaboratively with the private and governmental sectors, the members of National VOAD are the driving force behind disaster recovery in the United States