With the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and Florida, the need for Hurricane Relief efforts is imperative.

After seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas and other parts of the state and neighboring Louisiana, I wondered what would be some key ways to help out or contribute to the Hurricane Relief efforts. How you can help with Hurricane relief really depends on the time and resources you have to allocate and specific actions to take. After all, it really is up to YOU.

How much time and resources are you willing to allocate to Hurricane Relief?

The scenario may be more personal for those who have a friend or loved one that has been directly affected by Hurricane Harvey. And for those that know someone that may be in the direct path of newly formed, Hurricane Irma that is in the eastern Caribbean, with her sights potentially set on the Florida Keys and the southernmost part of Florida, it can be rather nerve wracking and frightening. That is why it is imperative in many ways to work on key solutions for Hurricane relief efforts in not only Texas but those directly in the path of Hurricane Irma. But an important question may arise in times like this: What are some key ways for people living in the DMV to help out?

How about contributing to the Red Cross?

The Red Cross is always looking for blood donations and other contributions. Since its founding by Clara Barton in 1881, the Red Cross has been a go-to source for blood donations in times of crisis, collector of financial donations and for volunteering. You can contribute financially for those affected by Hurricane Harvey on RedCross.org by clicking on the link here. The site does mention that there is a minimum $10.00 donation and that all donations are tax deductible. hurricane relief The Red Cross website allows payment by credit card or Paypal. The good news is that there are options for those who may want to give to other causes besides Hurricane Harvey. The drop-down menu allows users to choose donating to different causes. There is the option to donate by calling 1-800 HELP NOW or by downloading, printing out and filling out the PDF form to mail in with the donation by check.

How about donating water and other supplies, or hatching a campaign?

The thought of donating water or other supplies like blankets, batteries, or clothes to your local donation centers for those living in the area can also be a viable option, but it involves some work and looking into. Sometimes local supermarkets accept canned goods or ways to purchase brown bags of goods that assist with those in need. It is always best to inquire from local markets and stores about their efforts concerning charitable Hurricane contributions. There is also the option of hatching a volunteer effort in the DMV area using Facebook, Twitter or other social media channels. Twitter has a few hashtags that were created to raise awareness and to spearhead campaigns to help like #OneAmericaAppeal #Hurricanerelief #Hurricaneirma2017 and #Hurricaneharvey2017.

What options are there to assist in person at hurricane disaster sites?

In addition to the Red Cross, organizations like the Salvation Army are available for people who want to contribute to the relief efforts financially. The option to assist those people on site in Texas who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey through the Salvation Army is no longer available. That does not mean that contributing to relief efforts with Hurricane Irma is not a possibility. As for the Salvation Army, it is a non-profit organization that began work in the Capital Area (Washington, D.C.) in June of 1885. It states on their site that the organization provides “simple solutions to the suffering and isolation of poverty, addiction and abuses that exists in our society.” You can learn more about the Salvation Army, here. The good news is that there are ways to help out in person as a volunteer with the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army has upcoming training sessions in the Washington, D.C. area to help with future relief efforts as a volunteer for Hurricanes and when other natural disasters strike. Please note: there is training needed prior to helping out at disaster sites caused by Hurricanes or other natural disaster related sites with the Salvation Army. For more information on how to assist as a volunteer with the Emergency Services Disaster Team, please visit the Salvation Army website. What do you think? Are there other key ways to contribute time and resources to current and future Hurricane Relief efforts, we would like to know! Feel free to leave a comment below.