Natural disasters are an inescapable condition of living on this planet that we call home. With nearly 7,000 natural disasters occurring globally each year, most of us will be affected at some point in our lives by a storm, hurricane, earthquake, flood, or other natural occurrences.
With preparation and knowledge, we can ensure that all families and communities are equipped to deal with the aftermath. One of the best ways to help? Contributing to nonprofits that focus on disaster relief. In this article, we’ll highlight the efforts of some of the top charities that help families affected by natural disasters. If rebuilding the resilience of families facing disaster worldwide is important to you, consider giving to one or more of these well-reputed nonprofits.
Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid charity that works in the US and more than 80 other countries around the globe to bring relief to all in need, regardless of religion, politics, or ability to pay. The work this disaster relief organization focuses on is equipping medical professionals with the tools they need to deliver life-saving aid to families experiencing the aftereffects of natural disasters. This charity also develops and designs award-winning disaster relief tools including hurricane prep maps and packs, emergency medical kits, and oral rehydration salts.
Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders is another disaster relief organization that focuses on delivering medical aid to vulnerable families and communities worldwide. It is a simple reality that all kinds of volunteers are needed when it comes to emergency response and recovery efforts. Medically trained volunteers are literally lifesavers, and this nonprofit helps ensure that surgeons, nurses, and physicians can quickly, safely, and efficiently respond to crisis. Focus efforts include support of Haitian healthcare needs during the long-term aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, Cyclone Idai medical relief in Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, and immigrant and refugee medical aid due to worldwide relocations caused by environmental as well as man-made emergencies.
The Red Cross
American Red Cross is one of the largest disaster relief nonprofits out there. This well-known charity organization supports families in need by providing volunteer aid, blood drives, CPR training, blankets, meals, and financial aid. The Red Cross responds to all kinds of natural disasters, focusing on wildfires, home fires, hurricanes, and floods. Their volunteer force also responds to other types of emergencies; in fact, The Red Cross is on hand at an average of 60,000 emergencies in the US each year.
Operation USA, contrary to what its name implies, has actually delivered aid to 101 countries since 1979. Since its earliest days, this nonprofit has focused its efforts on creating partnerships to provide families with medical supplies, vitamins, medications, shelter items, first aid kits, cleaning supplies, personal protective supplies, and more. Operation USA responds to earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, typhoons, and droughts, relying on their network of partners to help ship and deliver material supplies needed by families worldwide.
UNICEF is another well-known international nonprofit organization that focuses on providing emergency aid to children in disaster zones. This nonprofit is enabled to work hands-on and respond quickly due to its deep connections with government agencies and partners in 190 countries and territories worldwide. UNICEF provides all the basics including food, water, sanitation, hygiene, and medicine. This nonprofit goes the extra mile, with long-term impact and holistic aid in mind: their missions also focus on delivering education and mental health support, as well as reuniting impacted children with their families after a disaster.
Americares is a top-rated nonprofit charity that delivers critical care and medicine to families affected by natural disasters. This healthcare-focused organization provides disaster relief worldwide in response to earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and complex disasters impacted by man-made emergencies. Long-term family health and post-disaster recovery are central values to this nonprofit. Aid programs include mother and child health, mental health, and mobile clinics that provide access to families who live in remote global regions.
International Relief Teams
International Relief Teams, or IRT, first began helping families impacted by the disaster in 1988 after the Armenian Earthquake. Since then, this nonprofit has organized over 400 teams to deliver on-the-ground disaster relief in 69 disasters, ranging from Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Harvey, to earthquakes and tsunamis in Haiti, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, and beyond. IRT also sends volunteers to reconstruct homes for families who’ve lost everything due to the recurring wildfires in California. Since we believe that beds help make a house a home for children who’ve been through so much, Sleep in Heavenly Peace also supports construction and distribution needs for the wildfire rebuilding efforts.
Shelter Box is another charitable nonprofit whose mission is pretty close to our hearts. This organization believes that all families require shelter - and that all families deserve to feel like their shelter is a home. Shelter Box delivers disaster relief by way of providing emergency shelters and the tools needed to help rebuild and recover after the event of a natural disaster. These tools include family-sized tents, solar lights, temporary shelter build kits, blankets, mosquito nets, water filters and carriers, and sturdy, portable kitchen sets. Their disaster relief projects have positively impacted families dealing with flooding in India, Tanzania, Kenya, Bolivia, and Paraguay, cyclones and typhoons in the Philippines, Vanuatu, Malawi, and the Caribbean, and the severe drought in Somaliland.
Team Rubicon is a disaster response-focused nonprofit, with a mission to both quickly respond and continue services after many others have left the scene. Something special about this charity organization is that it is US veteran-driven; their volunteer force is made up of veterans who have found new meaning in service after their military service is over. Team Rubicon recognizes the profound skills and experience that our veterans offer, maximizing their impact along the lines of trauma medicine, leadership, disaster mapping, rapid rebuilds, debris management, hazard mitigation, and more. Team Rubicon also works under the direction of governmental agencies and can integrate fully into the existing Incident Command Systems structure to provide disaster relief. As a voting member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). Team Rubicon integrates into these efforts to provide their services to disaster survivors, free of charge.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Last but certainly not least, we at Sleep in Heavenly Peace have our own, dedicated disaster relief fund. We support communities in need due to disasters and humanitarian issues, devoting all funds received through this initiative directly to assist children who have lost their beds and their entire homes due to tragedy. These funds are directed through our regional chapters and agency partners to rebuild a tangible sense of home and comfort for children who have lost so much. In 2019 alone, we supplied over 30,000 bunk beds to families in need! If ensuring a comforting place for all children to lay their heads down at night is inspiring to you, then consider our unique disaster relief efforts your way to make an impact.
No matter the disaster or the need, there is a nonprofit that provides disaster relief while also matching your personal values as a charitable giver. Whether you wish to volunteer, give blood, send material supplies, aid medical professionals, support veterans, or donate your hard-earned money, do some research to ensure your choice aligns with your ideal mode of providing help to families dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters. You deserve to know that your funds, time, and donations are being used effectively by innovative programs that provide direct support to families near and far. We hope this article has been a good starting point for you in your support of disaster relief efforts.