A natural disaster can occur with little or no notice. Depending on your geographical location, fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, ice storms, and heavy snowfall can damage property, crush infrastructures and injure or take human lives.
In the event of a natural disaster, knowing who you can turn to for information, assistance, and support is incredibly important.
Here is a list of organizations that are able to help when you, your family, and your community need it the most.
American Red Cross
Most of us are familiar with the American Red Cross, as this organization has been around since 1881. The American Red Cross responds to an average of 60,000 disasters a year and has a massive volunteer base. They coordinate the needs that disaster victims have including shelter, food, water, as well as financial assistance and grants.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity has over 30 years of experience with disaster mitigation and preparation in addition to its other community services. Having shelter is a basic human need that when met, enables us to take power back over the situation and get our other fundamental needs met.
The Salvation Army provides an average of up to 800,000 people a year with the localized support that they need to get back on their feet and recover after a disaster occurs. These services include food, shelter, emotional and spiritual support, and more. They have over a century of experience and are local and community-based.
All Hands and Hearts
While not as widely known as many of the other relief organizations, All Hands and Hearts has been operating disaster mitigation and restoration programs all over the globe, assisting with everything from wildfires to COVID-19 to earthquakes to typhoons. They focus on helping families and communities recover quickly from disasters, and establish frameworks that enable them to either be better prepared or able to withstand any future catastrophes.
UNICEF, or the United Nations Children's Fund has been assisting children who have been impacted by disaster since 1946 after witnessing the devastating effects of World War II. UNICEF works with local governments and other agencies to help restore access to food, medicine, shelter, and education to children who have been affected by disasters, and they also work to reunite them with their families. They also work to promote and protect children’s rights, and access to the things they need to grow and thrive.
Sleep In Heavenly Peace
Sleep In Heavenly Peace provides beds to children who don’t have the privilege of a safe place to lay their heads in local communities all over North America. Especially in the case of a natural disaster, simply having a bed to sleep in can make all the difference in the world to a child in need, and Sleep In Heavenly Peace has been able to successfully keep over 30,000 kids off the ground. Whether it’s a fire, flood, hurricane, or everything in between, their disaster relief program works alongside other responders and organizations in communities that have been affected to help families recover.
This is a list that we sincerely hope that you never have to use, but the better prepared we are to take action in the event of a natural disaster or other emergencies, the quicker our families and communities can recover.
If you’d like to find out how you can use your skills and passions to help give children in need a safe place to lay their heads at night, we’d love to hear from you!