November 17, 2017

2017 has been a frightful year of natural disaster—from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to the California wild fires. All of this has left many asking the question: ”What is the best way to help?”

When natural disasters of this magnitude strike, they tend to bring out the chartable side of many people. For those looking for ways to help, we’ve compiled the following list.

  1. Give cash first, time and labor second, and goods third. While our first instinct may be to give clothes, food and toiletries after a natural disaster, financial donations are the most valuable form of giving. After any natural disaster, distribution channels are typically disrupted or shut down, making it impossible to get goods to those in need. If you can’t afford to give money, the next best option is to donate your time and labor such as volunteering at a shelter, doing house repairs or delivering meals to first responders.

  2. Avoid one-shot donations; stagger your donations over a longer timeframe. Victims of a natural disaster take a long time to recover. It’s estimated that Houston will take several years to recover after hurricane Harvey. This is why it’s a good idea to divide donations into monthly installments that cover a year or more.

  3. Avoid donating impulsively. Do the research and chose an organization that will put your donation to good use. Unfortunately, disasters bring out the con artists, so doing some research up front will help you avoid your kind donations falling into the wrong hands.

Helping victims of disaster is in our nature, but it’s best to treat charitable giving like any other consumer decision—do your homework and think it through. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us!

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