For those living in areas susceptible to hurricanes, the annual hurricane season is an anxious time. However, the ongoing 2020 COVID-19 crisis is likely to complicate things even more, with social distancing measures and shortages of medical supplies and PPE having an effect on evacuation centers and hurricane supplies. Here are three ways you can help during this year’s hurricane season.
- Make a hurricane relief donation
Aid organizations do a fantastic job of helping communities to cope with hurricanes. Still, as most of these organizations are charities, they rely on donations from the public to continue to operate as effectively as possible. By making a hurricane relief donation, you will be helping to provide shelter, food and comfort to families who are affected by hurricanes. Donations also help communities deal with the aftermath of a hurricane, such as assessing building damage and helping with cleanup operations. A donation made in 2020 will also go towards providing additional hygiene products to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as face masks and hand sanitizer for aid workers and hurricane survivors, and implementing screening and social distancing measures at essential evacuation centers. You can rest assured that your small donation will be used for the best impact.
2. Donate essential supplies
Hurricanes destroy everything in their path, and many families sadly lose everything during a crisis. Although many aid organizations prefer monetary donations, which can be used to help in a variety of ways, you can donate essential items which may be in short supply. However, public generosity has led to large amounts of unusable items being donated for disaster relief, which can hinder rather than help an impacted community. Inappropriate items such as chandeliers and prom dresses have been donated during previous hurricanes! Make sure you donate essential items through verified aid organizations such as the American Red Cross and follow their guidance on what can be donated. For instance, canned, non-perishable food with an accompanying can opener can help to sustain neighborhoods who have lost their electricity and shops
3. Give blood
Every two seconds, someone in the US needs blood, but less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood. This need is further amplified in the event of a disaster, which may see people sustaining heavy injuries and requiring blood transfusions. The need for blood is even greater now with a large number of patients in ICUs being treated for COVID-19. Blood donation centers have introduced several safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring that there is a supply of blood for patients who need it. For instance, the increased disinfecting of surfaces and equipment and social distancing measures, as well as only taking blood from those who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation. As such, donating blood regularly, if you can, is a massive help to hospitals across the country, and could help to save someone’s life.