Hurricanes not only leave communities with immediate consequences such as damaged structures and power lines, the devastation also endangers lives and creates setbacks in developmental terms. As a result, hurricane relief efforts prove valuable in helping communities get back on their feet and begin to rebuild.

When considering where to volunteer, you must first determine which organizations you will volunteer with. Most reputable organizations will provide volunteer training, as well as housing and basic security measures for volunteers. Research organizations to ensure you are volunteering with an organization that not only has a well-established disaster relief reputation, but is one that also provides adequate training.  

Some reputable organizations include ones like the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

It is also important to determine where your assistance will prove most valuable. It is advised you sign up to be a volunteer in advance if you want to be involved in an immediate disaster relief endeavor. If you haven’t signed up in advance, it’s recommended you focus your efforts on areas that require further relief efforts. Volunteer efforts are often most impactful in areas that have suffered hurricane disaster several months or years prior. As communities often take months or years to completely rebuild, ongoing support from volunteer efforts is crucial in furthering infrastructure.

Overseas areas that have seen damage also benefit significantly from volunteer efforts. Since the United States’ mainland is its top concern, prioritization and resources ensure it is able to recuperate faster than other territories and countries. As a result, it’s recommended volunteers seek to become involved in hurricane relief efforts abroad, where resources may prove scarce. Volunteers overseas can bring supplies to hospitals and shelters, contribute to medical treatment, and assist in rebuilding and building physical structures.

If you’re unable to travel internationally to support relief efforts, you can assist by raising money to support reputable and well-established organizations. You can also collect and donate materials and supplies, as well as your time. If you’re looking to make significant impacts, consider committing yourself to donate to organizations year-round to ensure funds are always ready to be deployed once a disaster strikes.