5 Organizations Aiding Disaster Relief Efforts

Disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes can devastate communities. Rebuilding after these events strike can take a great deal of time, effort, and funding. That's why organizations like the ones listed here work to aid disaster relief efforts by providing money, advocacy, and volunteer services to the places they are needed most. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Groups That Help With Disaster Relief

Name Mission
Mutual Aid Disaster Relief Provide disaster relief based on the principles of solidarity, mutual aid, and autonomous direct action
Hispanic Federation Empower and advance the Hispanic community
Rainbow World Fund Promote peace, unity, and hope by leading the LGBTQ movement in participating in humanitarian relief efforts
The Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago Ensure the self-determination of Puerto Ricans in Chicago, throughout the diaspora, and in Puerto Rico through policy and advocacy
Team Rubicon UK Create order in the chaos caused by disaster by deploying teams of highly skilled volunteers to provide life-saving aid to those who need it most

The Aftermath Of Hurricane Maria

Types Of Natural Disasters

  • Tornadoes & severe storms
  • Hurricanes & tropical storms
  • Floods
  • Wildfires
  • Earthquakes
  • Avalanches & landslides
  • Drought
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Cold waves & heat waves

10 Ways To Prepare For A Hurricane

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:

  1. Know your hurricane risk so you can start preparing early
  2. Make an emergency plan & ensure that everyone in your household knows it
  3. Gather supplies including medication, food, and pet supplies
  4. Identify those with disabilities who may need extra assistance
  5. Know your evacuation zone and identify where you will stay
  6. Recognize warnings and alerts received through an official app or local news
  7. Review important documents such as insurance and identification
  8. Strengthen your home in case it is hit by high winds and/or flooding
  9. Get tech ready by keeping it charged & having a backup power source on hand
  10. Help your neighborhood by checking in those who may need additional help

Dos & Don'ts Of Donating To Disaster Relief Efforts

In Depth

When a region is struck by disaster, it takes more than just a local or federal government to fix the damages. Relief and recovery require the concerted efforts of citizens both within and outside the affected communities, volunteers who commit their time to fundraising, delivering supplies, and rebuilding infrastructure. In no particular order, here are some organizations providing this crucial aid to hard-hit areas around the globe.

For #1 we have Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, a national grassroots network based on the principles of solidarity, mutual aid, and autonomous direct action. Using a decentralized model comprised of a diversity of activists and community organizers, it responds to disasters, collects and disseminates lessons learned in the field, and supports and provides a connective tissue between other grassroots groups doing response work.

The organization has responded to such incidents as the historic floods in Baton Rouge and West Virginia, as well as the catastrophic Hurricanes Matthew, Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Through its many survival programs, it has cleaned debris, built wellness centers, provided life-saving medication, distributed supplies, and assisted with sustainable rebuilding efforts via water purification and solar infrastructure. It also addresses ongoing disasters of socioeconomic inequality, creating local survival programs to strengthen community resilience.

Through its many survival programs, it has cleaned debris, built wellness centers, provided life-saving medication, distributed supplies, and assisted with sustainable rebuilding efforts via water purification and solar infrastructure.

At #2 is Hispanic Federation, which launched the UNIDOS Disaster Relief and Recovery Program in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The goal of the program is to serve the immediate and long-term needs of families and communities in Puerto Rico. To do this, the Federation helps coordinate hundreds of donation drives on the US mainland, distributing millions of pounds of food, water, and essentials to all 78 Puerto Rican municipalities.

Among the group's focus areas are agriculture, renewable energy, housing and community development, health, and emergency assistance and preparedness. In addition to providing critical resources and rebuilding infrastructure, Hispanic Federation seeds millions of dollars to support emergency relief and recovery projects throughout the island. It awards grants to essential industries and businesses, partners with individuals and organizations, and advocates for numerous political, economic, and environmental issues.

For #3 we get Rainbow World Fund. This all-volunteer, LGBTQ-based humanitarian aid organization works to help people affected by natural disasters, hunger, poverty, disease, oppression, and war. Its aim is to promote world peace, unity, and hope by assisting individuals and communities in need while increasing positive visibility of the LGBTQ movement. The organization serves those of all races, religions, political beliefs, and sexualities.

This all-volunteer, LGBTQ-based humanitarian aid organization works to help people affected by natural disasters, hunger, poverty, disease, oppression, and war.

RWF has donated over $4 million in humanitarian aid such as financial grants, food, water, medical equipment, and art and school supplies. Examples of its work include aid for LGBTQ refugees, water projects throughout Central America, HIV/AIDS case management programs in South Africa, and relief for natural disasters around the world. The group also conducts an annual Global Awareness Journey, during which it supports humanitarian and educational projects and distributes funds and supplies.

Landing at #4 is The Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago. Made up of local leaders, it conducts policy and advocacy to ensure the self-determination of Puerto Ricans in Chicago, throughout the diaspora, and on the island itself. In the Windy City, The Agenda focuses on developing and executing a community-driven vision for the crucial Humboldt Park area and its Paseo Boricua district.

More recently, The Agenda has been implementing strategic relief and rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Maria and the earthquakes that struck two years later. Its fundraising strategy involves working closely with Puerto Rican officials and nonprofits to purchase and distribute emergency supplies directly from national distributors, and issue micro-grants to municipalities. The Agenda applies donations to meaningful and targeted initiatives to immediately address pressing needs on the island.

The Agenda applies donations to meaningful and targeted initiatives to immediately address pressing needs on the island.

Finally, for #5 we come to Team Rubicon UK, the British chapter of the Team Rubicon network. It was formed in 2015 when General Sir Nick Parker put out a call to action asking UK veterans to volunteer their skills at the scene of an earthquake in Nepal. Today, the organization continues this military approach to relief, deploying crews of volunteers to provide life-saving aid to those who need it most.

Team Rubicon UK utilizes a robust operating cycle to ensure that every operation is conducted with speed and efficiency, without sacrificing agility. It has responded to everything from hurricanes and floods to tornadoes and wildfires, in places both in and beyond the UK. It also provides rapid response services such as clean water, shelter, and power, and brings various recovery projects to remote and vulnerable communities.