Saturday, August 08, 2020


Jan 20
Misti McHatton

How Can I Help?

Posted by Misti McHatton in Untagged 

When tragedy strikes, such as it did last week in Haiti, we are often left with a feeling of wanting to help but not knowing what to do or what is most needed. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has given some guidelines as to the most effective ways to help whether you want to donate or volunteer.
To Donate: Provide a financial contribution to a voluntary organization involved in disaster activities.
Find out what services state government is providing via Website or state donations hotline.
Do not begin collecting, packing or shipping until or unless you have a known recipient to accept it.

To Volunteer:

Get training before the next disaster.
Connect and affiliate with a voluntary organization.
Consider volunteering for the long-term community recovery.
Check with your local Volunteer Center for volunteer opportunities in your own community (1-800-Volunteer).
Plan to be as self-sufficient as possible (go to for assistance in developing your plan).

Although the sense of wanting to send more than “just money” can sometimes be really strong, it is what is most needed and what is asked for by our government and other agencies serving in the area of the disaster.  God says that we are to be aware of what our gov't requests/requires and follow them if within our Christian freedom to do so. The desires to help are commendable…it’s important that we learn to help within the structures set up so that our giving can be most effective.
For more information about how you can help in a disaster, visit the FEMA web site at If you want to get more involved and volunteer, visit the volunteer section of the CEN directory for a list of places to find volunteer information.

In situations where communication is critical, there is a new form of communication being used in unexpected ways. With the recent earthquake in Haiti, we have seen that with the help of social media sites, people are still able to get in touch with their loved ones, and the process of search, rescue and re-building can begin.

Twitter, is the primary method being used to communicate. In doing a cursory search, there were pages of updates, offers from businesses to fly nurses and doctors to Haiti for free, matching donation requests, initiatives by schools and individuals, as well as updates from people on the ground in Haiti. About 30 seconds after my initial search, there were over 1700 new “tweets” regarding Haiti. News articles have also reported that in the initial hours after the quake, Skype was used for person to person communication to relay details.

This is a good example of how social media has gone beyond just a way to “stay in touch with friends.” Is this the method for emergency communication of the future?