There are a number of organizations that assist in disaster recovery in America, the most well-known being the American Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Organizations like this work to direct funds, supplies, and disaster recovery volunteers to affected areas in a coordinated effort to provide immediate aid and on-going assistance to the affected areas.
A great way to assist areas affected by natural disasters is to donate. Around $100 will allow you to fund the deployment of one disaster recovery volunteer for an in-need area with American Red Cross. However, if you feel the need to do more, you can even sign up to become a disaster recovery volunteer yourself. Every disaster relief response is absolutely reliant on disaster relief volunteers, and your contribution could help make a huge difference in the lives of those affected. Each organization has their own requirements for disaster volunteers, but will typically require that you complete a training course, and be able to devote a predefined amount of time each week.
So why might you want to become a disaster recovery volunteer? Beyond the obvious benefit of helping others in need, it can be a great way to learn skills that can benefit you throughout your life. Many disaster relief volunteer courses include classes on CPR, which is a skill that you can take with you and may make the difference between life and death for people around you in the future. You will also be learning how to work in a team environment, working and collaborating with others to achieve a joint goal. This can be great not only in future work environments, but for adding to your resume to enhance your job prospects. There are also a number of different volunteer roles that could allow you to build specific skills in your industry of choice. If boots on the ground disaster volunteering is not for you, or not possible for you due to time, distance, or other factors, volunteers can help in a number of different capacities. American Red Cross for example has finance/fundraising volunteers, communications/outreach volunteers, IT volunteers, and many more positions that can provide you with a great jumping off point for a new career, or an opportunity to pad your resume with meaningful work.
If you're interested in getting involved, a great starting resource is redcross.org. There, you can search by zip code to learn about local volunteer opportunities, and get started as a disaster recovery volunteer today!