Updated November 30, 2018
Are you prepared for an emergency or a disaster? Do you know what to include in an individual or family emergency survival kit or evacuation kit? Do you know how to contact those who may assist you in an emergency or disaster? Visit NHU's guide How to Prepare for an Emergency or Disaster for People with Disabilities and How to Get Help in the Aftermath
Have you considered trying to assist people with disabilities in communities in time of disaster, but do not know how to go about it? Consider the options provided in this guide and check back with us. As we learn more about organizations that are assisting in relief efforts, we will list the information on charitable organizations and tips on donating to disaster relief here on this guide. Bookmark our guide and remember to refresh the page on your browser each time you visit.
Select the Disaster Relief topic of your choice from the links below:
During a fire or other disaster evacuation of people with disabilities, even those who are self-sufficient under normal circumstances may have to rely on the help of others. Are you a caregiver of a person with a disability? Do you have a neighbor who has a disability? Has a neighbor or friend with a disability asked you to assist them in emergencies? Will you be able to provide assistance to an individual during an emergency?
Below are tips from FEMA on how to prepare to assist someone in an emergency: Be sure also that you are knowledgeable of what is being asked of you and that you are able to provide the assistance you wish to offer. Take a class in life safety to become more knowledgeable and aware of how to assist another person. (For instance: No one should try to swim to a person struggling in the water if they themselves cannot swim, as the victim will often panic and overwhelm their rescuer, but you can learn more about what can happen and what you can do to rescue, such as how to get a life preserver to them.)
Prepare an emergency plan.
Giving to national or international disaster relief efforts requires careful consideration. Consider the options provided in this guide and check back in the coming months. As we learn more about organizations that are assisting in relief efforts, we will list the information on charitable organizations and tips on donating to disaster relief here on this guide. Bookmark our guide and remember to refresh the page on your browser each time you visit.
Give to Organizations that will directly serve Persons with Disabilities
If you wish to give directly to organizations for People with Disabilities, you may be eligible to get a tax exemption on your charitable giving. Check with local organization to see if they are offering disaster relief. For instance the The ARC of Texas: Hurricane Harvey has many resources for people with disabilities or those who wish to assist.
09/2017 - Hurricane Harvey - Hurricane Irma - Check out this report from, Portlight on what they have been doing to assist with Hurricane Harvey victims with disabilities and to prepare for Hurricane Irma. Visit their donation page at Portlight donate. - Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent catastrophic flooding have wreaked havoc in Texas and Hurricane Irma is expected to bring devastation to the Caribbean, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Florida, South Carolina and other US states in it's path. The Partnership has set up a hotline (800) 626-4959 to refer people with disabilities who may be in the affected areas to locate services and resources they may need.
Children and adults with severe speech/language disabilities often use Augmentative and Alternative communication (AAC). If you are in need of assistance for communication because of Hurricane Harvey, visit this page. You will be able to describe your need and enter your contact information. If you wish to donate or volunteer, join this national effort to support individuals/family members/other AAC stakeholders directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. AAC Relief: Hurricane Harvey. For more on this effort, visit Monterey couple launch online resource for the disabled affected by Hurricane Harvey
Love that Max: Hurricane Harvey: Disaster relief for children and adults with disabilities Love that Max has compiled a list of disability organizations and projects for disaster relief for people with disabilities of Hurricane Harvey.
Give to Disaster Relief Organizations
Make a donation or get involved from giving blood, food, water, and shelter.
What You Should Know Before You Give to National Disaster Relief
For information on safe giving, visit the Charitable Navigator to evaluate charities. Also visit Charity Navigator's "Tips For Giving In Times Of Crisis." Or visit The Better Business Bureaus' Wise Giving Alliance for monitored charities.
For more information on safe giving, providing assistance through charitable organizations, and tips on donating to disaster relief assistance, see the following resources:
Disaster Relief, Providing Assistance Through Charitable Organizations - This IRS publication clarifies the tax implications of donating to charities to help with a disaster. The bottom line is that to receive a tax-deduction you should donate to charities that are U.S. based and that are qualified as 501(c)(3) charities by the IRS.
Best intentions: When disaster relief brings anything but relief This article explains how sending clothing, or other items can actually hamper relief efforts and are a waste. Responsibly giving actually means a monetary gift which has much more flexibility for charity organizations to purchase supplies for exactly what people need and to buy locally so local economies get back to normal.5 Dos and Don'ts of Helping During a disaster: Help Out in Emergencies but in the Right Way By Joanne Fritz Updated August 29, 2017 - Find out more about how to give. -Do send money not things, Don't self-deploy as a volunteer, Do donate to charities that are legitimate, Don't restrict your donations, and Do continue giving after the media go away.
Give to Internationl Disaster Relief Organizations for People with Disabilities
If you wish to give to general relief organizations, see this article: How To Donate to International Emergencies on The Balance.com.
If you wish to give to organizations in the U.S. specifically geared to help with international disaster relief for people with disabilities so that you may get a tax exemption for your gift, see the following organizations:
International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a certified 501c(3) charity and 100% of donations they receive for the relief effort in will be restricted exclusively for use in that region. All supporters will receive a receipt either via email or in the mail verifying their donation and the charitable status of their gift for their records. One of the organizations that the IRC is working through which is focusing on people with disabilities, on the elderly and on others who have difficulty accessing aid.
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