NPOs Responding To Multiple, Simultaneous Disasters

August 2021 may go down as one of the busiest periods for disaster response charities. Within the span of barely two weeks, charities deployed across the globe following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Haiti, U.S. military operations ending in Afghanistan, and Hurricane Ida pummeling Louisiana and the Gulf Coast in recent days.

Ahead of the hurricane, the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) provided immediate grants of $10,000 each to five organizations:

The five charities have a regional reach, are staged to respond, and are coordinating response with local and regional emergency managers, according to the foundation. In anticipation of the hurricane making landfall, the foundation made the grants to organizations that were staged and ready to provide emergency food and water and assist with road clearing in coordination with local governments.

The foundation’s Disaster Response and Restoration Fund is positioned to respond immediately and has responded to every major disaster in the region since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The fund provides grants to support local nonprofits leading short-, medium- and long-term response and recovery efforts.

GNOF’s leaders plan to fund nonprofits that provide legal aid and technical assistance for residents working to navigate applications for assistance; support mucking and gutting operations, and provide shelter for residents unable to return home.

Los Angeles-based Team Rubicon readied response teams and staged resources to respond to the hurricane, across southeastern Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi. In addition to 2021 storm response efforts, Team Rubicon volunteers, known as Greyshirts, support with wildfire mitigation efforts and its Rebuild Program for homeowners affected by disasters.

Direct Relief prepositioned 17 hurricane preparedness packs with partner facilities in areas expected to be impacted by Hurricane Ida. The packs include medications and medical supplies commonly requested after disasters, including prescription medications for diabetes and hypertension. The Santa Barbara, Calif.-based organization has committed an initial $1 million in financial resources and is making available its more than $100 million inventories for any medicine, medical supplies and other emergency aid center requested by health clinics, emergency shelters, and state and local emergency response agencies in affected areas.

Americares in Stamford, Conn., deployed an emergency response team to the Gulf Coast ahead of the hurricane. In advance of the storm, Americares contracted more than two dozen partner clinics in Louisiana and Mississippi with offers of assistance. The organization maintains an emergency pharmacy stocked with medicines, vaccines and medical supplies to be delivered in times of crisis. It’s also prepared with “flash grants” to damaged health centers serving low-income and uninsured residents.

Days earlier, an Americares airlift carrying 12 tons of medicine and relief items arrived in Haiti to support local health providers treating earthquake survivors. Americares is working with partner organization Hope for Haiti to transport the $6 million in wound care supplies, personal protective equipment, cardiovascular medication and medical supplies to health care providers in southwestern Haiti. It’s the third major shipment for the earthquake with additional deliveries planned.

Americares which has worked in Haiti since the 1980s, responds to more than 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, according to data from the organization.

Charity Navigator posted a list of charities with three- and four-star ratings working to provide help during the wildfires in Northern California and Nevada.

The California Fire Foundation is providing SAVE gift cards to eligible victims of fire and natural disasters so they can purchase basic necessities such as food, clothing or medicine. When the program launched in 2014, the gift cards were $100 in value – and in 2019, due to the commitment of the foundation’s donors, SAVE cards were permanently increased to $250 each.