Hurricane Katrina: How You Can Help

Updated September 8, 2005

How can you make a difference to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the U.S. Gulf Coast earlier this week? Send money, says Michael D. Brown, U.S. Undersecretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response.

Whatever you do, he adds, please don't travel to affected areas of your own accord.

"Cash donations are especially helpful to victims," Brown said in a Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) press release. "They allow volunteer agencies to issue cash vouchers to victims so they can meet their needs. Cash donations also allow agencies to avoid the labor-intensive need to store, sort, pack and distribute donated goods. Donated money prevents, too, the prohibitive cost of air or sea transportation that donated goods require.

"We're grateful for the outpouring of support already," Brown said. "But it's important that volunteer response is coordinated by the professionals who can direct volunteers with the appropriate skills to the hardest-hit areas where they are needed most. Self-dispatched volunteers and especially sightseers can put themselves and others in harm's way and hamper rescue efforts."

FEMA'S SUGGESTED RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS

Organizations Requesting Cash Donations

Note: 800 and 888 phone numbers work only in the U.S. and Canada

Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund
(No phone number posted)

American Red Cross
English: 800 HELP NOW (435 7669)
Spanish: 800 257 7575

Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation
877 HELPLA1

Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund
866 230 8903

Network for Good
(No phone number posted)

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