Tulane University and New Orleans are all too familiar with the challenges that communities face in the aftermath of disasters. We also know the impact that committed, compassionate volunteers and community members can have on recovery initiatives when they work together towards a common goal. COVID-19 may have changed the way we can engage in these recovery initatives, but not our desire to help our neighbors. Learn how you can be involved below.
Sending money is almost always the most efficient way to help in a disaster. Consider supporting local organizations as more money goes to supporting those directly affected by disasters.
Junior League is collecting diapers and period supplies, now through Friday, Sept. 11 at their headquarters at 4319 Carondelet St.
Second Harvest is collecting items including diapers, new and unopened hygiene products, toiletries, cleaning products, and non-perishable food items. These items can be dropped off at 700 Edwards Ave. from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Team Gleason is collecting gift cards; cleaning supplies such as brooms, mops, soap, laundry detergent, sanitizer wipes, hand sanitizers, trash bags; drinking water; non-perishable food; gently used small medical equipment such as walkers and canes; adult and baby diapers; paper towels; insect spray; sunscreen; and masks and gloves. Donations can be dropped off through September 11th at Access Respiratory Homecare at 4031 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie.
The Disaster Recovery Timeline
When disaster strikes a community, its impact dominates the news. Images and accounts of distress fill TV screens and airwaves. If the emergency remains in the news for more than a week or two, it seems like long-term coverage. Educating yourself on the different phases of disaster recovery is an important first step in helping. Generally, mass media cover the first phase of a disaster, whereas the long-term disaster-response unfolds over several phases and can last months or even years. The need conitnues long after the media coverage ends and the national attention shifts. Contine to tell the story of Hurricane Laura and keep up to date on recovery developments and needs.
After disasters, non-profit organizations can be overwhelmed by well-meaning donations of clothing, household goods, sports equipment, etc. Listen to the stories of the people on the ground, and direct your giving based on what has been identified as a need. Furthermore during COVID-19, organizations working in disaster-affected areas face additional challenges and new needs. Dale Herzog, Director of Humanitarian Logistic for the UPS Foundation, encourages you to ask three questions:
1. Is this stuff wanted?
2. How will this stuff get there?
3. How will the stuff get distributed after it arrives at its destination?
Interested in volunteering? Volunteer with established organizations; do not “self-deploy.” This could create an additional burden for emergency workers. Established organizations have worked with local communities to identify needs and developed resources to support volunteers in this work. Likewise, many of the areas hardest hit by disaster might not be immediately ready for volunteers. Be patient. Disaster recovery is a long process.
Local Organizations Accepting Volunteers Now
Pre-registration: Local organizations are preregistering volunteers, so they can be informed of when volunteers are needed.
Tulane Student Resources and Support Services
If you need assistance and are not sure where to begin, please contact the Office of Student Resources and Support Services (SRSS). During business hours you can call (504) 314-2160, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For after-hour support, the Division of Student Affairs provides a 24/7 professional staff on call for urgent situations and can be reached by calling (504) 920-9900.
United Way 211
United Way’s 2-1-1 is a free hotline that provides information to individuals seeking community resources like shelter, food and water, recovery support, and other basic needs, before, during and after disasters. The service is available in 180 languages 24/7 by simply dialing 2-1-1 or visiting 211.org
Individuals who need assistance ahead of, during, and after disasters can contact 211 by simply dialing 211 from a cell phone or landline. 211 is a free, 24/7, hotline, available in many languages, that provides information to individuals seeking community resources like shelter, food and water, recovery support, and other basic needs, before, during and after disasters.
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