Hurricane Katrina ? What You Can Do To Help Those In Need
Hurricane Katrina?s catastrophic blow to the coastal states has left our entire nation devastated. As conditions worsen, gas prices on the rise, and the fate of many unknown, we need to come together to help. The one question on everyone?s mind remains, what can I do? Having experienced Katrina as a Category 1 hurricane here in South Florida, experiencing six hurricanes since last August, and from extensive research for my book on disaster recovery, The Home Office Recovery Guide, I offer the following tips:
Tip One ? Offer Emotional Support: People going though this disaster and their families are going to need a great deal of emotional support. Not just today, but long afterwards. Posttraumatic stress is real and having someone who cares will enable them to get their life back together quicker. Let them know you are there for them. Encourage them to get professional help if needed. Invite them into your homes.
Tip Two ? Offer Financial Support. If you have a specific family to contribute to, then support them as much as you financially can. Yes, you can take just a little out of the savings to help. There?s plenty of time to put it back in later. See if your church or other community organization can sponsor different families. If contributing to charitable organizations, make sure that the organization is legitimate. The Red Cross is one we know is good- http://redcross.org. Also, when deciding who to donate to, find out how much money goes to the recovery victims themselves. For example, the Lutheran Social Services is set up to give 100% donations to the victims themselves Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Can you do something that can raise money? Do it. Get your kids involved and show them the value of helping others.
Tip Three ? Get Others Involved. I?m on a virtual assistant forum now that is going to sponsor a drive to collect business items and supplies and then we will make sure they go to those who need them to help rebuild their businesses. We know many not only lost their homes, but their businesses as well. What do you have around the home that is extra? Fax, Copier, Printer? Naturally having new things is great. But, if you don?t have extra money to contribute look around and see what is collecting dust. When you go to Office Depot or your office supply store next time, take advantage of the buy one, get one free specials and keep the paid one and donate the free one. My website at Virtual Word Publishing, has additional information.
Tip Four -- Help Them Recover. Help them complete the necessary paperwork for insurance purposes and recovery efforts. They are traumatized and things that seem simple to you bear emotional significance and devastating memories. Guide them though this process.
And finally, provide spiritual guidance. No matter what faith you are, spread your faith with others, and let them know that this too shall pass. As a nation we will be there to help them recover. Every one of us can make a difference. And that difference will help those families and those cities to recover and enjoy the things that we are enjoying right now.
About the Author: Diana Ennen is the co-author of The Home Office Recovery Plan: Disaster Preparedness Guide For Your Home-Based Business (Patty Gale, co-author) http://www.homeofficerecoveryplan.com/ and Virtual Assistant the Series, Become a Highly Successful Sought After VA (http://www.VA-TheSeries.com). She is president of Virtual Word Publishing, http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com and http://www.Publicity.VA.com.