Disaster Relief Services

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What are the phases of disaster relief and recovery?

Disaster Relief Services

After the initial rescue and mitigation activities, many areas of the world affected by disaster also require the delivery of food, clean drinking water, and interim shelter. Disaster relief charities are able to deliver such supplies—often in situations where civil turmoil has erupted due to the deprivations that come with disruption and disaster.

In addition to attending to the basic needs of displaced people, disaster recovery services also work to rebuild damaged infrastructure (such as fixing roads and bridges, restoring electricity and sanitation services, and reestablishing communications). These recovery efforts start immediately and can go on for months or even years.

One of the challenges faced by nonprofit organizations that provide disaster relief is the tapering off of support. When a disaster first strikes, everyone wants to help, however, as the shock wears off and media coverage declines, so do donations. The need persists and disaster relief and recovery activities continue but the response typically diminishes.

One way you can help is to keep disaster relief charities in the back of your mind; if you cannot send a donation when a disaster strikes, rest assured that it will be well-used even if you send it weeks or months later. If you can afford to, consider donating to such organizations a few times a year.

   

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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.