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How to Volunteer in Disaster Areas

Feel like doing good? Volunteer in a disaster area for some positive karma.


  • Step 1: Judge yourself Consider your physical health and availability; volunteering in a disaster area requires committing considerable energy and time. Research specific disaster areas beforehand to help prepare yourself for situations you might find on the ground.
  • TIP: If you're volunteering outside the country, have a valid passport.
  • Step 2: Find a group Go online to find a faith-based or non-governmental organization that leads volunteer missions -- disaster areas are too dangerous to navigate alone.
  • TIP: Volunteer before a disaster strikes to get familiar with a group ahead of time.
  • Step 3: Take personal inventory Think about any skills or training you possess that may be useful in disaster areas. Consider taking courses in foreign languages, CPR, or first aid, all of which can help you provide assistance on the ground.
  • Step 4: Get involved locally If traveling's too difficult, volunteer locally. Help out at a nearby blood bank, man a call center dedicated to collecting donations, or gather supplies to send to victims abroad. Spread news of disaster relief and help focus public attention on affected areas.
  • Step 5: Make a donation No time to volunteer? Donate money or basic necessities like clothes, canned goods, or bottled water to support volunteer efforts around the world. Giving what you have to others is among the best ways to get involved and help those dealing with disaster.
  • FACT: In 2009, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared 59 disasters in the United States.

You Will Need

  • Physical fitness
  • Time
  • Internet access
  • Donations
  • Passport (optional)

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