Responding to recent natural disasters

By: Rosie McDowell

September 18, 2018

Compiled by Rosie McDowell, Director, International Community-Based Learning Outreach, Center for Social Concerns
September 18, 2018; updated October 15, 2018.

In dynamic emergency situations often the best way to offer assistance is by making financial donations to organizations with skilled teams in the location. NGOs and charities near an emergency location can direct the funding via their local teams with the best knowledge and skills to provide relief where it it most needed and will have the most impact.

The following is a partial listing of the many organizations accepting contributions for relief and assistance relative to recent natural disasters, especially hurricane Michael that hit land on the Florida panhandle (October), the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia (September), hurricane Florence that came ashore in North Carolina (September), and typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines (September). The University of Notre Dame is not formally endorsing any of the organizations listed.

Americares saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster so they can reach their full potential. As the flooding from Florence continues to overwhelm the Carolinas, Americares emergency response team in North Carolina is delivering essential medicines and relief supplies for families evacuated for Hurricane Florence.

American Red Cross is working both North and South Carolina to provide safe shelter and comfort for the hundreds of thousands of people impacted by Hurricane Florence as the threat from the devastating storm continues.CARE has emergency teams assessing the damage and needs of the affected population in the most severely hit town of Cagayan in the Philippines, in an agriculture-dependent province in the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut.

Caritas is an international "helping hand of the Church" that reaches out to the poor, vulnerable, and excluded, regardless of race or religion. The organization is sending food, water, medicine, and shelters to help survivors of the Indonesia tsunami and earthquake.

Catholic Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee has extensive information on relief and assistance with Hurricane Michael.

Catholic Charities USA supports disaster response and recovery efforts including direct assistance, home repair, home rebuilding, health care services and other programs. Catholic Charities uses case management that enables long-term disaster recovery and directs all funds raised to CCUSA agencies which serve affected agencies in North and South Carolina.

Catholic Relief Services is working in the Philippines to provide emergency shelter, water food and hygiene supplies to affected residents and provide resources in the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut.

Oxfam International is first prioritizing distribution of water and emergency shelter materials like tarps and ropes. The medium-and longer-term concerns in these areas will be related to food, and rebuilding the agricultural activity in the areas near Cagayan impacted by total crop loss after Typhoon Mangkhut.

Save the Children will begin distributing aid to the worst-affected families in the Philippines, including hygiene items like shampoo, soap and cleaning products, as well as jerry cans, water purification tablets, pots and pans for cooking and plastic sheeting for temporary shelter.  Save the Children teams have also begun to work with families and children impacted by Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas.

World Vision has partnered with the Fayetteville Dream Center to set up a shelter at Manna Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Staff from Dream Center, the church, and World Vision are serving evacuees and has begun providing relief supplies.