Southeast Texas VOAD Member agencies are always actively involved in one or more phases of disaster: preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. Southeast Texas VOAD serves to aid cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration before, during, and after a disaster. Following a disaster incident, Southeast Texas VOAD helps the community create a Long Term Recovery Committee, which supports the community through what is typically a multi-year recovery process.
Below are links to active Long Term Recovery efforts in Southeast Texas:
How Can You Help in a Disaster?
Volunteers and donations have become vital to disaster response and recovery. You can help to reduce the impact of disasters by being prepared.
Disasters strike with or without warning. Do you and your family know how to respond? It is important to have an emergency supply kit and a communication plan. Visit www.ready.gov for more resources.
Get Involved Now
- Give blood – Call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule a life saving appointment. Donors of all blood types are needed.
- Get trained – Most disaster organizations require a level of training to be sure their volunteers are qualified to supply the services the clients need. Though it is sometimes possible to train you in the moment, it is not the most effective way. Signing up with a disaster-based organization in your local community before a disaster is the BEST way to be a great volunteer later.
- Volunteer locally – Your community is a great place to start. There are hundreds of organizations that provide direct social service support in your area and many of these have disaster components to prepare and support those in your area. These same volunteers are often the first line of support in other areas when disaster strikes. Search online for local opportunities or connect to a volunteer center in your community.
- Help disaster survivors register damages to their homes through iSTAT (State of Texas registration tool)
- Promote family preparedness by distributing educational materials
- Prepare and distribute meals to victims and relief workers
- Assist with the placement and tracking of victims in evacuation shelters
- Provide child care for disaster survivors
- Compile and distribute disaster recovery information to survivors
- Answer phones at volunteer intake or disaster recovery centers
- Provide debris removal and clean-up assistance to the elderly or disabled
Volunteer Wisely to Help Others
In a community struggling to respond to and recover from a disaster, an influx of unexpected or unneeded volunteers and donations can make the process even more difficult. Before traveling to a disaster area to help, learn where and when your skills will be needed. Discuss with volunteer organizers how your needs for food, water and shelter will be met while you are volunteering.
When making donations
- Donate to experienced disaster relief organizations that work with your local leaders to ensure all disaster survivors are served appropriately. The following groups are the recognized Long Term Recovery Agencies serving the respective counties in Southeast Texas:
- Jefferson County Long Term Recovery Group
- Orange County Disaster Rebuild
- Jasper Newton Long Term Recovery Group
- Financial contributions are preferred.
- Purchasing relief supplies available in the impacted community helps the local economy recover more quickly.
- Make sure the organization you are donating to is providing funding/assistance to the impacted households living in your community.
Relief agencies prefer the versatility of financial donations; however, some have the infrastructure in place to store and distribute donated goods. To prevent waste, donations of goods should be made only to agencies that have requested specific items.
Confirm the need before collecting. Donors should be wary of anyone who claims that “everything is needed.” Many groups have been disappointed that their efforts and the goods they collected were not appreciated. A community hit by a disaster, however, does not have the time, manpower or money to dispose of unneeded donations. Get precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods.